Columbia Gorge trails might be closed for months

Angel's Rest Trail among those affected

Destruction from the Eagle Creek Fire can be seen from Chopper 6, Thursday September 7 2017. (KOIN)
Destruction from the Eagle Creek Fire can be seen from Chopper 6, Thursday September 7 2017. (KOIN)

TROUTDALE, Ore. (AP) – Authorities say trails affected by an Oregon wildfire in the Columbia River Gorge might be closed for months.

Dawn Stender, a trail crew supervisor for the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area, tells The Oregonian/OregonLive on Monday that trails will likely be off-limits until spring because of landslide risk and fire damage.

Angel's Rest Trailhead in the Columbia River Gorge. (KOIN)
Angel’s Rest Trailhead in the Columbia River Gorge. (KOIN)

The wildfire damaged the popular Angel’s Rest trail and burned a pedestrian bridge near Oneonta Gorge.

It’s too early to fully assess the damage elsewhere but many popular trails were in the middle of the blaze and are likely affected. Stender says trail crews will be contending with fallen trees, burned snags, rockslides and severe erosion.

The fire has burned 52 square miles (134 square kilometers). Eastbound lanes of Interstate 84 will remain closed another week.

Archer Mountain Fire

Officials overseeing the Archer Mountain Fire in Skamania County said the fire — now 259 acres — is 40% contained.

The DNR has implemented burn restrictions in the region as local conditions indicate.

The fire began September 5 when embers from the Eagle Creek Fire jumped the Columbia River and sparked the blaze about 10 miles northwest of North Bonneville.

Officials said the weather conditions remain favorable to fight the Archer Mountain Fire.

A containment map for the Archer Mountain Fire, released September 11, 2017 (Washington DNR)
A containment map for the Archer Mountain Fire, released September 11, 2017 (Washington DNR)

KOIN 6 News contributed to this report