Roads near the Big Windy Complex fire will remain closed

Citing the need for continued fire equipment and related traffic because of the Big Windy Complex fire, the U.S. Forest Service has decided to keep the Bear Camp and Burnt Ridge roads closed to the public until the end of September.

"We regret limiting public access to the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest and the Rogue River," deputy forest supervisor Tracy Tophooven said in a prepared statement.

"However, we must keep public health and safety our priority during this very active fire season," she added. "Although the fire activity may be minimal after rain, there is still plenty of potential for active fire behavior as soon as temperatures rise and weather conditions change."

Bear Camp Road between Gold Beach and Galice is traditionally used as the main route during the summer by Rogue River floaters returning from a trip through the popular wild section of the lower Rogue.

The river had been closed because of the fire but has since been reopened to folks from around the world who come to float it on raft, kayak or drift boats. The closure of the Rogue River Trail from Grave Creek to the Rogue River Ranch also has been lifted.

The 24,137-acre Big Windy Complex fire, triggered by a lightning storm on July 26, is now 55 percent contained.

— Paul Fattig

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