Forest Reopens Nearly All Remaining Closed Areas From Station Fire on Memorial Day Weekend

May 20, 2014

ARCADIA, Calif. - Forest Service officials will reopen on Saturday (May 24) nearly all remaining areas in the Angeles National Forest closed since the 2009 Station Fire. The reopenings during Memorial Day weekend of about 46,000 acres north of Altadena will offer additional summer recreation opportunities to the public including hiking, camping and picnicking.

Station Fire Closure Map
The black lines indicate road closures. The red zone represents the burn area from the 2009 Station Fire, which consumed 161,000 acres.
“We have worked very hard to get these areas reforested since the destruction of the Station Fire,” said Tom Contreras, forest supervisor. “Now people can enjoy them just like they do the rest of the forest.”

The areas have been closed for public safety and to allow for new growth and planting of vegetation. The Forest Service has announced previous reopenings of certain areas since the fire that burned about 161,000 acres.

Some forest areas will remain closed for reasons of public safety or further work needed on trails.

Among the areas that remain closed:
  • Lower Gabrielino Trail (below Bear Canyon Trail)
  • Barley Flats Trail
  • Colby Trail
  • Ken Burton Trail
  • Millard Water Fall User Trail
  • Santa Clara Divide Road (FS3N17)
  • Messenger Flats Campground
  • Lightning Point Campground
  • Big Buck Campground
Several roads also remain closed while the forest service clears out dead trees that might still pose a threat to public safety, as seen in the map on the right. The black lines indicate road closures. The red zone represents the burn area from the 2009 Station Fire.

Fire Danger Very High The Fire Danger Level is currently “Very High.” Open wood and charcoal fires are permitted only in developed campgrounds and picnic areas where a steel fire ring and grills are provided. Visitors are also reminded to ensure that all fires are extinguished and cold to the touch before leaving them. Petroleum jelly and propane stoves are permitted in non-developed area with a valid California Campfire Permit.

Visitors should exercise caution when visiting the Angeles and maintain a higher level of awareness with the increasred fire risk. They should also check spark arrestors (required year-round) on off-road vehicles, chain saws and other equipment with internal-combustion engines to ensure they are in working order. Drivers in the forest should stay on designated roads and never park on dry brush or grass, to avoid risk of starting a fire.

2009 Station Fire View north from JPL Trail (aka Mt. Disappointment Trail) en route to San Gabriel Peak, Nov. 25, 2011. Stawarberry Peak (6164') (left) and Mt. Lawlor (5957') where completely incinerated by the Station Fire and are now reopen to hike.
blogspot  Read my blog post San Gabriel, Disappointment, Deception with more pictures and description of Station Fire damage.

With the closure lifted, the Sierra Club Hundred Peaks Section announced in an email on July 9 that the following peaks are now removed from their “Suspended” list:
  • 10E Granite Mtn #1
  • 10F Rabbit Peak #1
  • 10G Iron Mtn #3
  • 10H Round Top
  • 11A Josephine Peak
  • 11B Strawberry Peak
  • 11C Mt. Lawlor
HPS further reports that Colby Canyon Trail, used to approach Josephine Peak via HPS Route 2 and Strawberry Peak via its HPS Route 2 remains closed. Forest Road 3N17, used to drive up to Granite Mtn #1 and Round Top, is closed for driving but is okay to hike or bike.

The Station Fire began as a result of arson August 26, 2009, near the USFS Ranger Station on the Angeles Crest Highway above La Canada, and burned 160,577 acres, or nearly 251 square miles. It killed two firefighters, Arnaldo Quinones and Tedmund Hall, and destroyed 89 homes and 26 commercial buildings. It also destroyed the historic Vetter Mountain Fire Lookout. The fire was not contained until October 16. It was the tenth largest fire in the modern history of California and the largest in the modern history of Los Angeles County.

2009 Station Fire San Gabriel Peak Trail
San Gabriel Peak Trail - November 25, 2011

Wildfires, Station Fire - at Dan's Hiking Pages

Forest Service Press Release
May 20, 2014

Administrative closure of FS3N17 (portion) and axial roads, with map
May 21, 2014

Station Fire Recovery (on Angeles National Forest website)

Angeles National Forest website

Google Map of Station Fire burn area

You may now move freely about Angeles National Forest
By KCPP Staff, 89.3 KPCC Southern California Public Radio, May 23, 2014

Station Fire Articles
Los Angeles Times

Station Fire Burn Scar
Sept. 16, 2009, NASA Earth Observatory

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This page was last updated July 17, 2014.