Wildfires close Pacific Crest Trail at Crater Lake, Park issues evacuation warning
Posted on August 5, 2017 at 6:23 PM
Gallery: crater lake
By Mike Rogoway
The National Park Service has closed four trails near Crater Lake National Park due to hazardous conditions created by the Blanket Creek Fire in the southwest corner of the park.
And the park issued a “Level 1 Evacuation Notice” for Rim Village and park headquarters. According to the National Park Service, the notice indicates that residents and visitors should “be ready” for a potential evacuation.
Saturday’s closures include the Pacific Crest Trail, from the Crater Lake park boundary to Highway 62. Three other trails are closed, also: The Union Peak Trail, Stuart Falls Trail and Pumice Flat Trail.
Several other roads and trails closed previously remained closed Saturday because of the Spruce Lake Fire, west of Crater Lake park:
- West Rim Drive from Munson Valley Road to North Junction
- Pacific Crest Trail, from the intersection of Dutton Creek Trail north to the North Entrance Road
- Boundary Springs Trail
- All of Bald Crater Loop Trail
- Bert Creek Trail
- Discovery Point Trail
- Lightning Springs Trail
- Rim Trail from Discovery Point to North Junction
The Park Service said the closures will reduce threats to public safety connected to the fires and efforts to fight them. Lightning started the Spruce Lake Fire on July 24; it’s being managed collectively with the Blanket Creek Fire.
About 300 people are fighting the fires, which is only 5 percent contained, according to the Associated Press. Officials said they expect fire activity to decrease when flames reach the West Rim Road as available fuel diminishes amid numerous rock outcroppings.
Close to a dozen wildfires are currently active in Oregon, according to the AP; the largest is in a sparsely populated area of southeastern Oregon. The 270 personnel assigned to that blaze are focused on protecting sage grouse habitat and archaeological sites.
This report includes material from the Associated Press. It has been updated with information about the evacuation notice.