Extensive fire damage to facilities on Plumas National Forest land in the Feather Falls area will take a minimum of several years to repair. Facilities to be reconstructed include the Feather Falls Trail, Campground, and Overlook, which will remain closed in the interim as the area is too dangerous to enter. Other locations within the Feather Falls area and throughout the North Complex burn area will take far more time to heal.
“Feather Falls is one of the natural jewels of Butte County and the Plumas National Forest,” said Dave Brillenz, Feather River District Ranger, “it’s been tough to process the extent of the damage.” The popular Feather Falls Trail has been obliterated in many locations due to uprooted trees & landslides, and because bridges, plus the overlook, were largely destroyed.
Burned areas are extremely dangerous due to unstable trees and other unseen hazards such as burned stumps and roots. “Our current closure orders have been put in place to protect people,” said Brillenz. He indicated that a strong law enforcement presence would be present to ensure public safety and to protect sensitive areas.
Beyond the facilities, which are inherently ephemeral in nature, the entire area is sacred to Native Americans. Brillenz said that working cooperatively with local tribal members to preserve and protect their heritage is a top priority for him, the Ranger District, and the Forest, especially during facility reconstruction and restoration of the larger landscape.
“Input, suggestions and assistance in working with us to restore these areas is welcomed,” said Brillenz. He indicated that millions of dollars have been received to assist with burned area restoration and that many local and national stakeholder groups are already involved in site repair and reconstruction.
Fire related closure information for the Feather River Ranger District may be found at: http://fs.usda.gov/main/plumas/alerts-notices and other recreation opportunities across the Forest https://www.fs.usda.gov/recmain/plumas/recreation.
The Feather River Ranger District may be reached at (530) 534-6500.