More of Sequoia National Forest continues to gradually reopen following wildfires that have swept through the forest over the past two years.

On Thursday Sequoia National Forest announced the forest service managed are that was burned by the 2020 Castle Fire as part of the Sequoia Complex would reopen this year. In addition it's hoped the Trail of the 100 Giants will be reopened in June.

We kept the area closed for public safety due to a variety of dangers including hazard trees, the potential for debris flow, and several smoldering hot spots found in remote locations,” stated Western Divide Ranger District Ranger Eric LaPrice said. “We also needed to allow time for the area to stabilize and natural regeneration to begin.”

Hillsides with little vegetation and a lack of moisture from last winter resulted in lands less able to withstand added pressure from human activity, the forest service stated. “By keeping the most delicate areas closed, this decision supported better recovery and avoided the trampling of sequoia seedlings within burned Giant Sequoia groves,” the forest service stated.

Seasonal winter road closures will continue in the Western Divide Ranger District through at least the spring, depending on the weather. The forest service stated trails leading into the Golden Trout Wilderness should be available by early June and wilderness permits will be issued virtually and in person.

The Trail of 100 Giants and other sites burned in the 2021 Windy Fire remain closed under a forest area closure. Information on that closure can be found at https://www.fs.usda.gov/sequoia. Forest officials stated they plan to reopen the Trail of 100 Giants in June while more severely burned areas will stay closed.

Road repair work and hazard tree treatments have been completed across much of the Castle and Windy Fire burned areas, the forest service stated. The forest service added additional work removing trees destroyed by wildfires along with other fire restoration meausers will continue.

Forest visitors should be mindful of hazards overhead and on the ground when visiting fire-affected areas. Your safety is very important to us,” stated LaPrice.

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