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SWA to reopen Monday following closure from McNay Fire
The Lone Pine section on the Cherokee State Wildlife Area, which has been closed to hunters since Sept. 16 due to the McNay Fire, will reopen on Monday, Oct. 7.

The 560-acre fire was concentrated on the southern portion of the lower unit of the 25,497-acre Cherokee SWA that is broken up into three parcels - lower, middle and upper - and the Lone Pine area is one unit on the lower section. Although the fire is 100 percent contained and considered out, the public should exercise caution around the burn area as there may still be hot spots.

Because of the fire activity, hunting in the area likely will not be as opportunistic in years past, but looking at the long-term health of the habitat, fire is an important tool for improving wildlife habitat.

“Fire is a natural part of our landscape and many species of plants and animals benefit from the changes a fire brings,” said Assistant Area Wildlife Manager Jason Surface. “Fire stimulates new, nutritious growth and production that our big game and other wildlife actively seek.”

Motor vehicle access is permitted on established roads on Lone Pine as posted.

Public access is prohibited from Sept. 1 to May 1, except for hunting and fishing activities. Hunting and fishing access after the close of the last big game season is by foot only.

Horseback and bicycle riding are restricted to designated roads and trails, except for horses used as an aid in hunting big game.