Area hiking trails reopen in Hemet and southwest Riverside County

Hemet’s Simpson Park is once again open to the public after being closed for months during the recent volatile fire season. The parks hiking trails above the city are already bringing many visitors with the unseasonably warm weather. Tony Ault photo

Riverside County fire Chief Daniel R. Talbot and Hemet fire Chief Scott Brown jointly announced the reopening of seven hiking areas in Hemet, San Jacinto, Nuevo, Lakeview, Sage, Menifee and Cabazon. The Riverside County Board of Supervisors approved the requests effective Thursday, Feb. 1.

Brown said in concert with Riverside County Fire, the following Fire Hazard Areas are now open: Avery Canyon, Gibbel Road East of State Street in Hemet; North Mountain and Indian Canyon in San Jacinto; Nuevo and Lakeview, east of Menifee Road and San Jacinto Avenue; Minto in Sage; Reinhardt Canyon, north of state Route 74 and California Avenue in Hemet; Ramona Bowl and Bautista Canyon, southeast Hemet and Whitewater Canyon, Cabazon, north of Palm Springs.

“I encourage you to visit these beautiful hiking trails throughout Riverside County and would like to remind residents and visitors in Riverside County that we live in a very wildfire-prone area,” Talbot said. “We are experiencing unseasonably warm, dry conditions which increase fire danger, Please, be fire safe.”

Talbot said he will continue to work with the board of supervisors to protect the public from the wildfire threats.

“Future closures may be implemented based on weather conditions and wildfire threat,” Talbot said.

“As a reminder to our park visitors, following the reopening of Simpson Park, the park will resume the winter schedule, opening at 7 a.m. and closing at 5 p.m. daily,” Brown said. “If you have any questions about visiting Simpson Park, please contact the Hemet Public Works Department at (951) 765-3712.”

For additional information on the open areas to the public in the Riverside County areas, contact the Public Affairs Bureau at (951) 940-6985. To view maps of the hiking areas, visit www.rvcfire.org.

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