As of 6 p.m. today, the Mt. Hood National Forest is temporarily closed to public access, and will remain closed until further notice, due to dangerous fire conditions.
"The local area remains under the threat of unprecedented and dangerous fire conditions with a combination of extreme heat, significant wind events, dry conditions, and firefighting resources that are stretched thin across the region and nation," said the USDA, which manages the Mt. Hood National Forest, in a press release. "Due to these conditions, the Mt. Hood National Forest is temporarily closing to public access." Crews will reevaluate conditions daily to determine when it is safe to reopen, said the press release.
The closure includes all developed campgrounds, dispersed camping, day use areas, wilderness areas, and all forest roads and trails. According to the USDA, people in the process of evacuating the forest are exempt from the order.
“At this time, with extreme fire danger, multiple wildfire growing, and new wildfires igniting and multiple evacuations, it’s simply not safe to visit,” said Forest Supervisor Richard Periman. “Thank you for your patience and cooperation during this time of extreme fire threat.”
"It is critical that forest visitors follow this important closure for their own safety and the safety of our firefighters," said the USDA press release. "Extreme fire weather has caused rapid growth of fires, and new ignitions have strained all resources for the forest and region. Nationally, and within Oregon, firefighting resources are operating at maximum capacity resources severely limited. While the forest has been under fire restrictions, we still see unattended and abandoned campfires across the forest, heightening the risk to firefighters, the public, and wildlife."
There are currently multiple fires burning within the Mt. Hood National forest boundary.
The White River Fire began Aug. 17 in Wasco County and is now an estimated 17,507 acres and 70 percent contained. The Lionshead Fire began Aug. 14 on the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs Reservation, approximately 14 miles west of the Warm Springs community, and is now an estimated 27,674 acres and 31 percent contained.
Early yesterday morning, Mt. Hood Meadows public safety reported a small fire at Mt. Hood Meadows Ski Area, about 0.25 mile east of the Shooting Star chair lift in the Heather Canyon drainage. The fire was estimated to be around 2-acres as of midday yesterday.
More information about fires on the Mt. Hood National forest at: https://www.fs.usda.gov/main/mthood/fire
The Willamette National Forest also has a forest closure in effect. For information, visit: https://www.fs.usda.gov/news/willamette/news-events