Bureau of Land Management reduces some closures in the Rum Creek Fire Area
Grants Pass, Ore. — The Bureau of Land Management Grants Pass Field Office has lifted most of the public land closure areas caused by the Rum Creek Fire, however, some locations require long-term recovery and will remain closed for the foreseeable future. Entering closed areas is not safe at this time.
Galice Road between Almeda County Park and the Grave Creek Bridge, as well as the Rainie Falls National Recreation Trail, will be closed for the foreseeable future due to safety issues. The Rocky Bar recreation site is also closed.
The area near Galice Road saw a high burn severity, creating the potential for rockslides and debris flows. Increased precipitation along with the freeze/thaw cycle that happens in the winter increase the chances that debris will fall onto the road.
“Please do not go into the closed areas, it’s just not safe” said Bill Dean, Grants Pass Field Manager. “We’ve seen debris falling on the road on a regular basis. We also don’t want to put rescue crews at risk if someone gets hurt in these unsafe areas.”
Except for the areas noted above, all other public lands that were previously closed because of the Rum Creek Fire are now open again. The closure order and a map of closed lands is available at: https://www.blm.gov/programs/public-safety-and-fire/fire-and-aviation/regional-info/oregon-washington/fire-restrictions.
Before venturing out to public lands near the Rum Creek Fire, be aware that safety concerns still exist. Ash and dust from the fire may contain toxic and cancer-causing chemicals. Watch out for fire weakened trees and limbs that can fall without warning. If wind picks up, leave the area immediately. In wet weather, water or mud may build up quickly and may cause a slide. Stump holes can remain hot long after the fire is out, and footing can be unstable if roots have burned out underground. Former mines may have been exposed.
The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land located primarily in 12 western states, including Alaska, on behalf of the American people. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. Our mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations.