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Mon, Sept. 27

Prescott National Forest still closed but some lakes, forest roads remain accessible

This undated file photo shows Lynx Lake in Prescott. Officials closed the Prescott National Forest on Friday, June 25, 2021, due to dry conditions and persistent wildfire activity in the state of Arizona. But, forest officials stated Friday that some areas remain open. (Courier file photo)

This undated file photo shows Lynx Lake in Prescott. Officials closed the Prescott National Forest on Friday, June 25, 2021, due to dry conditions and persistent wildfire activity in the state of Arizona. But, forest officials stated Friday that some areas remain open. (Courier file photo)

Although officials closed the Prescott National Forest due to dry conditions and persistent wildfire activity in Arizona, some lakes and forest roads will remain open, according to a news release Friday, June 25.

The following areas and roads will be OPEN:

LYNX LAKE

Road access to Lynx Lake remains open. Access to day-use recreation facilities on the North Shore of Lynx Lake will be open through Forest Road 611. Forest Road 611 will remain open between County Road 57 (Walker Road) and North Shore day-use recreation facilities.

Forest Road 623 will remain open between County Road 57 (Walker Road) and South Shore day-use recreation facilities. FS Trail – 311, which circumnavigates the Lynx Lake allowing access to the shoreline, will remain open. FS Trail 311 is directly accessible from North Shore and South Shore day-use facilities.

GRANITE BASIN LAKE

Forest Road 374 will remain open from County Road 10 (Iron Springs Road to Granite Basin Lake. Road 374 provides direct access to day-use picnic areas and boat launch. Access to the shoreline around the lake will remain open for recreation.

GOLDWATER LAKE

Forest Road 9713E will remain open from County Road 56 (Senator Highway). Forest Road 9713E provides direct public access to City of Prescott parking recreation facilities on the east side of Goldwater Lake.

The majority of Goldwater Lake is on City of Prescott property, and access to parts of Goldwater Lake on City of Prescott lands is not restricted by this order. The section of Upper Goldwater Lake that is located on Forest Service lands is the southwestern quarter of the lake. Public hiking access to the lake will be permitted to the shoreline of parts of the lake where it intersects Forest Service lands.

CLOSURE UPDATE

“Though parts of the national forest may receive rain from sporadic storms over the next couple of weeks, this closure will not be rescinded until sufficient precipitation is received to adequately reduce the risk of wildfire, and hot, dry weather conditions are no longer forecast,” a news release stated. “In short, this closure will continue until conditions are such that the closure can be lifted.”

Forest Service personnel will attempt to reach as many people as possible to begin vacating campsites and informing individuals who are currently camping in the forest. Campers and visitors should vacate their campsites before the closure begins, and the public should cancel any plans for visiting the Prescott National Forest for the next several weeks.

The violation of closures and fire restrictions carries a mandatory appearance in federal court, punishable as a Class B misdemeanor with a fine of up to $5,000 for an individual or $10,000 for an organization, or up to six months in prison, or both.

For information on the Prescott National Forest, check out the Prescott NF website at fs.usda.gov/prescott or follow on Facebook at facebook.com/PrescottNF and Twitter @PrescottNF.

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