Memorial Day weekend brings many visitors to the Canyon Lakes Ranger District (CLRD). There is a lot of interest in what the Hewlett Fire means to recreators and what is available to do.
Visitors should be aware that there is still a fire burning on the district. Highway 14 is open, but there are still firefighters and equipment in the area. Please help keep traffic in this area flowing. Smoke may be visible for some time but is not anticipated to cause any additional closures. Hewlett Gulch and Greyrock Trails are both still closed and an evaluation of their conditions is being made.
Nearly half of CLRD’s campgrounds are opening this weekend. Although those with reservations are booked, six are entirely first come, first served. Some forest roads have opened, but not all. Make sure to check the latest road information at www.fs.usda.gov/goto/arp/roads before heading out.
It is important for visitors to know the Canyon Lakes Ranger District is in fire restrictions. These Stage 1 fire restrictions limit where and what type of fires visitors can have. Forest visitors cannot:
· Build or maintain a fire or use charcoal, coal, or wood stoves, except within a developed recreation site (e.g., campgrounds where fees are charged).
· Use explosives, including fireworks.
· Smoke, except in an enclosed vehicle or building, a developed recreation site, or while in an area at least three feet in diameter cleared of all flammable materials.
· Possess or use a motor vehicle off National Forest System roads, except when parking in an area devoid of vegetation within ten feet of the roadway or parking overnight in a developed campground or trailhead.
· Weld or operate an acetylene or other torch with an open flame.
· Use any internal or external combustion engine (including chainsaws) without a spark arresting devise properly working.
A great resource for visitors with recreation questions is the CLRD’s visitor information center. The Fort Collins office, located at 2150 Centre Ave., Building E, starts summer hours this weekend and is staffed Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturdays 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Arrowhead Visitor Center, in the Poudre Canyon, also opens this weekend from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.
Make sure to look for open areas when selecting a location to camp or park. Take a saw or ax with you to remove fallen trees from roads to avoid becoming trapped. Remember, your safety is your responsibility. Dead and live trees can fall without warning. For additional safety information, visit www.fs.usda.gov/goto/arp/hazardtrees.
Make sure to check www.fs.usda.gov/arp; follow the Canyon Lakes Ranger District on Twitter at https://twitter.com/#!/usfsclrd; or call the Visitor Information Center at 970-295-6700 for the latest information on recreation information.