Big Tree Sipsey Wildnerness wildfire 100% contained after rain moves through area

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A view of the fire over the Sipsey Wilderness on Oct. 23, 2015. (Photo: USDA Forest Service)

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MONTGOMERY, Ala. – The U.S. Forest Service has opened all trails and rescinded a campfire closure in the Sipsey Wilderness after heavy rains significantly reduced fire activity and helped firefighters 100%  contain the Big Tree wildfire.

According to District Ranger Dave Casey, over three inches of rainfall extinguished the few areas that were still burning in the Sipsey Wilderness last weekend.  Trails are open for visitors and campfires are permitted. Campers are advised to be careful with fires, particularly if dry conditions return.

Wilderness manager Michael Cook advises visitors to watch for natural hazards around the fire’s perimeter.  “Visitors must always be aware of hazards such as holes, dead trees and rocky terrain because of the natural condition of the Sipsey Wilderness,” said Cook.  Wildfires can create holes from burned stumps and weakened trees.  Leaf fall has already covered the fire area, hiding some of the holes.

“We were very pleased with the support of the local communities and forest visitors during the past two weeks of the Big Tree wildfire,” said Casey.

As the peak fall visitation approaches, Forest Service officials expect visitors to return to the Sipsey Wilderness and ask them to be extra cautious if hiking around the fire area.

For further information about the Sipsey Wilderness or other recreation opportunities in the Bankhead National Forest, contact the Ranger District at 205 489-5111 or visit online by clicking here.

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