Bitterroot National Forest
1801 N. First
Hamilton, MT 59840
Media Contact: (406) 363-7122 Tod McKay
Bass Creek Recreation Area to Re-open Tomorrow
Hamilton, Montana (September 26, 2017) – The Stevensville Ranger District will re-open the Bass Creek Recreation Area tomorrow, September 27th. The recreation area located on the west side of the Valley south of Florence closed in mid-August due to the Lolo Peak fire.
The low elevation and easily accessible area is popular with horseback riders, hikers, campers, mountain bikers and other recreationists. Sites re-opening tomorrow include Charles Water Memorial Campground, Larry Creek Group Site, Picnic area, non-motorized trails including Larry Creek Trails and Bass Creek Trail #4. There will be no fees or services at campgrounds, along with ‘pack it in, pack it out’ garbage until closed by snow. Sites are available on a first come, first serve basis.
Sweeney Creek Trail #393 will also re-open to the public beginning tomorrow.
The Bass Creek Overlook Road #1136 will remain closed due to hot spots above the road and continued suppression repair activities. The road is closed at the seasonal closure gate.
Although these areas are now open, forest officials are asking the public to use caution and good judgement as hazards still exist. Individuals heading into areas with recent fire activity should be aware of hazards associated with fire. Burned areas devoid of vegetation are susceptible to flooding and mudslides, even with the slightest levels of precipitation. They can also be slippery to walk on, especially on steeper slopes.
Standing trees and snags can be unstable, breaking at any time, especially during winds or storms. Tree roots may have burned out under the ground, creating unexpected holes that are obscured. Rocks and logs that are no longer supported by vegetation may give way unexpectedly, rolling downhill.
In preparation for Forest outings, visitors are advised to: 1) obtain up-to-date information regarding latest closures and restrictions from the local ranger station; 2) be apprised of current and forecast weather conditions; 3) locate camps away from burned trees; 4) know the hazards and be alert to their surroundings.
Forest crews will be posting ‘fire hazards’ information, maps, and other safety tips at trailheads and recreation area parking lots.