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Drought weather combined with high summer temperatures have resulted in extreme fire weather conditions in south-central Oklahoma, including the national recreation area. Since July 1st the recreation area has received less than 1-1/2" of precipitation. These conditions have necessitated a temporary closure of the Rock Creek multi-use trail area and all recreation area hunting areas. Effective Friday, August 19, 2011 the Rock Creek multi-use trail area will be closed to all visitor use including hiking, bicycling, and horseback riding. Beginning this same date, the recreation area will begin closing all other recreation area hunting areas to visitor use for an indefinite period until fire weather conditions improve.
The Rock Creek multi-use trail area and hunting areas are located west and southwest of residential areas adjacent to the community of Sulphur, Oklahoma. An indefinite temporary closure of these areas to public use will improve visitor safety and provide a greater level of response, should fire suppression emergency response be necessary.
While the summer heat is producing record setting conditions in south-central Oklahoma, campers are still enjoying visiting campgrounds at Chickasaw National Recreation Area. Visitors can enjoy fishing or expect a cool dip in the Lake of the Arbuckles while water skiing or swimming to find relief from the summer heat. Currently, there is a temporary ban on ash producing fires for any fires utilized by visitors in park campground or picnic grills. Gas grills for cooking are still permitted. Campsites are available for camping. Visitors may also visit the Travertine Nature Center open each day from 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.