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Fire Aftermath: State Parks access shutdown

By: Gus Thomson, Reporter/Columnist
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With the potential for more damage — this time by humans rather than fire — the area torched by the Sliger Fire has been closed to vehicles.

State Parks has closed the only road into the Auburn State Recreation Area at the fire site off El Dorado County’s Sliger Mine Road.

The Sliger Fire fire broke out Sept. 4 in the middle fork American River canyon and threatened to cross the river from the El Dorado County side into Placer County near Driver’s Flat Road. Instead, it was contained to 150 acres without crossing the river.

Mike Howard, Auburn State Recreation Area superintendent, said that the blaze burned down to the middle fork. While the cause of the fire has yet to be determined, the fire originated off Sliger Mine Road about 100 feet above the riverbed on the El Dorado canyon side.

The fire burned over part of the Wendell T. Robie Trail and Sliger Mine Road. With old mining roads now visible and accessible in the burned area, a decision was made by State parks to close the area to vehicles, Howard said.

The closure comes about a month before the normal winter closure in mid-October that is put in place to preserve the portion of Sliger Mine Road that winds down to the river, he said.

A Cal Fire forester inspected the fire area and informed State Parks that there were no real immediate erosion issues caused by dozer lines.

“Most of the issues could rehabilitate itself but there is concern about vehicles on the newly visible trails and roads,” Howard said. The road should reopen in the spring, he said.

The no-vehicles-allowed Robie Trail remains open to park visitors on foot or on horses, Howard added.