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Areas around the Williams Fork Fire reopen

The closure area affects only lands, roads and trails immediately surrounding the active fire perimeter in the Williams Fork drainage.

GRAND COUNTY, Colo. — Last week's snow and cooler weather allowed for some of the lands around the Williams Fork Fire to reopen.

Forest officials said the better weather conditions tamped down fire activity enough to safely reopen all of Blue Ridge, Church Park, Fraser Experimental Forest, St. Louis Creek, Leland Creek, Elk Meadows and Vasquez Wilderness Area. 

Below are the areas that remain closed.

Roads 

  • County Road 30
  • West half of Keyser Creek Road
  • Lake Evelyn Road
  • Keyser Ridge Road
  • Kinney Creek Road
  • Jones Pass Road west of the pass

Trails/Wilderness

  • Byers Peak Wilderness Area 
  • Keyser Ridge Trailhead
  • Kinney Creek Trailhead
  • Ute Peak Trailhead
  • Darling Creek Trailhead
  • Williams Fork Trailhead 
  • South Fork Trailhead 

Campgrounds

  • Sugarloaf  
  • South Fork 
  • Horseshoe 
Credit: InciWeb
The area within the purple lines remains closed to all use. The red-shaded area is where the fire has already burned.

Forest rangers said last week's snow storm brought very strong winds that toppled numerous trees. The Big Rock Loop on Arapaho Bay was closed due to downed and hazardous trees, rangers said. 

Extensive blowdown stretches from the Vasquez Wilderness Area and Berthoud Pass to James Peak Protection Area, Indian Peaks Wilderness Area and the Arapaho National Recreation Area, according to forest officials. They warn hikers that some trails and roads are impassable.

The fire has burned 12,157 acres and is at 10% containment, as of Sept. 15.

Residents and visitors can expect to see smoke occasionally in the weeks ahead, officials said. Firefighters will continue patrolling and monitoring fire activity for the coming weeks.

RELATED: Colorado statewide fire ban extended until Oct. 7

The cause of the fire was determined to be human-caused and tips are being sought from the public.

Anyone who was in the Williams Fork area the night of Aug. 13 or the morning of Aug. 14 and has photos of the area where the fire started is asked to email them to SM.FS.usfsarp@usda.gov

Those without photos, but who have information to share can call 307-745-2392 and select option 5. Callers are asked to leave their name and call back number so law enforcement can contact them for follow up.

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