The canyons are owned and maintained by the tribe, and they remained closed as of Monday morning.
The Mountain Fire broke out July 15 near the junction of Highway 243 and Highway 74 near Mountain Center. It burned 43 square miles of mountain watersheds, including more than 6,000 acres on the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians reservation, before it was declared contained July 30, according to the Forest Service and the tribe.
"The Indian Canyons are nearly unrecognizable in the condition they are in today," Chairman Jeff L. Grubbe said in a statement distributed Sept 5. "We are working diligently to assess the damage and determine the next steps to remove debris, repair damage and return the Canyons back to as close to their natural beauty as possible. The Canyons are just as important to us today as they had been to our ancestors thousands of years ago."
Agua Caliente rangers and emergency management workers have been assessing the extent of the damage caused by recent flash flooding. Fast moving water from heavy rains last week carried down trees, boulders, and mud damaging trails, roads and access to portions of the Indian Canyons, tribal officials said.
The Canyons, which comprise about 56 square miles and include more than 60 miles of trails, attract more than 125,000 visitors a year to enjoy the scenic trails, plants, wildlife and cultural sites. They were also closed temporarily during the Mountain Fire.
The Indian Canyons are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. For more about the canyons visit http://www.indian-canyons.com/Palm.html.
The Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians is a federally recognized Indian Tribe located in Palm Springs, California, with 32,000 acres of reservation lands that spread across Palm Springs, Cathedral City, Rancho Mirage, and into the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto mountains. The Tribe currently owns and operates two 18-hole championship golf courses, the Spa Resort Casino and Hotel in downtown Palm Springs and the Agua Caliente Casino Resort Spa in Rancho Mirage. For more information about the Tribe online, visit www.aguacaliente-nsn.gov.
The Mountain and Silver fire in July and August combined to destroy 71 structures including 33 homes, scorched more than 70 square miles, and cost firefighting and other agencies more than $35 million, according to Cal Fire and the Forest Service.
Post-fire flash flooding has also occurred in the Silver Fire burn area:
BLACK FLOOD: Man Describes Front End of Post-Fire Debris Flow in Poppet Flats
PHOTOS: Rains on Silver Fire Burn Area Unleash Black Mud in Poppet Flats
VIDEO: Poppet Flats Resident Helps Neighbor Dig Out From Black Post-Fire Mud Flows
For more on the Mountain Fire and the Silver Fire see the following links:
VIDEO: Silver Fire Survivors Recall Leaving as Flames Approached
Silver Fire Survivor on 243: 'It Would Be Nice if They Would Open it Up'
SILVER FIRE RECOVERY: In Devastated Poppet Flats, Neighbors Pull Together
VIDEO: As Silver Fire Advances Evacuee Says 'We Decided to Leave on Our Own'
Video, Pics: Silver Fire South of Banning
MOUNTAIN FIRE: Some Residents Stay, but Most of Idyllwild is 'Ghost Town'
VIDEO: Idyllwild Fire Chief Discusses Evacuations, Mountain Fire Threat
MOUNTAIN FIRE PHOTOS: Property Damage, Watershed Damage, Firefighters, Pilots
Cause of Mountain Fire Determined, Electrical Equipment to Blame