Seasonal closure of dirt roads in the Eldorado National Forest will occur on Thursday due to anticipated heavy rainfall, announced Forest Supervisor Kathy Hardy.
They will remain closed until at least April 1.
"This is an unusual move for me to set a date for the beginning of the seasonal closure when the roads are not yet soaked," said Hardy. "However, based on the special weather alert issued by the National Weather Service, it looks like the coming storm will produce a considerable amount of rainfall. I wanted to give visitors as much advanced notice as possible about the impending dirt road closures."
Rainfall, soil moisture, road and trail conditions, and weather forecasts are factors that trigger a seasonal closure earlier than January 1. Hardy says many of the roads are on the edge of being too wet to drive on and the high probability of severe weather makes the pending seasonal closure a sensible decision.
"My desire is to keep the Forest as accessible to the public as much as possible," said Hardy. "The seasonal closure is designed to protect roadbeds and watersheds from damage and to protect water quality."
Roads subject to seasonal closure are identified on a map that is free-of-charge and available at all Eldorado National Forest offices and on the web at: www.fs.usda.gov/eldorado. The seasonal closure does not affect routes in the Rock Creek Area of the Eldorado National Forest near Georgetown, which has its own route closure process.