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 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.