Whitewater rafters can resume running the popular wild section of the Rogue River that has been closed nearly two weeks due to heavy smoke from local wildfires.
Rain over the weekend cleared the skies enough for the U.S. Bureau of Land Management on Monday to lift the closure that rafting outfitters and lodges say has cost them hundreds of thousands of dollars. The hiking trail from Grave Creek to Rogue River Ranch remains closed, as does the main road used to shuttle vehicles.
BLM said it closed the river out of concern the smoke would keep helicopters from making a rescue attempt if a rafter got into trouble,
The agency says firefighters are still working on the Big Windy complex of fires, which are 15 percent contained.