Granite Tors Trail is reopened after wildfire chars some sections

Posted: Friday, July 21, 2000

FAIRBANKS (AP) -- The Granite Tors Trail has been reopened more than a month after a fire burned across some sections and charred more than 1,000 acres of the Chena River State Recreation Area.

The 15-mile hiking trail was closed after the Rock Creek forest fire ignited June 6.

The first three miles of the trail were inside the fire area.

Crews worked Wednesday to clear the trail of a number of downed trees as well as trees that were about to fall.

''It took four guys eight hours to clear the trail,'' said Anna Plager, northern area superintendent for the Alaska Division of Parks.

The trail itself isn't overly sooty or mucky because of the fire, Plager said.

''It is high and dry so unless you sit down in the soot you are not going to get black just by hiking the trail,'' she told the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner.

Hikers leaving the trail are being asked to be aware of the many holes where trees and shrubs used to stand. They're also being cautioned that some of the burned trees may topple in high winds.

The fire did not char all the vegetation along the first part of the trail, Plager said. It skipped around, burning some areas while leaving other sections virtually untouched.

''The fire did not devastate the entire area. It is really pretty fascinating walking through,'' she said. ''I think it has just added to the character of the trail.''

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