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Seeley Fire almost out, forest still dangerous

Highway 31 through Huntington Canyon is open, but there is no stopping allowed and officials say speed limits will be strictly enforced.
Forest Service map shows roads and trails that will be blocked in the area of closure.

Sun Advocate associate editor

The Seeley Fire in western Carbon and Emery counties was 87 percent contained Wednesday, and the ground and helicopter assault on the 74-square-mile blaze continued to taper off.

The Eastern Arizona Incident Management team was still at a little more than 400 fire fighters who continued to work at containment lines and mop-up activities.

Cost of fighting the fire since June 26 reached $7.4 million. That number will go higher by Sunday's expected full containment.

Now that the smoke has cleared, however, long-term costs that will be felt for years to come are apparent. The U.S. Forest Service on Wednesday issued a closure order for the portions of its territory burned by the fire. The map on page 2A show the closure area, along with roads and trails that will remain closed until further notice.

A burned-out forest is still a dangerous place. Falling trees, flash floods and debris flows are likely to be threats for some time.

Campgrounds and other facilities affected include:

Big Rock Group Campground

Bridges Campground

Chute Group Campground

Forks of Huntington Campground

Horse Canyon Trailhead and Campground

Old Folks Flat Campground

South Hughes Campground

Stuart Guard Station Interpretive Site

National Forest System Roads included:

Trough Springs Ridge closed south of Monument Peak (Monument Peak road; FS Road 0018)

Nuck Woodward road (FS Road 0110)

National Forest System Trails included:

Bob Wright (FS Trail 378)

Bull Pasture (FS Trail 072)

Candland Mountain (FS Trail 398)

Castle Valley Ridge (FS Trail 068)

Corner Canyon (N Fork Castle Valley Ridge; FS Trail 400)

Gentry Mountain Trail (FS Trail 403)

Gentry Hollow (FS Trail 348)

Horse Canyon Trail (FS Trail 076)

Huntington Pipeline (FS Trail 958)

Left Fork of Huntington National Recreation Trail (FS Trail 131)

Lone Pine Tree Ridge (FS Trail 065)

Mill Canyon (FS Trail 063)

Valentine Gulch Trail (Monument Peak Trail; FS Trail 396)

Old Folks Flat to Stuart Guard Station (FS Trail 395)

Pole Canyon (FS Trail 073)

Sawmill Canyon Trail (FS Trail 399)

Sawmill Canyon (FS Trail 175)

Second Water Canyon (FS Trail 407)

Short Canyon (FS Trail 064)

Wild Cattle Hollow (FS Trail 401)

Wild Cattle Hollow Spur (FS Trail 402)

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