Piedra, be aware. - Mountain Buzz

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Old 05-06-2008   #1
Boater, Colorado
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 16
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Piedra, be aware.

Wanted to let whoever is planning to run the Piedra, to check if the river is "closed".

We ran the Piedra yesterday (may 5th). We stopped for a rest about midway and had a helicopter circling above us. Then one US Forest Ranger came out of nowhere and told us we were paddling a closed section of the river (yes the Piedra). He told us they were doing some controlled burning.

Anyway, the guy was cool and simply told us to get back on the river as soon as we could.

Just be aware. Maybe call US Forest service before going over there? There were no one at put-in to stop us (and we didn't know) but maybe they could put someone there in near future. We came from Denver and it would have really sucked not to be able to run it. The guy said there is a sign at put-in. I didn't see it.

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Old 05-07-2008   #2
Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2002
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 86
Piedra closed May 7

Having been invited to tag along on a Piedra trip this weekend, I found the following information that I thought others might want to know.

The prescribed burn is still forcing a closure of the Piedra. As the USFS representative explained, the window for the prescribed burn is even smaller than our window to run the Piedra. There is some hope that the controlled burn will wind down in the next few days, but no promises can be made. It is best to call 970 264-2268 for updates. Due to the remoteness of the fire and lack of cell phone coverage the update requires a 25 mile trip at the end of the day. The recording is then updated around 8:30pm to inform folks like us if closure has been lifted or still being enforced for the following day.
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Old 05-07-2008   #3
Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2002
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 86
Piedra open May 8

From USFS:

Piedra River Re-opens to Boating
Portion of Piedra River Trail and Adjacent Areas Remain Closed
Aerial and ground ignition were completed within the Piedra Area of the
San Juan National Forest on Tuesday. Forest, wildlife, and fire managers
are pleased with the fire behavior and extent of the burn, estimated at
2,000 acres.

As of May 8, the Piedra River is re-opened to boating. Please use
additional caution as you pass the Piedra Prescribed Burn between Davis
Creek and the First Fork.

Due to remaining hazardous conditions, the Piedra Trail and adjacent
areas between Sand Creek and the First Fork Trailhead will remain closed
at least through May 11. The First Fork Road (#622) is currently closed
at Sheep Creek/Monument Park Road West due to the condition of the road.

Please call the Pagosa Public Lands Office of the San Juan Public Lands
at 970-264-2268 for more information. After office hours, a recording
regarding the status of the burn and associated closures is available at
that number.

Phyllis Wheaton
Visitor Information Services
San Juan Public Lands
Pagosa Ranger District
P.O. Box 310
Pagosa Springs, CO 81147
970 264-1503
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