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Contact: David Eaker, 435-772-7811
Contact: Ray O'Neil, 435-772-7823
Due to reduced fire activity on the Dakota Hill Fire Complex Superintendent Jock Whitworth will reopen many of the backcountry areas in Zion National Park on Tuesday morning, July 24. The park issued an emergency closure of all its backcountry areas on July 18 for visitor safety due to extreme fire behavior from the two fires in the complex. The fires have shown minimal activity over the last few days due to higher humidities, cloud cover and suppression efforts. Park officials feel that that the danger to visitors has been reduced to the point that these areas can be safely reopened. Lava Point Campground will also reopen tomorrow. A few areas of the backcountry close to current fire activity are still temporarily closed.
Trails and canyons still temporarily CLOSED in Zion National Park
- West Rim Trail – from Lava Point Trailhead to the junction at Scout Lookout
- Orderville Canyon – and associated canyons
- Behunin, Imlay, and Englestead Canyons
- The Narrows – closed above Orderville Canyon. The Narrows remain open from Riverside Walk to Orderville Canyon
All other backcountry areas in the park are opened and permits are being issued for their use. Visitors should be aware that the rains that have reduced fire activity have also increased the potential of flash floods. Backcountry users should check at park visitor centers for weather forecasts and flash flood predictions before starting their hikes.
The Dakota Hill Fire Complex is being managed by the Type II Arizona Central West Incident Management Team. They are estimating containment of the fires for later this week. When that occurs, the park officials will reevaluate the opening of the remaining closed areas of the park.
For more information on the Dakota Hill Complex call 435-648-3292 or visit http://gacc.nifc.gov/swcc/.