Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge will temporarily close sections of Oklahoma 49 and Indiahoma Road to conduct necessary road maintenance and fuels reduction Jan. 13-17 and Jan. 27-31. Visitors and local commuters should make arrangements to avoid these areas during construction.

Jan. 13-20, refuge staff will remove hazardous trees and brush along the roadway to increase public safety and create stronger firebreaks against wildfires. For the safety of the public and refuge staff, Oklahoma 49 from the intersection of Indiahoma Road to West Gate will be closed daily from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. until the project is completed. Work is scheduled to begin at the Indiahoma Road intersection and proceed a rolling closure westbound.

Areas of the refuge that will be impacted include Sunset, Caddo Lake and West Gate. It is not anticipated that access to Sunset will be impacted through the weekend; however, access to the Charon’s Gardens Wilderness Area will be consistently available through the Treasure Lake area. As the project progresses, areas will be re-opened to public access. The refuge will make every attempt to keep closures at a minimum and to re-open sections of the road as soon as it is safe to do so.

Jan. 27-31, refuge staff will install two new cattle guards; one on Oklahoma 49 immediately west of Prairie Dog Town and one on Indiahoma Road near the French Lake turnoff. These new cattle guards will reduce noise pollution and improve access to the western portions to the refuge for road bicyclists. Oklahoma 49 will be closed for approximately 2-3 days while the cattle guard near Prairie Dog Town is installed.

Work will transition to Indiahoma Road, which will be closed for approximately two days until installation of the second cattle guard is complete. Expect impacts traveling through the refuge as Oklahoma 49 and Indiahoma Road will be impassable at the closure points. The western portions of the refuge will be accessible from both Indiahoma Road and West Gate while the eastern portions will remain accessible from Cache, Medicine Park and Meers Gates.

Further road closure information will be available on the refuge website at: www.fws.gov/refuge/wichita_mountains, Facebook, or by contacting the Refuge Visitor Center at 580-429-2197.

Recommended for you