News

Wet weather could wash out dirt road access

By November 17, 2010

PLACERVILLE — Recent downpours of rain hint that the seasonal closure of Eldorado National Forest dirt roads could happen sooner than Jan. 1, 2011, if conditions are right.

October and early November rains were intense at times and Forest Supervisor Ramiro Villalvazo said the roadbeds held up well enough to keep the routes open for now. New storms may change that situation.

“The annual seasonal dirt road closure begins no later than Jan. 1; however, a soaking precipitation, with an outlook for more, could bring that about sooner.” Villalvazo said. “Precipitation, soil moisture, road and trail conditions, and weather forecasts are factors that can trigger an earlier closure. We’ll be checking the routes regularly to determine when to start the seasonal closure.”

Once the routes are seasonally closed, they will remain closed until at least April 1, 2011.

“My desire is to keep the forest as accessible to the public as possible,” said Villalvazo. “The seasonal closure is designed to protect roadbeds and watersheds from damage and to maintain good water quality.”

Roads subject to closure are identified on a map that is free-of-charge and available at all Eldorado National Forest offices. The seasonal closure does not affect routes in the Rock Creek area of the Eldorado, near Georgetown, as it has its own route closure process.

Visitors are encouraged to check the Eldorado National Forest website for information about the seasonal road closure: www.fs.fed.us/r5/eldorado .

Special to Village Life

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