Fire crews checking for hot spots to keep Railroad Fire contained

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Visitors are starting to trickle back into the forest after Highway 41 was closed for days. Fire officials say at least 400 crews are making sure nothing flares back up.

Burnt trees and structures are what's left behind as fire crews work on mopping up areas impacted by the Railroad Fire.

Visitors are starting to trickle back into the forest after Highway 41 was closed for days. Fire officials say at least 400 crews are making sure nothing flares back up.

"We do have containment lines all around the fire," public information officer Raj Singh said. "It's just watching those hot spots, making sure those are extinguished making sure the fire doesn't cross into the unburned area."

Fire officials say the cleanup could take a while, and specialized teams will go to parts of the impacted areas and determine what needs to be done to make sure it's safe for the public.

For now, their priority is removing dangerous trees.

"The biggest hazard in this forest is the dead trees, what happens with those dead trees when the fire comes through is they're weakened, and can potentially fall for no reason at all," Singh explained.

The Sierra National Forest issued a forest closure for parts of the forest and they survey the areas impacted by the flames. Meanwhile, nearby hotels are trying to let people know they're open for business.

Jeff Smith with the Narrow Gauge Inn says they're airing out the rooms while sweeping the ash and debris their property as they welcome guests for the first time in days.

"We're getting our folks back to work, people have been out of work for days," he said. "Financially, I know they took a big hit. We're trying to get everything up and running as fast as possible and let everyone know we're open for business."

Next door, the Sugar Pine Railroad remains closed. With falling trees being a potential hazard, they're waiting to get the okay from the Forest Service before their train rides are back on track.

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