Monday, August 14, 2017

Mill Creek Wilderness trail closures due to Belknap fire

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Monday, August 14, 2017
Mill Creek Wilderness trails closed during wildfire suppression
PRINEVILLE, Ore. – The Ochoco National Forest has temporarily closed all hiking trails within Mill Creek Wilderness to the public as fire crews work to suppress the lightning-caused Belknap fire.
The fire was first reported at 11:30 am Friday, August 11 after a weather system moved through the area with abundant lightning activity.
The fire is actively burning in a mixture of dead and live trees on steep slopes just outside of the 2000 Hash Rock fire scar. The current size is estimated at 60 acres.
“This is a full suppression fire; however, we are developing a strategy to engage the fire in a safe manner due to the abundance of snags in the area,” said District Ranger Slater Turner. “We are taking suppression actions where we can implement them in a safe manner.”
Heavy airtankers worked the fire this weekend making retardant drops to moderate fire behavior before firefighters entered the area on the ground. On Sunday, seven smokejumpers parachuted into the fire and remain there working to create helispots and developing a plan to implement suppression tactics.
The following trails are now closed to the public for one month from today or until rescinded:
Twin Pillars Trail #832
Wildcat Trail #833
Belknap Trail #833A

The National Forest appreciates public tolerance of these temporary inconveniences during solar eclipse visitation.

 Smoke from the Belknap Fire

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