HOOD RIVER, Ore., – Much of the Columbia River Gorge 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. Due to these conditions, the Forest Service in the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area has temporarily closed all recreation areas within the CRGNSA apart from Sandy River Delta, Multnomah Falls, Wyeth Campground, Lower Klickitat, and Lower White Salmon Wild & Scenic Rivers.
People can continue driving through the Historic Columbia Highway from Larch Mountain to Ainsworth; however, be aware that parking along the highway or visiting sites within this section is prohibited.
Oregon State Parks is temporarily closing parks along the Historic Columbia
Highway from Larch Mountain to Ainsworth as well as the Angel’s Rest Trailhead and trail and Mount Defiance at Starvation Creek. All other parks, trails, and campgrounds remain open including Rooster Rock, Dabney, Lewis & Clark, Dalton Point, Mayer, the Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail and associated day use areas. Memaloose, Viento, and Ainsworth Campgrounds remain open.
The temporary closure is in place to protect our fire crews, natural resources, and the public during a time of intense fire danger. It will remain in effect until conditions improve and will be re-evaluated daily.
Extreme fire weather and hazardous fuel conditions has caused a rapid growth of fires throughout Oregon and Washington. Firefighting resources are operating at maximum capacity and needed resources are severely limited.
“Hot and dry weather conditions recently presented Oregon and Washington with a tremendous number of new wildfires,” said Lynn Burditt, Forest Supervisor. “The situation in the Northwest is critical and we ask everyone to be safe and patient until conditions improve. Please honor these restrictions – when you choose to ignore closures you put yourselves and others at risk.”
“We want to facilitate recreation sites that can continue to host visitors. Your honoring of the restrictions allows us to balance public safety and access at more controlled locations.” Clay Courtright, Gorge Park Manger
It is essential that visitors follow these critical restrictions for their own safety and to mitigate impacts on firefighting resources. Residents are encouraged to “follow” their local county sheriff’s department Facebook pages and websites for information about evacuation safety.