MEEKER I Recent snow in the Flat Tops Wilderness has cooled much of the Lost Solar Fire, enabling the White River National Forest to lift the safety closure that has been in effect since mid-September.
The Lost Solar Fire is still active. Most of the burn area on top of the Flat Tops now has snow and has cooled, but the fire is still burning in thick timber stands on the south side of Lost Solar Trail #1828. Smoke may be visible at times.
Those entering the area are advised to use caution and to expect difficult conditions with fallen trees across trails. The burn area will have many “snags,” or standing dead trees that are fire weakened and highly unstable.
Visitors will also see that not all of the 4,755 acres within the fire’s perimeter are blackened. The Lost Solar Fire has burned with a low to moderate intensity that has cleared accumulated debris and created the desired “mosaic,” or patchwork of burned and unburned areas that improves habitat for the elk, deer and bighorn sheep. Unburned stands remain to provide shade and shelter and burned areas rejuvenate forage and increase sight distances, improving visibility to detect predators.
The Lost Solar Fire was ignited by lightning Aug. 8. It has been monitored as it takes its natural course within the Flat Tops Wilderness.