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Aug-21-2006 00:49printcomments

Puzzle Fire Burning in Mount Jefferson Wilderness Grows Sunday

New restrictions are in effect in the Willamette National Forest because of the high fire danger.

Wildland flames and crew file photo

(MARION FORKS) - The Puzzle fire grew Sunday to over 2,000 acres. Officials say they still don't know what started it.

Due to concerns for public safety in the vicinity of the Puzzle fire, the Willamette National Forest has closed a portion of the Mount Jefferson Wilderness effective Saturday.

The Puzzle fire is currently 30 acres in size and burning in dense, bug-killed, forest.

The fire has been fought primarily from the air so far this morning; air tankers and large helicopters are doing their best to limit fire spread while ground crews are gaining access to the remote spot.

The fire is located approximately 2 miles northeast of Marion Lake; the lake is currently being used as a water source for the helicopters.

The closed area is bound by the Woodpecker (#3443) Trail to the North, by the Pacific Crest Trail on the east, the Marion (3436) and Minto Pass(#3437) trails to the South, and the Wilderness boundary to the west.

The Woodpecker, Marion, Pamelia (#3439), Bingham Ridge (#3436) trails are closed in their entirety. Marion and Pamelia Lakes are contained within the closure area.

Due to increased fire danger levels, the Willamette National Forest placed the following public use restrictions in effect on Friday.

1. Building, maintaining, attending or using a fire, campfire, or stove fire, including a charcoal fire, except in campfire rings at posted, developed and designated recreation areas listed below. Portable cooking stoves using liquefied or bottled fuel are permissible.

2. Smoking, except within an enclosed vehicle or building, a developed recreation site, or while stopped in an area at least three feet in diameter that is cleared of all flammable material.

3. Possessing or using a vehicle off Forest development roads. (A Forest development road is one constructed for automotive use which is maintained clear of flammable debris.)

4. Operating any type of motorized vehicle on a trail.

5. Welding or operating acetylene or other torch with an open flame.

6. Operating a chainsaw, generator or other internal combustion engine, except motorized vehicles operated on Forest development roads (as in #3 above), boat motors in water, and generators used in developed recreation areas listed below.

DESCRIPTION OF RESTRICTED AREAS: The Willamette National Forest in its entirety, including the Mt. Jefferson, Mt. Washington, Three Sisters, Waldo, Menagerie, Middle Santiam, Bull of the the Woods, Opal Creek, and Diamond Peak Wilderness areas administered by the Willamette National Forest. Exceptions include designated areas shown on the list below.

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The Editor August 21, 2006 7:17 pm (Pacific time)

Tom, I have been disconnected today from my regular duties and I will dilligently go through my sources and generate the current information as soon as possible.

Tom Culhane August 21, 2006 6:41 pm (Pacific time)

Is the Puzzle Fire 30 acres or 2000 acres?

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