Western States Trail, other routes reopen after King fire closures

Tahoe National Forest officials announced that the Western States Trail and other routes closed due to the King fire have reopened.

Given the progress in fire suppression and repair efforts, the road and trail closures associated with the fire in the American River Ranger District have been lifted, according to a Forest Service news release.

Officials announced late Monday that repairs to the Western States Trail and reconstruction of the Swinging Bridge and smaller Pacific Slab Bridge are complete as a result of thousands of hours of volunteer and Forest Service efforts. The trail closure across the north and middle forks of the American River has been lifted.

In addition to the Western States Trail, Tahoe National Forest Service routes reopened Monday include the Tevis Cup Trail, Mosquito Ridge Road and National Forest System Road 22.

District Ranger Victor Lyon warned, however, that due to ongoing salvage logging, the Western States Trail is not accessible from Devil’s Thumb down to the Swinging Bridge.

“While not a staffed closure, travel in the vicinity of the logging is dangerous, and people will be asked to leave,” Lyon said in a written statement. “Please avoid the area until the salvage work is done in the Devil’s Thumb area later this year.”

As of Monday, the King fire, which started Sept. 13 near Pollock Pines in El Dorado County, was reported 98 percent contained at 97,717 acres. Full containment is expected Wednesday.