Forest Roads in South Hills Could Close Sooner Due to Weather
HANSEN, Idaho (KLIX)-U.S. Forest Service officials say they are looking at possibly closing some Forest Roads earlier in the South Hills because of recent snowfall. The Minidoka Ranger District recreation manager said this week that some areas have already gotten more than a foot of snow or more. “Snowmobile travel is already occurring in some areas, and wheeled-vehicle use in the higher elevations is becoming more dangerous,” said Minidoka Recreation Program Manager Daniel Fischer in a prepared statement. “We are even evaluating whether or not a seasonal closure may be necessary to prevent further safety issues and road damage.” Forest officials said several vehicles have already slid off and gotten stuck this past week as snow came down across the district resulting in search and rescue calls; some had to stay overnight in their vehicles. The Forest Service has advised people not to travel on Dry Creek Road (NFS 527) or the Oakley/Bostetter Road (NFS 500) because they are wet and muddy. The Howell Canyon Road (NFS 549) has been closed off to motorized wheeled traffic, only foot traffic and over snow vehicles are allowed into the camping and summer home area. Rock Creek campgrounds will remain open as long as the snow levels allow; water is shut off and restrooms will not be maintained. The Minidoka Ranger District can be reached at 208-678-0430.