Medicine Bow Officials: Enjoy Holiday But Use Caution In Forest
Following multiple large fires this year, plus extensive work to mitigate impacts from bark beetles over the past few years, most roads, trails, campgrounds and picnic areas are now open on the Medicine Bow-Routt National Forests pand Thunder Basin National Grassland. Spokesman Aaron Voos says
Fire Still Poses a Threat – Although moderating fuel moisture and weather conditions have allowed fire restrictions to be lifted across most of the Forest, campers are still reminded to use extra care when building and maintaining campfires. The Douglas Ranger District is the exception and remains in Stage 2 Restrictions. Voos says you should scrape dead grass and other flammable materials away from campfire sites, k keep campfires small and under control, keep a shovel and a water container nearby to douse escaped embers, put campfires dead out before leaving your campsite or going to sleep; this requires adding water and stirring hot coals until they are cool to the touch. Also avoid parking vehicles in tall dry grass, since hot tailpipes can cause fine fuels to catch on fire. A reminder fireworks are prohibited on federal lands.
Voos says while many campgrounds and picnic areas have reopened following removal of beetle-killed trees, most undeveloped/general forest areas still contain extensive dead and dying trees that can fall without warning, endangering people and blocking roads. Campground reservations may be made at some sites through Reserve USA by phone at 877-444-6777 or online at www.recreation.gov. Where available, reservations are recommended for holiday weekends such as Labor Day.