Canyon reopens

Highway 70 reopened around noon on Monday, Dec. 3, to thru-traffic in the Feather River Canyon. It had been closed since Nov. 8 due to the Camp Fire.

Caltrans said motorists will experience one-way controlled traffic in varying locations throughout the burn area as crews continue their work in the Canyon to remove hazardous trees and debris, and repair culverts. Delays of up to 30 minutes are to be expected.

It’s best to check the latest highway information before embarking on a trip through the Canyon. Caltrans spokesman Christopher Woodward said that the best way to access this information is to either call the Caltrans District 2 hotline at 225-3452 or follow the updates on its Facebook page or Twitter feed. He reminds motorists to go directly to the page rather than rely on a forwarded post or tweet that might not contain the most current information.

Information can also be found at caltrans.ca.gov by selecting current highway conditions or by calling 1-800-427-7623 (1-800-gas-road).

Highway 70 closed Nov. 8 as the Camp Fire broke out near the base of the Feather River Canyon and remained closed as firefighters first fought the blaze and then as crews began hazardous tree and debris removal.

Then rains worsened the already dangerous situation. A lot of mud came down from the mountainside following the rain, covering large expanses of the highway. More precipitation is expected this week so be sure to check the informational opportunities listed above as conditions can change quickly.

Woodward said that unlike with the Carr Fire in Redding when Caltrans and CalFire had some time to mitigate the burn areas after the fire was contained, there hasn’t been that opportunity with the Camp Fire.

The Camp Fire, which destroyed the town of Paradise in just a few hours, has claimed 88 lives; left 25 people missing; and destroyed 13,972 residences, 528 commercial building and 4,293 other structures. It burned 153,336 acres.

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