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East Antelope fire zone closed for safety reasons

ASHLAND ' Portions of the Grizzly Peak area burned by the East Antelope fire have been closed to the public because of danger posed by falling snags.

The closure, which is expected to continue at least through May — of next year, includes the western end of the popular Grizzly Peak loop trail.

However, that area of the trail temporarily has been rerouted around the fire, which burned some 2,000 acres early this month.

The closure does not impact the first 1&

189; miles of the trail from the Shale City Road trailhead to the burned area near the summit.

We're asking people to stay out of the fire area where there are a lot of snag hazards, said Don Ferguson, spokesman for the Bureau of Land Management's Ashland Resource Area.

Trees whose roots and trunks have been undercut by fire can topple without warning, he said.

We can get 1,000 visits a month this time of year, he said. It's a pretty popular spot.

Officials will re-evaluate the hazards after the winter storms have swept through the area, he said, adding the original trail will be reopened as soon as possible.