Water system failure
Plumas National Forest reports that water issues continue to affect PNF recreation sites. At Little Grass Valley Reservoir Recreation Area, the water system for Little Beaver, Running Deer, and Red Feather campgrounds on the east side of the reservoir failed Aug. 10. Water has been trucked in to keep sites open. Anyone recreating at the sites is asked to help conserve water, make sure faucets and spigots are completely turned off, and not to run water more than necessary. Anyone using the site should bring plenty of drinking water for their trip. Recreation vehicle (RV) users should plan to fill up water at Tooms RV Dump Station or from another site. Little Beaver RV Dump Station does not have water but is still open for RV dumping.
The Little Beaver, Running Deer, and Red Feather campgrounds are not closed, but have shifted to first-come, first-served for the rest of the season. Reservations made through Sept. 7 will still be honored, but new reservations are not being accepted.
PNF reports that recreation managers are working to identify solutions for the sites through Labor Day weekend, including bringing in portable toilets. After Labor Day, the three campgrounds will be closed for the season. Black Rock, Peninsula Tent, Horse Camp, and Wyandotte campgrounds will remain open through September.
“This is an older water system, installed in the 1950s and 1960s, and in recent years many of the problems have been attributed to the drought,” said Plumas National Forest Recreation and Lands Program Manager Erika Brenzovich. “We were hopeful that the record snowpack this winter would mean the spring and water system would function for the whole season. Unfortunately, it is indicating more serious problems and we are working with Forest facilities engineers on this problem.”
At this time, it is generally advisable to bring enough drinking water when recreating at any facilities on the Plumas National Forest. PNF reports that there have been issues with other water systems this summer across the Forest.
The Mount Hough Ranger District has received reports of salmon poisoning disease affecting dogs at Bucks Lake that have eaten raw fish containing a parasite that can be harmful or fatal to dogs.
If a dog has eaten raw fish and has symptoms including fever, loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, and listlessness, PNF advises that it be taken to a veterinarian immediately. The disease is curable if diagnosed and treated promptly.
The parasite cannot survive in cooked fish and is not harmful to humans. Although it is called salmon poisoning, other species of fish can be carriers as well.
The Gold Lake Boat Launch in the Lakes Basin Recreation Area is open. However, the boat dock remains out of the water due to winter damage from heavy snowpack. PNF reports that repairs are being coordinated by campground concessionaire Outdoors in Plumas.
In accordance with Stage 1 fire restrictions, PNF reiterates that campfires are only allowed in designated campsites (listed in Exhibit A of the closure order, which is available online at http://www.fs.usda.gov/plumas).
Even in campgrounds, campfires should never be left unattended and should be dead out and cold to the touch before leaving.
PNF reminds visitors that trailer chains need to be secured and tires properly inflated to avoid throwing a spark. Motorized equipment should have properly functioning spark arresters.
Ongoing hot, dry conditions are increasing the fire danger and fuel conditions that can spread fire quickly, according to PNF. Area residents and visitors are asked to continue to use caution with anything that can spark a wildfire, and to report suspected wildfires by calling 911.
Milsap Bar Campground closure
Milsap Bar Campground and a section of nearby road on the Feather River Ranger District closed Aug. 8 due to construction to replace a retaining wall damaged by the 2020 North Complex fires.
The road is closed starting on the west side of the bridge on Forest Service Road 22N62 near Milsap Bar Campground, going past the campground to the closure of Road 22N62 to Road 22N94, which is also included in repair work from the North Complex fires.
PNF reports that the closure is in place for public and employee safety as work is done to replace the retaining wall. It is expected that construction equipment will be staged and operated in and near the campground during the project.
The campground and small section of Milsap Bar Road are scheduled to be closed until Sept. 30, but they may open sooner if work is completed.
“We are working with the contractor to get this work done and appreciate everyone’s patience and understanding while this important repair work is being done,” said Acting Feather River District Ranger Clay Davis.
The closure is referenced as Order Number 05-11-03-23-01.
Road closure update
Area residents and visitors are reminded that Forest Road 29N43, also known as Antelope Lake Road, is still closed weekdays between Genesee and the Antelope Lake Dam for a culvert replacement and road repair project. The road is open weekends during the summer recreation season between 5 p.m. Fridays and 6 a.m. Mondays.
PNF has modified and updated Forest Closure Order 05-11-03-22-02 to reopen two roads affected by the 2020 North Complex wildfires on the Feather River Ranger District. Two roads and eight trails within the closure order remain closed.
District employees are continuing to work on multiple Forest Service roads and trails to restore access to the public. PNF reminds residents and visitors that even when repairs have been completed, there is still inherent risk in recreating in or traveling through recently burned areas of the forest.
The following roads have reopened:
- Forest Road 22N89 between Forest Road 119 and Forest Road 22N12X
- Forest Road 22N12X between Forest Road 22N89 and Forest Road 22N01Y
The following roads remain closed:
- Forest Road 22N62 between Milsap Bar Campground and Forest Road 22N94
- Forest Road 21N35Y between Butte County Road 27672 (Lumpkin Road) and Forest Trail 6E33 (Feather Falls National Recreation Trail)
Trail closure update
PNF reports that eight trails remain closed: Mountain House, Feather Falls National Recreation, Little North Fork, Trails West, Sky High, South Hartman to North Hartman, Hansen Bar, and Stag Point trails.
Dome Trail, Big Bald Rock, and Cleghorn Bar trails are now open.
The closure order is for public and employee safety as assessments and work continues to repair and restore access to roads and recreation sites affected by the fire, according to PNF.
The current closure is referenced as Order Number 05-11-03-23-02 and is in place until conditions allow or Dec. 31, 2024, whichever occurs first.
Feather River Ranger District employees are working on repairs, reconstruction, and risk-mitigation projects associated with the fire damage. PNF reports that work in the area has taken longer than expected due to analysis needs, acquiring funding, and a shorter season to implement repairs due to elevation, which limits construction activities to summer and fall months.
“We are continuing to make progress on road and recreation sites after wildfires and are working to restore access to the public,” said Plumas Forest Supervisor Chris Carlton. “The work on facilities and recreation sites is ongoing and we will continue to reopen sites as we can.”
Area residents and visitors planning to recreate in the area are asked to use caution. There are still hazards in the burn area, including dead trees that can fall with little to no notice, unstable slopes, and potential rock fall, especially during storms.
“We want everyone to have a safe and positive recreation experience on the Plumas National Forest and recognize the risks of recreating in areas that have burned over the past few years, especially in our scenic canyons,” said Carlton.
PNF reports that violations of closure orders are punishable of a fine of not more than $5,000 for an individual or $10,000 for an organization, or imprisonment of not more than 6 months or both.
Information submitted by Plumas National Forest