City reopens access to three trails

By on September 21, 2017
Tape has been draped across the base of the road leading to the Norgaard Lookout and further up the hill a yellow gate with warning signs has been locked.

Cooler weather and rain has lead to the city allowing access to three local trails that have been closed for more than two months due to the wildfire risk.

As of noon Thursday (Sept. 21) access points within the city to the Tom Lacey Memorial Trial, Norgaard’s Lookout and Windy Canyon have been reopened to the public.

“The fire weather indices have responded showing a reduction in the flammability of fine fuels immediately surrounding the city, which has reduced the chance of a wildfire,” stated fire chief Dave Tomkinson in an email.  “This being said, the public is still encouraged to use caution when accessing these wilderness areas to prevent a fire start.”

The city closed access to these three trails in July given the extreme fire danger rating for the Merritt area, which has persisted all summer along with a lack of rain.

Windy Canyon begins at Midday Valley Road and travels up into the hills south of town while the Tom Lacey Memorial Trail sits above the Bench area of town on Swakum Mountain. The Norgaard Lookout is located on that hill and is accessed via a road connecting to Juniper Drive.

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