Tinder-dry conditions and rising heat forced closure Tuesday of southwestern Utah’s popular Oak Grove Campground.
Ken Henson, a fire management officer for the Pine Valley Ranger District of Dixie National Forest, said the closure would be in effect indefinitely "due to the severe fire hazard that exists in southern Utah and the one-way in, one-way out access into the campground."
Henson said rangers visited an unspecified number of campers at the Grand County site Tuesday morning to advise them of the closure.
"It is a long way up there to Oak Grove. If a fire were to start at the bottom, anyone in that campground would not be in a good spot," Henson explained.
The Pine Valley Ranger District had already implemented Stage 1 Fire Restriction status on June 18, and the Cedar City and Powell districts followed suit on July 1.
Stage 1 restrictions are ordered when increasing fire danger outweighs the risks of keeping forest campgrounds open.
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