BELLEVUE, Idaho (KLIX) – A temporary closure is in effect for a 5-mile stretch of Martin Canyon Road east of Bellevue in Blaine County.

The closure to motorized vehicles takes effect today, says the Bureau of Land Management, and will remain in effect until summer 2019.

“This motorized closure is necessary to ensure public safety, land health and resource integrity while the area recovers from the fire,” John Kurtz, BLM outdoor recreation planner, said in a prepared statement. “We need to give the hillside vegetation time to mature to prevent additional erosion before we start repairing the road.”

The closure is an effort to help rehabilitate the area after more than 4,000 acres were burned in the August 2017 Martin Canyon Fire. More than 2,500 acres were reseeded that fall, but heavy rains in March damaged a significant portion of the road.

The area will remain open to non-motorized uses, the BLM says, but the agency encourages the public to use caution while recreating in the area. Because the area is a popular place for recreational shooting, the agency says land managers are working with the local shooting club to redesign the road for more resilient access to the area.

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