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Campgrounds Closed Along Poudre Canyon Due To Dangerous Conditions After Deadly Flash Flood

LARIMER COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) - All along the Poudre Canyon, red tape is draped across the area's forest service campgrounds. Road blocks derailed the car camping trip Adam Williams and Sarah Coler planned for the weekend.

"We passed one and kind of thought something was just wrong with it. Didn't see the second one, someone took it down and then we passed the third one and we thought okay this is consistent," Williams said.

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(credit: CBS)

The closure to all 11 forest service campgrounds comes after Tuesday night's fatal flash flooding. Every campsite was evacuated some three days later with gear still sitting out.

"Because of our weather patterns right now we are seeing it's just not a safe time to be in our downstream from those scars," USFS spokesperson, Reaghan Cloudman said.

With only a few months to defend against burn scar runoff, Cloudman says the threat of more rain impacts all areas of the canyon.

"We had a challenge that the fire burned into winter. Typically when we have earlier season events, we are able to utilize the fall to do a lot of mitigation work, and we just didn't have that opportunity," she said

While crews work everyday to get massive piles of debris out of the river there's fear what has build up may be pushed down with another round of storms.

"There are still emergency responders up there. If there was the need for more evacuations, we don't want to complicate that by having recreaters in the area as well," Cloudman said.

While the closure was unexpected for some. They know it's done with their best I retest in mind.

"I'm glad they are trying to keep everyone safe," Sarah Coler said.

The campgrounds and many of the hiking trails in the canyon will remain closed until July 28, but the forest service is going to have staff continuously watching the forecast to determine if those closures need to be extended.

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