The Forest Service today announced the temporary closure of trails on the Stanislaus National Forest in the vicinity of the Mud and Whit Fires. The Mud Fire is now approximately 400 acres. It is burning to the north and east, and is currently burning into the Carson-Iceberg Wilderness Area. The Whit Fire is now approximately 20 acres. This fire is burning to the north and east, south of Spicer Dam. Both fires were started by lightning strikes on August 31, 2003 and are being managed for their â€œfire useâ€ resource benefits with holding lines established to the west and south of each fire.
Forest Order Numbers 2003-08 and 2003-9 are now in effect for the temporary closure of Forest System roads and trails within the fire areas. The Mud Fire Closure Area is located within portions of Section 12, 13, 23, 24, 25, 26, 34, and 36 of Township 7 North, Range 18 East; and portions of Sections 2 and ,of Township 6 North, Range 18 East; Mount Diablo Base Meridian. The Whit Fire Closure Area is located within portions of Section 1, 2, 9, 10, 11, 14, 15, 16, 23, and 24 of Township 6 North, Range 18 East; Mount Diablo Base Meridian.
These orders are effective from September 9, 2003 through October 31, 2003. â€œThese closures are necessary to provide for the safety of the public and that of firefighters working on the fires,â€ said Forest Supervisor, Tom Quinn.
The Summit Lake trail is within the fire area. The Mud Fire is approaching portions of the Highland and Rock Lakes trails. Access to these areas is from Summit Lake and Elephant Rock trailheads to the west and from the north and south by way of Highland trail. The Whit Fire is approaching portions of the trail 18E04, 18E06, and 19E04 from north of Whittakers Dardanelles. Access to the area is primarily from the Spicer Dam Trailhead from the north to Twin Meadow, Clover Meadow, and Wheats Meadow to the east.
Other closures may become necessary depending on weather conditions, how long the fires burn, and the directions the fires take as they burn. The fire is expected to remain active throughout the fire season, through the end of October. Contact the Calaveras Ranger District at (209) 795-1381 for the latest roads and trails closure information.
The fires are being managed for their wildland fire use benefitsâ€”allowing naturally ignited fires to resume their natural role in the ecosystem in a safe, carefully planned, and cost-efficient manner to benefit, protect, maintain and enhance the natural resources. Fire managers have developed, and are following, a wildland fire implementation plan based on complexity, risk, weather forecasts, and fire behavior.