2020 Kodiak cancelled due to fire threat

September 9, 2020

We are devastated to share that, despite numerous creative solutions to all of the challenges that 2020 has thrown our way, the permit for the 2020 Kodiak Ultra Marathons has been revoked by San Bernardino National Forest officials as all recreational activity in the National Forest has been cancelled. The San Bernardino National Forest is one of eight national forests closed to ALL activity due to severe fire danger and incredibly limited resources.

 

The 2020 Kodiak Ultra Marathons scheduled for September 9-13 is cancelled.

 

As soon as the forest closure was announced, we contacted Marc Stamer, the District Ranger of the San Bernardino National Forest, who also happens to live just down our street. We hopped on our bikes and rode down the street to find out exactly how this closure would impact our race. He opened the door and we knew right away the unfortunate fate of this year’s race. Marc told us that while the closure will be re-evaluated on a daily basis, it is currently planned for at least seven days. This forest has not been closed since the destructive 2007 Butler Fire.

 

Currently, the El Dorado fire is burning in the neighboring Yucaipa area and is not a threat to the Big Bear Valley. However, Santa Ana winds are predicted to increase in the area. The combination of these strong winds and extremely high temperatures pose severe fire danger. The complete closure of these Southern California National Forests is necessary to get the public off of forest land for their own safety in addition to the safety of our firefighters. This is a monumental fire threat.

 

For more information, please see the USFS news release here.

 

Runner safety is our number one priority. We are evaluating all options and we are devastated knowing the disappointment and disruption this will cause to our runners. We tried everything to hold the Kodiak this year and we were beyond excited to see you in Big Bear Lake this week. Thank you for your understanding as we continue to navigate this situation. Please continue to check back for updates as more information becomes available.

 

Your race directors,

Susie Schmelzer & Harald Zundel

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Kodiak Ultra Marathons is a signature event of Open Air Big Bear, a non-profit organization with the mission to advance and celebrate outdoor sporting events and activities in Big Bear Lake.