Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge issues Emergency Closure Order

Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge issues Emergency Closure Order
The Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge has issued an Emergency Closure Order to restrict recreational activities in preparation for the upcoming winter weather. (Source: KSWO)

LAWTON, Okla. (TNN) - The Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge has issued an Emergency Closure Order to restrict recreational activities in preparation for the upcoming winter weather.

Starting at sunset on Saturday, February 13, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will prohibit hiking on and off trails and close all access off roadways. Other recreational activities will be closed until they can be safely restored.

This will include fishing, wildlife observation, photography, and picnicking.

Reservations for front country camping at Doris Campground and backcountry camping within the Charon’s Garden Wilderness Area have been cancelled. Mount Scott roadway will remain closed due to icy conditions.

The Refuge is heavily encouraging visitors to stay home until operations across the refuge can be restored and roadways can be effectively cleared.

The refuge is asking for the public’s help in implementing this order to prevent dangerous risks to visitors, Refuge staff, and emergency response personnel who may be called upon for search and rescue operations due to the extreme conditions caused by ice and snow.

The cold wind chills as low as 25 below zero could cause frostbite on exposed skin in as little as 30 minutes.

You can find more information about the Emergency Closure Order on the Refuge’s website. If you have any questions, you can contact Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge visitor services at wmr_visitorservices@fws.gov.

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