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Stanislaus National Forest Updates Donnell Fire Forest Order

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Sonora, CA – U.S. Forest Service officials have released a revised list of closures within areas impacted by last summer’s Donnell Fire.

Stanislaus National Forest Supervisor Jason Kuiken has signed forest order STF-16-2019-12, which will expire at the end of this year although it may well be revised again as safety conditions allow public access to sections still under closure. The Donnell Fire ignited in the evening of Aug. 1 near Donnell Lake on Highway 108 east of Pinecrest, burning more than 36,000 acres finally becoming extinguished on Dec. 17.

“The original forest order was signed to protect the public from risk of hazard trees, the high potential for debris flow and the risk from rock fall and flooding, and with this revised forest order that remains true for some areas that are still at high risk,” Kuiken explains.

Most of the land closed under the original order has reopened to the public, according to Summit and Mi-Wok District Ranger Sarah LaPlante, as rangers continue to help cabin owners and area businesses recover from the fire.

The closure order includes forest roads 6N34Y, 6N33Y (Double Dome Road) and 6N06 (Fence Creek Road).
Trails that remain closed include 20E08 (Eagle Creek Trail), 20E07 (Seven Pines Trail) and 20E05 (Arnot Creek Trail).

“Our recreation and maintenance crews are out inspecting and repairing infrastructure as quickly as possible,” LaPlante reports, noting that due to an unusually cool winter, crews are still dealing with significant snow in higher elevations.

She says that staff is undertaking a visitor education campaign to raise awareness of increased hazards that exist in the forest. Efforts include installing signs and posted notices to alert the public about the temporary prohibitions to roads and trails.

“We will continue to conduct safety assessments and reevaluate the area’s condition and risk from the fire’s effects. As assessments complete, we expect more sections to reopen to the public,” LaPlante adds.

For a complete list of roads and recreation areas, you can view the forest order and accompanying map by clicking here.