Reghan Cloudman | U.S. Forest Service
Cameron Peak Fire recovery efforts have made great strides over the past summer season, but much work is still left to do. Recovery Partners, including the Colorado Water Conservation Board, City of Greeley, City of Loveland, and Big Thompson Watershed Coalition, will be mulching over 700 acres of the burn scar in October. Mulching helps stabilize hill slopes and protect downstream resources and infrastructure from potential damage.
Due to safety concerns, the Forest Service will be extending its closure order in the area of mulching. This updated order will close National Forest System lands in an area north of Larimer County Road 43 around the Dunraven Trailhead, Storm Mountain, and Donner Pass starting October 1. This will limit access to Rocky Mountain National Park from the North Fork Trail. This closure is necessary to ensure the safety of the public and those doing this important recovery work. An updated map will be available Friday on the Forest Service website.
Mulching is anticipated to take place October 1-14, 2021. If conditions allow, the area will return to its previous status of open or open to non-motorized use after operations are completed. These dates were selected in coordination with Colorado Parks and Wildlife to limit the impact to hunters in the area before the first deer and elk rifle season.
Recovery partners earlier this year, including the City of Greeley, the City of Fort Collins, and the Coalition for the Poudre River Watershed, successfully mulched over 5,000 acres in the Cameron Peak Fire burn area. Recovery of our forests and communities will take years, but all of us working closely together continues to make a difference in the landscape.
For those visiting areas of the forest that are open but were impacted by the fire, please be aware of safety hazards you may encounter and may not be as visible as the snow starts to fall at higher elevations. You could encounter falling or downed trees, flood risks, stump holes, and rockfall danger to name a few. Remember, your safety is your responsibility.
Visitors are reminded to always check the latest status of areas they plan to recreate on the Forest Service website at www.fs.usda.gov. Many areas impacted by the Cameron Peak Fire remain completely closed or are closed to motorized travel and other areas are closing for the season. These closures are in place for the safety of visitors and those working in the area, as well as natural resource protection. To help people plan their visit, we recommend everyone checks the Know Before You Go page for helpful tips, including closures due to the East Troublesome and Williams Fork fires on our Sulphur Ranger District.