This site offers helpful information for visitors interested in enjoying the eclipse from federal public lands along and near the path of totality in western Oregon. Check back often for updates!

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Multiple Fires Close Roads, Trails, Campgrounds, Portions of Mt. Jefferson Wilderness and Three Sisters Wilderness

Pacific Northwest Team 2, a Type I Incident Management Team, is responding to and monitoring multiple fires within the Willamette National Forest including:

French Fire: The fire is located approximately 1 mile northwest of Detroit, Oregon in an inaccessible drainage. Fire personnel will begin clearing nearby roads of debris with heavy equipment and continue line preparation to support direct and indirect firefighting tactics.

Whitewater Fire: The fire is actively burning near Whitewater Trailhead in the Mount Jefferson Wilderness and adjacent forest lands, approximately 13 miles east of Detroit, Oregon. Crews continue to improve and hold existing containment lines and advance construction of indirect lines along the western and northern edges. A newly discovered fire north of the Whitewater Fire received bucket drops of water yesterday and will continue to be monitored today.

Rebel Fire: This fire is burning in timber along the south fork of the McKenzie River and spreading into the Three Sisters Wilderness in an area of steep, rugged terrain. Today crews continue improving containment line along FS Road 19, the Aufderheide Scenic Byway. Brushing and chipping will further reduce the availability of burnable fuels along the road and the north end of the fire, from Cougar Crossing campground south to Forest Road 425.

Avenue Fire: Avenue Creek Fire is located two miles south of McKenzie River Ranger District office in inaccessible terrain. Crews continue to assess options for containing this fire using indirect tactics.

Box Canyon Fire: This fire is located approximately 6 miles south of the Rebel Fire. Crews completed line construction around the fire and extinguished all hot spots near the containment lines. This fire is in patrol status and will continue to be monitored by air.  Current resources will be shifted to higher priority fires in the area.

Weather and Fire Behavior: Warmer, drier weather is expected today with highs in the mid-70s, including northwesterly winds with gusts up to 15 miles per hour in the afternoon. Continued backing and creeping of flames with isolated torching is expected.

Fire Closures: Area closures are in place with numerous trails, campgrounds, and roads closed. Many campgrounds and trails in the eclipse path of totality are closed due to fires. This includes access to Mount Jefferson and Jefferson Park. For current conditions and closure information please visit https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/willamette/fire/?cid=FSEPRD552029.

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Monday, August 7, 2017

All Trails into Mount Jefferson and Jefferson Park Will Remain Closed Through Aug. 21 Total Solar Eclipse Due to a Fire

The Willamette National Forest Service has announced that due to a combination of extreme fire conditions, explosive fire behavior and heavy smoke from a fire in the Mount Jefferson Wilderness, all access to Mount Jefferson and Jefferson Park is closed and will remain closed through the August 21 total solar eclipse.

“We understand this is a disappointment to residents and visitors who looked forward to the opportunity to experience the eclipse in this area. Unfortunately, the risk is too great, and our highest responsibility must be visitor safety,” said Forest Supervisor Tracy Beck. “Fueled by the excessively hot conditions of the previous weeks, this fire has burned very erratically and some nights has moved more than a mile through thick forests.”

The Willamette National Forest eclipse information page contains a series of maps that show adjacent National Forest lands that are currently open and lie in the path of totality of the eclipse. Visitors may want to consider these nearby sites to view the eclipse. For further information about the continued closure you can call the Eclipse Closure Information Line at 541-912-7548 or email eclipseteam2017@gmail.com
A map of the Whitewater Fire area closure in Mt. Jefferson WildernessThe size of the closure reflects the unpredictable fire behavior that fire managers have witnessed during the recent hot spell. To protect the public, all trails leading into the closed area will be staffed 24 hours a day to inform visitors and enforce the closure. Given the weather forecast and already dry forest conditions, the fire could continue to grow and additional closures could take place.

State officials predict thousands of travelers will visit Oregon to experience the eclipse on public lands. Expect crowds, traffic congestion, difficulty finding a campsite or parking spot, and limited supplies in smaller communities. It is recommended you bring a generous amount of water, food and emergency supplies.

For updates and more information, visit www.fs.usda.gov/willamette/ or  Twitter and Facebook @willamettenf