The Indian Creek Fire, a smoky blaze in the woods west of Cascade Locks, grew slightly to 83 acres this week and has evaded containment.
Due to nearly impossible access on steep terrain, a small firefighting crew has kept tabs on the fire from a distance while aircraft attack from above.
Mary Huels, a fire spokesperson, said a Chinook helicopter dropped about 600,000 gallons of water on the fire last week.
“All that water has done a very good job of keeping this (fire) in check,” Huels said.
Huels said the fire’s growth stretched north-northwest. Infrared mapping showed it had reached more than 80 acres Wednesday. No residences are threatened by the fire, which is burning in remote forest land.
The fire started on the evening of July 4 in steep and rugged terrain near Seven and a Half Mile Camp in the Mark O. Hatfield Wilderness in the Mt. Hood National Forest, along the popular Eagle Creek Trail.
Fire officials anticipate they will be combatting the blaze for a long time, possibly until rain or snow comes to help their efforts.
Firefighter, aviation, and public safety on the Indian Creek Fire continues to be the highest priority for the fire team.
Forest visitors are asked to help prevent forest fires by taking precautions, such as ensuring fires are put out, never leaving campfires unattended, not smoking near vegetation, and refraining from driving vehicles over dry grasses or other burnable material.
The Pacific Crest Trail is open. The northern portion of Eagle Creek Trail No. 440 off of Interstate 84 is open for 4.8 miles until a closure kicks in. Water is available for PCT hikers at Indian Springs but not Wahtum Lake. No camping is allowed within the closure area.
A map and full listing of closures is posted at www.inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5403 and www.facebook.com/mthoodnf.