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Aug-03-2017 15:00printcomments

Whitewater Fire Closes All Trail Access into Mt Jefferson Park

202 fire personnel are fighting the fire currently 4,579 acres in size.

whitewater fire
Currently, the Whitewater Fire is actively burning approximately three miles east of the Whitewater Trailhead.

(SPRINGFIELD, Ore.) - Smoke from a wildfire was reported July 23 in the Mt Jefferson Wilderness Area.

Currently, the Whitewater Fire is actively burning approximately three miles east of the Whitewater Trailhead. The cause is a previous lightning strike from June.

The fire is within the Mt Jefferson Wilderness near the crest of the Cascades and does not threaten communities or roads.

Smoke is visible from Highway 22 and the communities of Marion Forks, Idanha, Detroit and Sisters. The weather forecast calls for unusually hot and dry weather over the fire area this week.

On July 31st, a Type II team, the Northwest Interagency Incident Management Team 7, took control of the fire. Fire camp is established at HooDoo Ski Area.

As of Monday, July 31st, all trail access into the popular Jefferson Park is closed. This includes a 11-mile section of the Pacific Crest Trail (#2000). The Pacific Crest Trail is closed from the junction with the Woodpecker Trailhead (#3442) north to Breitenbush Lake. The South Breitenbush Trail (#3375) will also be closed east of the junction with the Bear Point Trail (#3342).

The currently, closed trails are:

  • Whitewater Trail #3429 is closed from its origin at Whitewater Trailhead to the junction with the Pacific Crest Trail #2000.
  • Cheat Creek Trail #3441 is closed from its origin at Cheat Creek Trailhead to the junction with the Triangulation Trail #3373.
  • Triangulation Trail #3373 is closed from its junction with trail #3374 (near Triangulation Peak) to the terminus at Whitewater Trail #3429.
  • Crag Trail #3364 from its origin at Breitenbush Trailhead to the terminus at the Traingulation Trail #3373.
  • In addition Whitewater Creek Road (Forest Service Road 2243 off of Highway 22) is closed at its junction with Hwy 22.

Heavy equipment is working along the 2243 road system to remove brush and small trees and to create control lines by reducing fuels along the road system outside the wilderness.

As a result of last night’s active fire behavior, today’s operations will utilize aviation resources, such as helicopters and retardant planes, to slow fire spread and contain lines. Crews and heavy equipment continue to prepare containment lines on the Southern and Western flanks of the fire.

Fire managers continue to scout containment opportunities using existing road systems. Instability in the atmosphere and its effect on fire behavior, presents today’s primary concern.

The trails and road will remain closed to protect public and fire fighter safety until further notice.

Source: inciweb.nwcg.gov, U.S. Forest Service

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