PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Now that the Eagle Creek Fire is finally fully contained, U.S. Forest Service crews have been assessing trails within the nearly 50,000 burned acres.
More than 20 miles of trails in the burn area have been accessed, including the popular Larch Mountain Trail that starts at Multnomah Falls, The Horsetail-Oneonta Loop and the Pacific Crest Trail.
Crews have found a range of conditions on the trails, from treacherous to less severe damage, although no trails are ready to reopen yet.
Some trails east of Cascade Locks may be ready to open this spring and summer, but nothing is for sure because it depends on weather through the winter. The threat of landslides, rockfalls and downed trees make it very dangerous on the trails.
The USDA said trails between Multnomah Falls and Herman Creek suffered the most fire damage and it will most likely be years before they reopen. The upper viewing platform at Multnomah Falls survived the fire, but 90% of the trail is covered with rocks.
Work on the trails is already underway with the help of volunteers with the new Gorge Trails Recovery Team.