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June 30, 2011 12:26 pm

High waters swamp Shoshone campsites

Written by CJ Baker

High water in the North Fork of the Shoshone River has forced the closure of several Shoshone National Forest campsites.

The forest's campgrounds remain open, but at four locations, some sites have been put off-limits.

All but nine sites in Wapiti Campground are closed due to high water, forest officials said, and those nine sites are occupied through the July 4 weekend.

Three sites in Big Game Campground, one in the Threemile Campground and one in the Clearwater Campground have also been closed due to the high river levels.

Wapiti District Ranger Terry Root said the campgrounds will be reopened as soon as the water recedes and the sites can be cleared of debris.

Forest visitors are being asked to use caution around rivers and streams. A water gauge of the North Fork Near Wapiti showed levels rose just above the 8 foot flood stage Wednesday night. In a forecast issued this (Thursday) morning, the National Weather Service's Advanced Hyrdologic Prediction Service projected that water levels will near the 8 foot flood level every night through at least Monday, with the river fork peaking at 8.44 feet on Sunday night.

The South Fork of the Shoshone River near Valley also reached the 8 foot flood level Wednesday night, Weather Service data said.

Call the Wapiti Ranger Distirct 307.527.6921 for the latest campground conditions, or visit the Shoshone's website at www.fs.usda.gov/shoshone. Property owners and citizens whose property or safety is being threatened by flooding should contact local law enforcement.

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