Part of Emerald Mountain reopens after being closed due to December plane crash |

Part of Emerald Mountain reopens after being closed due to December plane crash

Lane of Pain and Root Canal are two trails that will reopen Tuesday on Emerald Mountain.
City of Steamboat Springs/Courtesy graphic

Parts of Emerald Mountain closed after a plane crash in December reopened Tuesday, Jan. 11, though metal fragments from the aircraft may still be buried in the snow.

In a news release, Steamboat Springs city officials said the Lane of Pain and Root Canal trails cross over the one-acre crash site, and users will be required to stay on the trail after it has reopened.

The National Transportation Safety Board was on-site a day after the Dec. 10 crash to investigate and coordinate removal of the aircraft, which happened the following week.

Investigators will likely return this spring to finish collecting debris, the release said. The area will close again for this work and any environmental remediation that may be needed.

About 120 gallons of jet fuel spilled because of the crash, but Routt County Environmental Health Director Scott Cowman said risks to human health because of the spill appear to be minimal.

“It is anticipated there may be some contaminated soil in the spring, and residual fuel could migrate down the slope, but dilution and degradation from naturally occurring microbes should minimize impacts,” Cowman said.

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