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Tuesday, April 7, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Outdoors blog

Forest road washouts curtail access in some areas

Some Inland Northwest forests roads suffered damage from flooding in early December 2015. The Bonners Ferry Ranger District closed Road 314 (Boulder Creek Road) above near milepost 14. (Idaho Panhandle National Forests)
Some Inland Northwest forests roads suffered damage from flooding in early December 2015. The Bonners Ferry Ranger District closed Road 314 (Boulder Creek Road) above near milepost 14. (Idaho Panhandle National Forests)

OUTDOOR TRAVEL -- Getting to where you want to go outdoors this winter, spring and maybe into summer could be difficult in some areas where roads were damaged by rain-on-snow flooding events earlier this month.

Idaho Panhandle National Forests have joined Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest in warning recreationists to check websites and plan ahead for possible road closures. Be warned, however, that Forest Service websites are not always up to date.  A call to district offices during weekday openings might be the surest bet.

Here's the latest from the Panhandle (not on the website as of Monday morning):

FLOOD EVENT TEMPORARY EMERGENCY CLOSURES:
 
The Bonners Ferry and Sandpoint Ranger Districts experienced road damage due to the recent flood event. For the roads listed below, the Forest has determined that the risk to human safety is too great to allow for any use until repairs can be made.
  • FSR #314 (Boulder Creek Road), located on the Bonners Ferry Ranger District, is closed at mile post 14 on the to the Montana state line.
  •  FSR #419 (Lightning Creek Road) on the Sandpoint Ranger District is closed at milepost 7.5 to the junction of FSR #275 at mile post 18.0. See Lightning Creek at flood stage.
Although fixing these roads is a high priority for the Forest, the roads will remain closed until they are repaired. A time frame for repairs has not yet been identified and is dependent on road repair funding availability.

It is likely that additional road damage will be discovered, and further emergency closures may be needed to provide for public safety and prevent additional damage. Before venturing into the forest, visitors are encouraged to contact their local Forest Service office for the latest information on forest road conditions.


Rich Landers
Rich Landers joined The Spokesman-Review in 1977. He is the Outdoors editor for the Sports Department writing and photographing stories about hiking, hunting, fishing, boating, conservation, nature and wildlife and related topics.

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