Clark Fork Road To Reopen On Forest
Sonora, CA – Stanislaus National Forest officials report visitors can travel Clark Fork Road on the Summit Ranger District beginning at 5 p.m. today.
Forest spokesperson Diana Fredland details, “There were a lot of hazard trees down and it was mostly due to the Donnell Fire last year. We had to come in and fell those trees and get them moved out and that operation is now complete.”
Fredland adds the repairs took a while because of the extent of the work needed combined with the late winter weather, which delayed the safe opening of the roadway. Noting that the Donnell Fire has considerably changed the landscape in the area, visitors are warned to remain cautious while recreating in the fire’s footprint.
“Although you may access much of the burned area, it is your responsibility to make wise decisions and be aware of the many new hazards in the forest,” warns Sarah LaPlante, Mi-Wok/Summit District Ranger.
Visitors should be prepared to find minor debris and dirt still on or near the roadway and drive with caution. Some recreation sites remain closed as seasonal opening operations continue, LaPlante added. “We have been working with the permit holders and campground concessionaires that operate on Clark Fork Road and most are open and beginning to operate.”
Forest officials offer these precautions to consider when visiting the Donnell Fire burn area:
- Check with any Stanislaus ranger district office for closed roads, trails, or areas, check the weather forecast for rain and or high winds and avoid burned areas during weather events. Besides an increased risk of falling limbs and trees, you may face dangerous flooding and debris flows.
- Keep an eye on dead and fire-weakened trees as you hike and choose open areas or green forest to stop and rest. Keep an eye out for large broken branches still hanging in trees. Dead trees kill people every year; please take them seriously.
- Watch for signs of recent avalanche, mudslides, or rockfall. Consider turning around and don’t stop in the path of these areas. Remember that burned soils are fragile and more likely to erode and slide, particularly in drainages and steep areas.
- Cell phone access is extremely limited on much of the Forest. In case of an emergency, have a plan of action for how to get yourself help. If you do have phone access, call 911 in case of emergency. Leave your plans with a friend at home so they know where to look for you if you don’t return home.