Desolation Wilderness Eldorado National Forest National Forest

Caldor Fire Closure Area will be Reduced Beginning Friday, October 15

Written by sierrarecmagazine

Desolation Wilderness Access Increases Starting Today

PLACERVILLE, Calif. , October 15, 2021 – The Caldor Fire Closure Area on the Eldorado National Forest will be reduced beginning Friday, October 15 now that fire containment has increased, weather has moderated and some areas of fire suppression repair and hazard tree removal have been completed. Also beginning Friday, camping and gas stoves will be allowed again outside the closure area. The details of the revised Caldor Fire Closure Area can be found in Forest Order 03-21-19. The revised Fire Restrictions can be found in Forest Order 03-21-20. The Camping Prohibition Order is being terminated.

Desolation Wilderness Openings

Desolation Wilderness, areas north of Highway 50 and west of the closure area, and areas on the south side highway 88 will be open with the smaller fire closure area. Exceptions are small areas around Wrights Lake and Thunder Mountain due to ongoing fire suppression repair work. The boundaries of the fire closure area will continue to be evaluated as conditions change. Winter recreation sites that are currently within the closure area will be assessed and will be opened if determined safe to do so. These sites include Sierra at Tahoe, Adventure Mountain, and Sno-Parks.

Keep in mind that most developed campgrounds and day use sites are closed for the season, as is typical for this time of year. Please check the forest website for recreation facility status. The Desolation Wilderness trailheads that access the south side are within the Caldor Fire Closure Area and are still closed to public use for both overnight and day use access. Those trailheads are Rockbound, Twin Lakes, Lyons, Pyramid Creek/Horsetail Falls, Ralston, and Echo Lakes.  

Fire Closure Maps

Please use the fire closure description and map to stay out of the fire closure area. Drive with caution as fire vehicles, and heavy equipment will be using the roads.  There are ongoing fire suppression repair and hazard tree removal operations which will continue for several more weeks.   

The fire area is still very hazardous. Large fuels are still smoldering; there are many fire weakened trees; the road system is damaged; and steep slopes will be prone to water runoff, debris flows, landslides, and rock fall. Although the boundaries, may change, we anticipate that a Caldor Fire Closure Area will be necessary until next spring.


The following persons are exempt from the Caldor Fire Closure Order:

  1. Any Federal, State, or local officer, or member of an organized rescue or fire fighting force in the performance of an official duty. 
  2. Persons with Forest Service Permit No. FS-7700-48 (Permit for Use of Roads, Trails, or Areas Restricted by Regulation or Order), specifically exempting them from this Order. 
  3. Persons with Federal Energy Regulatory Commission license or Forest Service special use authorization for an electric transmission line, an oil or gas pipeline, or communications site may access their permit areas to conduct administrative and emergency functions to property and related assets.
  4. Commercial recreation special-use permit holders and their customers are not exempt from this Forest Order, however, they may access the permitted areas under the terms and conditions of their permits to conduct administrative functions and to protect property and related assets. Recreation residence permit holders are not exempt from this order. 
  5. Owners or lessees of land and residents of such private landholdings, to the extent to access their land. Recreation residence permit holders are not exempt from this order. 

For more information about the Eldorado National Forest, visit the forest website at Visitor information specialists are also available by phone from 8:00 AM – 4:30 PM, Monday through Friday:

  • Forest Supervisors’ Office – 530-303-2412
  • Georgetown Ranger District – 530-334-6477
  • Pacific / Placerville Ranger District – 916-500-4712
  • Amador Ranger District – 209-259-3774

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