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Forest Road 24 to close

Post by Jeff Mayor / The News Tribune on Oct. 23, 2007 at 2:59 pm |
October 23, 2007 2:59 pm

Olympic National Forest officials this afternoon announced that Forest Service Road 24 will be closed to all public access, including foot traffic, beginning Nov. 1. The road is the main access point for the popular Staircase area of the Olympic National Park.

The gated closure, located just beyond the Mount Rose subdivision, is necessary because of the 2006 Bear Gulch II fire. The blaze burned about 1,200 acres directly above the road. The closure is necessary to prevent accidents from rock and debris slides expected throughout the winter rainy season.

Due to the steep topography, this section of road typically experiences debris and rock fall, requiring routine cleanup and maintenance. However, the fire increased the amount of debris significantly – sometimes resulting in boulders the size of small cars tumbling down the hillside.

This winter, an assessment team will continue to evaluate conditions, monitor slope stability and track debris accumulations. This information will be used to determine if the road should be closed again next winter.

The Forest Service plans to reopen the road on April 1.

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