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Ice Lakes area in the San Juans will stay closed through the summer after Ice Fire

Ice Fire.jpg
Posted at 12:05 PM, May 26, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-26 15:15:21-04

The Ice Lakes area in the San Juan Mountains will remain closed through Sept. 15 due to hazards after the Ice Fire burned through the area in October 2020.

The Columbine Ranger District worked alongside San Juan County to evaluate hazards following the high-elevation, 596-acre fire and decided to extend the closure through the summer.

Ice Fire_October 2020 2
Ice Fire | Oct. 2020

The fire was first reported west of Silverton on Oct. 19, 2020 and was fully contained on Oct. 27, 2020.

The U.S. Forest Service said fire-weakened trees are falling on the lower sections of ice Lakes Trail and Clear Lake Road, and rocks and boulders are still falling across Clear Lake Road. Bare soil saturated by rain and snow is now loose and prone to erosion. Typical afternoon storms are expected to make this more hazardous than it already is, the Forest Service said, and may create debris flows.

The closure includes South Mineral Campground, the Ice Lakes Trail from trailhead to timberline, the lower Clear Lake Road (NFSR 815) from milepost 0 to 3.77, and the South Mineral Road (NFSR 585) from a new gate past Goldenhorn camping area to where it crosses Clear Creek past South Mineral Campground.

The Forest Service said The National Forest land below Ice lakes and Clear Lake headwaters, as well as all NFS lands bounded on the west by the eastern side of Lower Ice Lakes Basin and a ridge forming the southeast side of the basin to Clear Creek are closed.

Click here for a map of the closure.

This closure applies to all members of the public. Violators may face a misdemeanor charge and a fine of up to $5,000.

To learn more about this closure, call the Columbine Ranger District at 970-884-2512. The cause of the Ice Fire remains unknown.