The U.S. Bureau of Land Management has closed nearly 40,000 acres north of King Hill to motorized travel to allow the area to recover from damage caused by August’s Blair Fire.

The closure will protect fire rehabilitation efforts and the winter habitat of mule deer and sage grouse. BLM will allow road access into the burn area until Dec. 31 on existing BLM, Walker Reservoir and Lower Hog Creek roads. Non-motorized travel will still be allowed to accommodate recreational use.

The motorized closure will end on Sept. 5, 2013, though the existing roads will be accessible from June 1 to Dec. 31, 2012, and June 1, 2013 to the end of the closure.

The closure is intended to slow the spread of invasive weeds and to allow natural vegetation to require from the fire. Temporary closure signs will be posted at key entry points to the burned area. Anyone violating the closure may face up to a year in prison and more than $100,000 in fines. BLM contractors, search and rescue crews, law enforcement and others with written authorization from BLM are exempt from the closure.

Information: Joe Russell, 732-7200.

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