LA JUNTA, Colo. (KRDO) -- The Oxbow State Wildlife Area, located nine miles east of La Junta, will reopen to the public on Aug. 15.
The Wildlife Area, which sits along the Arkansas River bottom, was ravaged by wildfire on April 12. That day, wildfires erupted in Bent and Otero Counties, impacting three State Wildlife Areas and the Keller State Trust Land.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife said Oxbow was the first to burn and suffered the greatest amount of damage. Flames engulfed the cottonwoods and burned 75 percent of the area's 410 acres.
Due to tree-fall danger, Oxbow was closed indefinitely following the fire. Since then, CPW staff have been busy clearing damaged trees and mitigating that risk.
“We brought in heavy equipment and we believe the property is now safe for the public to return,” area wildlife manager, Todd Marriott said. “I’m happy we were able to complete this work before the start of hunting season.”
Oxbow is a popular place for hunting Bobwhite quail, deer, dove, and wild turkey.