COMANCHE COUNTY (KFDX/KJTL)— The Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge has issued an emergency closure order due to the upcoming winter weather conditions and as a safety precaution to the public.
According to their Facebook page, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will close the hiking on and off-trail across the refuge and close all access off roadways beginning at sunset on Saturday, February 13. Trails and other recreational activities will also be closed so officials can work on clearing the roads safely.
Reservations for front country camping at Doris Campground and backcountry camping within the Charon’s Garden Wilderness area are also cancelled.
Fishing, wildlife observation, photography, and picnicking will also be closed. Refuge roadways will remain open to local traffic for as long as those road conditions are good.
The Mt. Scott roadway remains closed due to icy conditions.
Refuge officials said the upcoming weather conditions along with the rocky and rugged terrain of the refuge, creates an extreme risk to visitors, refuge staff, and emergency first responders who may be called for search and rescue operations during the extreme cold and snow.
Refuge officials are also encouraging visitors to stay home until operations can be restored and roadways are clear.
For updates on changes of operations or postponed events and programs click here.