Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest
U.S. Forest Service
3040 Biddle Rd.
Medford, OR 97504
Bear Camp Road Will Close to Ensure Public Safety During Klondike Fire Suppression Efforts
Southwest OR – Effective at 12:00 noon on Saturday, September 8, 2018, the Bear Camp Road will be closed to all non-fire traffic. Fire officials made the decision to close the road for the safety of both the public and fire personnel who continue their suppression efforts, and will re-open the road when the risk to travelers has lifted. The road closure is from the intersection at the Merlin-Galice Road west to the intersection with Forest Service Road 33, near Agness. Bear Camp Road (Forest Road 23) is the most common route traveled for the shuttle drivers for Wild and Scenic Lower Rogue River visitors, providing a shorter alternative than other possible routes. Those possible routes are the suggested detours: · The Eden Valley route, located on the northern side of the river (2.5-3 hours one-way, from Foster Bar to Galice); or · Foster Bar to Gold Beach, and south on Highway 101 to Highway 199 east (4 hours, from Foster Bar to Medford, one-way). With careful consideration of the economic impacts to the local communities, the Cooperators’ Group for the Klondike Fire, including Rogue River- Siskiyou National Forest staff, Curry County officials, local law enforcement, emergency management staff, and the Southern Area Red Incident Management Team evaluated alternatives that would allow for both safe passage of the public and firefighter safety. Ultimately, the group decided there was a much higher probability for a successful tactical firing operation with a complete road closure. This will allow firefighters the space to work safely, as well as keeping their focus on fire suppression. The Cooperators’ Group is committed to providing communication early and often with the public and the outfitters and guiding community as conditions change, and to re-opening the road as soon as it is safe to do so.
Medford District Bureau of Land Management and Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest recreation staff have coordinated outreach efforts with the numerous permitted outfitters and guides on the river to ensure they are aware of the rerouted shuttle routes and contact information. Fire activity has not significantly affected the Wild Section river use, as evidenced by the fact that the number of cancellations are about average for this time of year. The Rand Visitor Center (Smullin Visitor Center) remains the best point of contact for those with plans to float the river or hike the Rogue River Trail, and can be reached at (541) 479-3735. Questions regarding the Klondike Fire should be directed to the Fire’s information