Seeley Fire has Affected More Than Just the Landscape

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With the summer travel season in full swing, vacationers seeking to recreate in popular Huntington Canyon will be disappointed to find out campgrounds and trails closed until further notice.

With the devastating results of the Seeley Fire visible from the roads in the canyon, public safety is number one.

“It’s going to be a while before they (campgrounds) are safe and stable,” said Manti-La Sal National Forest Public Affairs Specialist Rosann Fillmore.

According to a press release from the Manti-La Sal National Forest on July 18, a Burned Area Emergency Rehabilitation (BAER) team of natural resource specialists has been frequenting the burned areas of the Seeley Fire the past week to examine resource effects after the fire. A preliminary report of the team’s findings is anticipated within the next week.

As for campgrounds, though, there is no timetable for re-openings.

“It might be a while before they are opened,” Fillmore said. “They (BAER) will make a decision based on the safety of the public.”

Allen Rowley, Manti-La Sal National Forest Supervisor, said it “may take one, two or three years for the area to stabilize so that it is safe for the public to use again.”

The aforementioned press release ended with a plea to the public.

“In the meantime, the Forest Service is asking the public to respect area closures.  All National Forest System Lands within the burned area are closed to the public.  This includes campgrounds, trails, the Nuck Woodard Road and Trough Springs Ridge Road.  Open areas will be posted on the Manti-La Sal National Forest website (www.fs.usda.gov/mantilasal/) as they become available.”

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