Fire near Eagle Creek flares back up

A fire along Eagle Creek Trail has grown to an estimated 15 acres and continues to burn in steep and rugged terrain in the Mark O. Hatfield Wilderness on the Mt. Hood National Forest, as of Friday afternoon.

Smoke rising from the "Indian Creek Fire" has impacted nearby communities and Interstate 84. Residents from Cascade Locks noticed a heavy cloud of smoke early Friday.

“We anticipate more smoke over the weekend, similar to what has been experienced over the last 2 days,” the U.S. Forest Service said in a news release.

Helicopter water drops are being used to cool down the fire and keep it from spreading. In addition, a Warm Springs Fire Module made up of 10 people will continue to observe the fire and conduct reconnaissance for future suppression activities should there be a need.

The cause of the fire has not been determined.

The Forest Service trail and area closure issued July 5 for the area surrounding the fire remains in effect, including Eagle Creek Trail #440, from the boundary with Mark O. Hatfield Wilderness (to the north) to its terminus at the junction with the Pacific Crest Trail.

Punch Bowl Falls and High Bridge are still open; however, Tunnel Falls is closed.

The closure includes adjacent trails Eagle Benson #434, Indian Springs Trail #435, Eagle Tanner Trail #433 and Tanner Butte Trail, south of Tanner Butte. Signs are posted informing visitors that these trails are closed. The nearby Pacific Crest Trail remains open.

A map of the Indian Creek Fire Closure can be found online at:

The fire started at 5:30 pm July 4 near Seven and a Half Mile Camp on the Mt. Hood National Forest which grew to about 7 acres. The closure is in place to protect the public and for firefighter safety during helicopter operations while the fire is actively burning and smoldering.

“The (ranger) district thanks the public for their adherence to the closure and support during the last week,” said Hood River District Ranger Janeen Tervo. “The safety of the public and our firefighters is our prime consideration in managing this incident in this extremely popular hiking area.”

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