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Wildfire means Gorge trails might be closed for months

Damage not yet fully assessed

TROUTDALE, Ore. (AP) - Authorities say trails affected by a wildfire in the Columbia River Gorge might be closed for months.

Dawn Stender, a trail crew supervisor for the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area, tells The Oregonian/OregonLive (http://bit.ly/2w1AyTv) on Monday that trails will likely be off-limits until spring because of landslide risk and damage from the Eagle Creek Fire.

The wildfire damaged the popular Angel's Rest trail and burned a pedestrian bridge near Oneonta Gorge.

It's too early to fully assess the damage elsewhere, but many popular trails were in the middle of the blaze and are likely affected.

Stender says trail crews will be contending with fallen trees, burned snags, rockslides and severe erosion.

The fire has burned more than 33,000 acres (52 square miles). Eastbound lanes of Interstate 84 will remain closed another week; westbound lanes may open sooner, ODOT reports.


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