Sequoia National Park Entrance Sign After Restoration

Sequoia National Forest and Giant Sequoia National Monument

Springville CA – June 9, 2022  Some areas burned in the 2020 Castle and 2021 Windy fires will be open to recreation this summer in the Western Divide Ranger District, Sequoia National Forest. Other areas will remain closed to ensure public safety, protect natural resources, and provide time for natural fire recovery.

Recent wildfires impacted large areas that remain unsafe for the public to recreate. These areas contain numerous natural hazards created by the fires, including burnt trees that continue to fall. In addition, areas heavily impacted by the fires need time for natural recovery such as soil stabilization and growth of vegetation. In several areas impacted by the Castle Fire, roads will be used for staging heavy equipment for roadside hazard tree mitigation. These areas will remain unsafe for the public during these operations.

Dead and dying trees pose a substantial public safety threat in certain dispersed areas that did not burn in the Castle or Windy fires. As these trees rot and become structurally weaker, they fall and have the potential to cause severe injury or death. Tree hazards include standing snags, damaged trees, diseased trees, and structurally unstable trees. In addition, dispersed camping sprawl in these areas has resulted in a loss of vegetation. Vehicle use adjacent to the access roads and the development of tent sites has caused the trampling of vegetation and soil compaction. Hardening the ground surfaces increases runoff, resulting in soil loss and erosion during rain events.

There are maps available on the Sequoia National Forest website; Forest Order 0513-22-07 Western Divide Fire Recovery and Public Safety Closure Order posted on bulletin boards at recreation sites and at Forest offices for more information. Anyone entering a closed area is subject to citation; A violation of these prohibitions is punishable by a fine of not more than $5,000 for an individual or $10,000 for an organization, or imprisonment for not more than six months, or both. 16 U.S.C. § 551 and 18 U.S.C. §§ 3559, 3571, and 3581.

The Trail of 100 Giants is open; please plan your visit during the week as parking is limited on the weekends. The boardwalk that crossed a portion of the Trail was severely burned during the Windy Fire; that section remains closed to entry. The repaving project that was interrupted by the fire will temporarily close other sections when it resumes. Please be patient as we work with our partners to repair this popular attraction.

Those traveling into the Golden Trout Wilderness should know the North Road (21S50) will be closed this season to allow hazard tree cleanup and road maintenance, including trailheads at Lewis Camp, Clicks Creek, and Summit. Visitors should route their trip through Forest trailheads at Jerkey Meadow, Forks of the Kern, or Blackrock. Shake Camp Trailhead may also be available at Mountain Home Demonstration State Forest. Wilderness permits can be obtained from the Sequoia National Forest website under the “Visit Us” tab. Permits will be issued virtually or in person at Forest offices.

Fire restrictions are in effect; campfires are ONLY allowed above 5,000 feet in developed campgrounds managed by the Forest Service or concessionaire, Rocky Mountain Recreation Company. Persons with a valid California Campfire Permit are allowed to operate portable stoves with a shut-off valve that uses pressurized gas, liquid fuel, or propane. Free campfire permits are available at or issued at Forest offices.

Detailed information and maps regarding roads and areas closed to entry on the Western Divide Ranger District can be found on the Sequoia National Forest website, by calling the office in Springville (559) 539-2607 during business hours Monday – Friday 8:00 am to 4:30 pm or via email [email protected]

Discover more from Sierra Wave: Eastern Sierra News

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading