Forest areas reopened after 2008 fires

May 2, 2009 2:23:10 PM PDT
Areas of Los Padres National Forest that were burned last year by the Indians, Basin and Chalk fires reopened to the public Friday, according to the U.S. Forest Service.

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Most of the Monterey Ranger District, including the entire Ventana Wilderness, was closed to the public through the winter for safety reasons and to protect natural resources, according to the forest service.

"The closures were an inconvenience to our visitors, however this provided the opportunity the Ventana Wilderness and surrounding areas needed to recover and regenerate," Monterey District Ranger John Bradford said in a prepared statement.

The Escondido Campground, where the Indians Fire started on June 8, will remain closed while Forest Service crews continue to repair recreational facilities damaged in the fire.

The Pine Ridge Trail, from the forest boundary on the west to Redwood Camp, will also remain closed to the public because it is impassable.

Visitors to Los Padres National Forest are encouraged to contact the Monterey Ranger District's King City office at (831) 385-5434 for information specific to the areas they are interested in visiting.

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