Evacuation Routes

Route Descriptions:

Figure 6 contains a list of the evacuation routes. Unless blocked, route #1 should be used as the primary route out of the Park. Everyone should use this route, unless it is blocked by fire, or the IC directs otherwise.

  Status Route Average No. of Users Road Hazard Problems
1 Primary Forbes Park Road to the US Highway 160 through main gate 50 +/- per day Good condition, cleared and serviced regularly
2 Secondary East Evacuation Route, shown in Figure 7 Emergency Only Rough, unmaintained road up to County Road 421; sections are private; use by escort only
3 Secondary West Evacuation Route, shown in Figure 8 Emergency Only Rough, unmaintained road; enters Trinchera Ranches; sections are private-use by escort only

Figure 6 - Escape Routes

Since the evacuation process may create unusual traffic volume at the front gate the following special procedures will be enacted:
    1. When the IC issues a full evacuation, the Park Manager, or designated alternate, will open both traffic gates. These gates will remain open until the evacuation is completed and the IC issues an All Clear command.  The gates will be staffed by law enforcement, or qualified, uniformed residents, e.g. CERT trained residents, designated by the Park Manager to direct traffic. Note: The Park Manager will maintain a list of volunteers for this duty
    2. BOTH gates may be used for exiting traffic to prevent backup until an emergency vehicle (EV) approaches. When an EV approaches, traffic will be stopped at the entrance to the former RV yard until the EV is on Forbes Park Road.
    3. The contractor gate should be reserved for entering emergency and official vehicles.

In all cases, whether at the gate or on any Forbes Park road, emergency and official vehicles have the right of way and all private vehicles must give way.

Escape routes #2 and #3 listed above are potential choices to be considered only in the event of an emergency evacuation during which the established roads exiting in Forbes Park are unusable. The East and West Evacuation Routes are not maintained and are subject to being impassable due to weather or other environmental factors (e.g., rock or mud slides, fallen trees, rising creeks, etc.).  As fences and locked gates are present on both routes, no resident(s) should attempt passage without prior authorization and coordination with the sheriff’s office and/or the on-scene IC.  These routes are not immune to being overrun by a wild fire.  The IC will determine whether either of the routes is safe for use in a given situation.  Designated drivers will lead the way on each route, and the type of vehicle safe to travel the route will be specified at the time of evacuation.  In general, high ground clearance vehicles with all-terrain tires are preferable, but the road, weather, and hazard conditions will dictate which vehicles may proceed.

Since not all residents have vehicles suitable to travel these routes, we will expect ALL drivers to offer available seating to fill their vehicle to capacity.  At this time we have no special procedures in place for the evacuation of pets.  Each family must establish their own plan for caring for their pets.

East Evacuation Route:

Figure 7 - East Evacuation Route
Figure 7 - East Evacuation Route

From Forbes Park Road, just east of the Big Lake, go across the meadow on the Jeep trail 1.0 miles East-North-East to the fence gate. Then go 0.4 miles North-North-East to the Forest Service Road (bearing 030 deg). On the road go left 1.4 miles  NE then curve right to go SE 2.0 miles (bearing 120 deg).  This is the Forest Service System Road 421, known as Indian Creek Rd. Curve left to go ENE 5.0 miles (bearing 060 deg), then go due East 1.6 mi to Hwy 12, intersecting it 0.5 miles South of La Veta (11.5 miles total distance shown).  Distances and directions are approximate.  Note: Because this route proceeds north through heavily a forested area, it is particularly vulnerable to a rapidly moving wild fire that has closed the main gate to Forbes Park.  This route should be used only when authorized by the IC.

West Evacuation Route:

West Evacuation Route

Figure 8 - West Evacuation Route

From Forbes Park Loop, just west of Forbes Park Road, at the South Fork of Indian Creek, go west along the south side of the creek. Continue descending along the creek bed, crossing the creek only where the trail does. The first mile is rough and requires slow driving and attention to the trail. After the first mile the trail improves, follow the creek and you will emerge onto a dirt road within Sangre de Cristo Ranches. At all road intersections continue straight until approaching US 160. Turn right onto the paved Trinchera Ranch Rd. and proceed to US 160 approximately ½ mile east of Ft. Garland (total distance 14.3 mi). Distances and directions are approximate.

This route has two locked gates and requires a high clearance vehicle with all-terrain tires. If the IC chooses this evacuation route, then Trinchera Ranch employees will meet the residents at the first gate and escort the residents as a convoy through the ranch to Sangre de Cristo Ranches.