Forest Service closes area north of Diamond Lake

·2 min read

Aug. 5—The U.S. Forest Service has closed areas north of Diamond Lake and a section of the Pacific Crest Trail because of danger from wildfires in the area.

Diamond Lake Resort remains open with some haze from nearby fires, a staff member said by phone Friday afternoon.

Smoke conditions at the resort have varied based on wind conditions. Phone service to the resort was temporarily knocked out early this week by a lightning storm, the resort said on its Facebook page.

The Forest Service closures announced Friday include a significant portion of the Diamond Peak Wilderness Area and Summit Lake; an area skirting the northwest side of Crescent Lake; the northern portion of the Mount Thielsen Wilderness Area; several Forest Service roads and numerous campgrounds and trails.

The Pacific Crest Trail is closed from Oregon state Highway 138 to Highway 58, which represent miles 1,848 to 1,908 on the trail that stretches through California, Oregon and Washington.

Previous closures on the Umpqua National Forest are included in the new closure area. The combined closures impact parts of the Umpqua, Deschutes, Willamette and Fremont-Winema National Forests, officials said.

The full closure order and map are available at tinyurl.com/58a37mhs.

The Windigo Fire north of Diamond Lake was at 1,072 acres Friday. Other smaller fires are also burning in the area, according to the national Incident Information System.

"This large closure area is necessary to ensure that firefighters can focus on managing the fire versus having to focus on evacuating visitors should conditions of either fire change rapidly," Forest Service officials said in a press release. "We understand the inconvenience this creates for the recreation public. We sincerely appreciate your support while we stay focused on firefighting. We will reduce the closure area as soon as we can safely do so."

The closest Oregon Department of Environmental Quality air monitoring and reporting site is at Crater Lake National Park. Air quality was moderate at the park Friday afternoon. For updates, see oraqi.deq.state.or.us/home/map.

Reach Mail Tribune reporter Vickie Aldous at 541-776-4486 or valdous@rosebudmedia.com. Follow her on Twitter @VickieAldous.