The area where the 2018 Cranston Fire burned reopened to the public Aug. 1, officials announced. The Cranston Fire burn area has been closed since July 25, 2018, when the fire was lit by an arsonist along Highway 74 between Hemet and Mountain Center. A forest order closing the area expired Wednesday [July 31] evening and will not be renewed.
“Demand for access to the burn area has been limited since no designated recreational sites were within,” said Julie Hall, district ranger on the San Jacinto Ranger District. “However, visitors hiking off trail should take caution and be aware of their surroundings, especially around dead trees and during summer storms, which can create flash flooding conditions at a moment’s notice.”
The fire did burn through the May Valley trails system, which was under development to bring approximately 30 miles of non-motorized trails (open to hikers, cyclists and equestrians) to the public. Work on that project will recommence this fall with an official opening date that will be determined at a later time.