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Lightning sparks Mt. Adams fires; access to climbing route closed

Trailheads, campgrounds closed due to fires

Fire fighters continue to tackle the five fires started last Wednesday evening after a lightning storm passed through the Mt. Adams area on the Gifford Pinchot National Forest, just south of Mt. Adams near Trout Lake.

The largest of these fires, called the McDonald fire, has closed access to the popular South Climbing route on Mt. Adams. The Whimpy fire is the only remaining smaller fire contained at this time.

The largest fire is burning at the 5,500 foot elevation on Mt. Adams along the Cold Springs trail. The acreage of this fire, previously thought to be larger, has been decreased to approximately 55 acres in size due to better mapping of the fire perimeter.

The McDonald fire continues to burn in an unroaded, semi-primitive area about one mile outside of the Mt. Adams Wilderness Area. The area of the fire has been infected with spruce budworm for nearly a decade, leaving many dead and dying trees for fire to consume and numerous snags for the fire fighters to fall.

Approximately 140 firefighters, including the Fort Apache, Jackson, Prineville, and Redmond hot shot crews, are on the fire line with an additional 60 people committed to the incident. Fire fighters are being supported by two helicopters with water dropping capabilities and three water tenders.

A type three incident management team is currently managing the fire.

Forest Road 8040, accessing the Cold Springs Area, is currently closed to public access one mile south of the Wicky Creek Shelter. Access to the South Climbing route on Mount Adams is closed along with the trailheads and campgrounds listed below. Call ahead or check the web for current access information.

The area of the fire was experiencing warmer weather Sunday with lower humidity and east winds creating more challenging fire fighting conditions. Warmer and dryer weather is forecasted for the next few days.

As of 2 p.m. Sunday containment for the McDonald Complex was estimated at 50 percent. There is still no estimated date of containment.

Independent of the McDonald Complex fires, two new fires started Friday night near Wind River after a lightning storm passed through the area. One, the Pilot fire, is contained. Crews are currently working on the Steelhead fire expected to be contained tomorrow.

Trailheads closed:

South Climb #183, Cold Springs #72, Crofton Butte #73, Gotchen Creek #40, and Round the Mountain Trail #9.

Campgrounds closed:

Cold Springs and Morrison Creek

For additional information please contact Roger Peterson of the U.S. Forest Service at (360) 891-5007.


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