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Fires stall Pacific Crest Trail hiking plans

Pair regroups and reroutes in Bend

Fires complicate PCT plans

BEND, Ore. - Trails are being blazed, but not by hikers.

“We started hitting some more fires since we’ve come in to Oregon,” Olivia Edgar said Wednesday.

Edgar and Dylan Valentine came from Australia to hike the entire Pacific Crest Trail. They’ve already put a lot of miles behind them.

“California is the longest state on the PCT,” Valentine said. “It’s 1,690 miles almost. Because of fires we had to actually drive across the Oregon border, which was a bit of a bummer.”

Several fires burning around the state changed plans for many.  

“We thought the snow was going to be the big issue, but actually the fires have turned out to be the big story of 2017,” said Brian Douglass, the head trail angel for the Central Oregon Pacific Crest Trail Angel program. 

Douglass said this fire season is the worst for PCT users he’s ever seen. 

“We’ve seen as many as 75 to maybe 150 hikers kind of slumped together in one spot, all trying to figure out how to get out of Dodge,” he said. 

That’s exactly what Edgar and Valentine are contemplating. 

“We’re in the early stages of figuring that out. We’re thinking of going to Washington,” Valentine said. 

Edgar added, “There are so many fires in Oregon, which is really terrible, (so) we will probably not have too much trail left in Oregon that we can hike.”

The pair will likely bypass the rest of the state,  a plan Douglass recommends. 

“I would tell them that this was not the year. The only thing they can hope for is to section-hike small parts of it now,” he said. 

The link below has information on Pacific Crest Trail closures:

https://www.pcta.org/discover-the-trail/trail-conditions-and-closures/


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