CRATER LAKE NATIONAL PARK, Ore. - The Spruce Lake Fire exhibited very active fire behavior Thursday as it continued to spread toward the rim of the caldera at Crater Lake National Park, prompting park officials to close the West Rim Drive and more trails. The fire is now estimated to be 3,600 acres in size, officials said Friday.
Firefighters continued to construct containment lines working from the west end of the fire in a flanking action. Helicopter water drops are being used to slow the progression of the fire to allow the crews on the ground the ability to directly attack the fire.
On Friday, fire managers continued to assess their strategy to suppress this fire, using natural barriers and the burn scar from the 2016 Bybee Fire as potential containment opportunities. Seven 20-person hand crews continued line construction, aided by helicopter water drops.
Friday's weather was forecast to again be abnormally hot and dry, with afternoon winds gusting to 20 mph. The prolonged hot, dry weather pattern is continuing to influence the progression of the fire, officials said.
As the days heat up, the fire produces a large smoke plume carrying fire brands that are transported by the prevailing westerly winds, creating spot fires up to a mile in front of the main fire front, and continue that progression on an easterly path.
Park visitors are not at risk, officials said. Crater Lake National Park and all concessions remain open and welcome visitors. Alternate routes and activities are available to enjoy the park.
Closures within Crater Lake National Park:
• West Rim Drive from Munson Valley Road to North Junction
• Pacific Crest Trail from the intersection of Dutton Creek Trail north to the North Entrance road
• Rim Trail from Discovery Point to North Junction
• Boundary Springs Trail
• Bald Crater Loop Trail
• Bert Creek Trail
• Lightning Springs Trail
• Discovery Point Trail
• Closure on Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest from Crater Lake National Park boundary west to Highway 230 roughly three miles on either side of the Jackson/Douglas County line. For detailed description of the closure area, go to: www.fs.usda.gov/rogue-siskiyou.
To view current visual smoke impacts from Rim Village go to: www.nps.gov/crla/learn/photosmultimedia/webcams.
To view current air quality data from the Park Headquarters go to: oregonsmoke.blogspot.com
More information at: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5450/