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Bear Creek Greenway off-trail areas closed

Off-trail areas along the Bear Creek Greenway are closed due to fire danger. Andy Atkinson/Mail Tribune
Jackson County closes off-trail use during fire season

With the start of fire season this week, off-trail areas along the Bear Creek Greenway are now closed to the public.

Jackson County commissioners voted unanimously Wednesday to close off-trail areas on county land along the walking, biking and jogging path. People can still use the path and 10-foot-wide areas on either side.

People who wander into the closed areas or camp there could face a $250 fine, although Jackson County Sheriff Nathan Sickler said deputies would try warning people first.

County workers are posting signs to alert people to the closure.

The Oregon Department of Forestry declared the start of fire season Wednesday in southwest Oregon. A dry spring has left vegetation in an unseasonably flammable state.

Vegetation and trees along the Greenway helped act as a conduit for the Almeda fire in September 2020 as high winds whipped flames along the heavily populated Greenway, Highway 99 and I-5 corridor.

The fire destroyed more than 2,500 homes and 170 business buildings.

The county and other partners are working to cut and control vegetation along the Greenway that is growing back after the fire.

On its route from Ashland to Central Point, the Greenway crosses through private property and multiple jurisdictions, including Jackson County, cities and the Oregon Department of Transportation.

Reach Mail Tribune reporter Vickie Aldous at 541-776-4486 or valdous@rosebudmedia.com. Follow her on Twitter @VickieAldous.