Officials lift restrictions on Highway 35


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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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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