Officials lift restrictions on Highway 35

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:

Road Closures

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)

Campground Closures

Nottingham Campground

Sherwood Campground

Trail Closures

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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