A temporary emergency closure was put into effect as of 8 a.m., Saturday, March 26, for the Catwalk National Recreation Area and surrounding wilderness trails located five miles northeast of Glenwood, N.M.
“For public and firefighter safety, the general Catwalk area was closed early this morning as a precautionary measure due to the Whitewater-Baldy Fire Complex and its active fire behavior accompanied by high winds,” said District Ranger Pat Morrison.
Fire crews are working in the area to establish fire lines and are staging at the parking lot.
“The Catwalk area traditionally receives many visitors looking forward to enjoying its many attractions during the Memorial Day weekend. I apologize for any inconvenience to visitors due to the emergency closure, and appreciate the public’s support. During any wildland fire, the Forest Service’s priority is always human safety,” adds Ranger Morrison.
The area will re-open as soon as safety concerns disappear.
The closed area is in addition to the former Order 302 that closed the western part of the Gila Wilderness, and is described as the area bounded by:
•The Catwalk parking lot northwest up the hill to Gold Dust Trailhead at Bursum Road, along Bursum Road to Forest Road 722 (Powerhouse Road), to Powerhouse Trail 810 to Whitewater Trail 207 to the Gila Wilderness boundary and back to the Catwalk parking lot
•The closure includes the Catwalk National Recreation Trail (207), the Gold Dust Trail (41), Powerhouse Trail 810 and all portions of South Fork Whitewater Trail 212 and Whitewater Trail 207 outside of the wilderness.
The closure falls within the legal description area of: Township 11 South, Range 19 West, Section 5 and parts of Sections 4 and 6 and Township 10 South, Range 19 West, part of Section 32.