Valley News -

Hiking spots closed during fire season reopened again


Last updated 12/11/2018 at 4:03pm

RIVERSIDE - Riverside County Fire Chief Shawn Newman announced that seven popular outdoor recreational sites that were closed during wildfire season will be reopened for public use.

"I encourage you to visit these beautiful hiking trails throughout Riverside County and would like to remind residents and visitors that we live in a very wildfire-prone area,'' Newman said. "Please use caution and be fire-safe.''

Effective at 8 a.m. Wednesday, restrictions on access to the sites will no longer be in force. The Board of Supervisors affirmed the plan Tuesday.

In June, the fire department imposed a general prohibition on access to the sites due to the "potential for large damaging fires.''

It has been a yearly custom, since 2007, to declare the grounds off-limits between June and December. Each location, situated mostly in the central and southwest portions of the county, is remote and difficult for firefighters to reach when wildfires erupt.

By reducing foot and off-road vehicle traffic, the chances of a fire starting are much slimmer, according to officials.

The sites are:

- Avery Canyon, along Gibbel Road, east of State Street in southeast Hemet;

- Indian Canyon and North Mountain in San Jacinto;

- Minto Way in Sage, north of Aguanga;

- Nuevo, east of Menifee Road and San Jacinto Avenue;

- Ramona Bowl and Bautista Canyon, southeast of Hemet;

- Reinhardt Canyon, north of state Route 74 and California Avenue in Hemet; and

- Whitewater Canyon near Cabazon.

In May or June, the sites will likely go back under a closure order, meaning fines and other penalties for individuals who wander into them.

People who reside in or near the locations are permitted to come and go as they please, using public roadways, year-round.


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