Oak Grove trail and campground closed indefinitely

The Pine Valley Mountains from Leeds by Arlene Braithwaite | Image courtesy of Southern Utah University

UPDATED June 25, 2012 6:45 p.m. to include further details recently released pertaining to the closure.

PINE VALLEY – Pine Valley Ranger District closed the Oak Grove Campground and forest road No. 032 at noon on June 23, according to Washington County Emergency Service’s Washco Safety facebook page.  The campground will remain closed until extreme fire danger subsides.

Washco Safety’s bulletin posts that the District advised hikers planning to use the Oak Grove trailhead to alter their intended route to accomodate the closure and asks that the public abide by the current fire restrictions and be careful with any activity which could cause a fire.

“The Oak Grove Campground is at the top of the drainage with only one road in and out of this area.  Even with the statewide fire restrictions in effect, firefighters have extinguished several abandoned campfires in the area below the Oak Grove Campground.  The closure is a proactive approach to safeguard the public during these extremely dry conditions,” said Bevan Killpack, Pine Valley District Ranger.

Current and forecasted weather conditions coupled with extremely dry conditions and heavy loading of vegetation throughout Utah have created hazardous fire conditions. As a result, all state and federal lands, and all unincorporated private lands, are under fire restrictions with a prohibition of the following acts:

1. Setting, building, maintaining, attending or using open fires of any kind, except campfires built within the facilities provided for them in improved campgrounds, picnic areas or permanently improved places of habitation.

2. Smoking, except within an enclosed vehicle or building, a developed recreation site or while stopped in an area at least three feet in diameter that is barren or cleared to mineral soil.

3. Discharging, or using any kind of fireworks, tracer ammunition or other pyrotechnic devices.

The Pine Valley Ranger District appreciates the public’s understanding and willingness to comply with these restrictions for protection of the Forest’s resources and for public safety.

For more information on the campground closure and fire restrictions, please visit www.utahfireinfo.gov or www.fs.fed.us/r4/Dixie.   Additionally, contact the Pine Valley Ranger District at 435-652-3100.

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