Friday, September 22, 2006
By SUE RYAN
News staff writer
September 6, 2006
Following close to a month of on-again, off-again closures and restrictions for Highway 35, fire officials have lifted all restrictions for traveling around Mount Hood.
The restrictions came about as part of the Bluegrass Ridge, running parallel to the highway, burned during the Mount Hood Fire Complex. Fire officials shut down the highway Aug. 8 after the blaze began burning Aug. 7.
The fire remains active although officials had initially estimated 100 percent containment by Sept. 4.
“It’s at 90 percent containment right now,” said Forest Service spokesman Paul Norman on Tuesday morning. “We have a problem area in the middle of the fire and it’s been kind of active off and on.”
He said there was no official 100 percent containment date at this time and that the fire would probably remain at 90 percent containment for some time.
The closure area boundary around the fire complex has also been reduced in size to allow for the reopening of the Teacup Lake area. There are still closures in place on Mount Hood, which include:
Mt. Hood Ski Meadows Road (Forest Road 3555)
Hood River Meadows Road (Forest Road 3545)
All roads west of Highway 35 from the Polallie Trailhead south to Mt. Hood Meadows Road 3555 (this includes the 3500-670, 671, 620; 3520; 3520-620, 621 and 622)
647 Bluegrass Ridge
650 East Fork
645 Elk Meadows
647B Elk Meadows/Bluegrass Tie
645A Elk Meadows Perimeter
647C Elk Mountain Vista
652 Gnarl Ridge
646 Newton Creek
643A Polallie Ridge
667C Sahalie Falls
650A Tamanawas Falls
650B Tamanawas Tie
667 Umbrella Falls
Additional fire restrictions remain in place including no use of motorized vehicles on National Forest system trails, no smoking outside of vehicles, and no firewood cutting until further notice due to high fire danger.
Restrictions are still in place for building campfires or charcoal fires except in certain locations. Contact the Mt. Hood Ranger District for more information at 352-6002.
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Lawnmower torches Arbor Vitae on Portland Drive
The riding lawn mower driven by Norma Cannon overheated and made contact with dry arbor vitae owned by Lee and Norma Curtis, sending more than a dozen of the tightly-packed trees up in flames. The mower, visible at far right, was totaled. No one was injured; neighbors first kept the fire at bay with garden hoses and Westside and Hood River Fire Departments responded and doused the fire before it reached any structures. Westside Fire chief Jim Trammell, in blue shirt, directs firefighters. The video was taken by Capt. Dave Smith of Hood River Fire Department. Enlarge