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Whitewater Fire Closes All Trail Access into Mt Jefferson ParkSalem-News.com
202 fire personnel are fighting the fire currently 4,579 acres in size.
(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:
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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