Extreme fire danger forces another national forest to close
DENVER » Extreme fire danger prompted officials to shut down a sprawling forest that includes some of Colorado’s most stunning mountains in a region that attracts tourists from around the world, a rare tactic also being used in neighboring states as the U.S. Southwest struggles with severe drought.
National forests and parks in Arizona and New Mexico have already been shut down as precautions.
San Juan National Forest officials in southwestern Colorado closed hundreds of miles of trails and thousands of miles of back roads to hikers, bikers, horseback riders and campers Tuesday to prevent the possibility of an abandoned campfire or any other spark from starting a wildfire. It’s the first full closure of a national forest in Colorado since 2002, which was another very dry year.
The closure will remain until sufficient precipitation eases the fire danger.