PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The Santiam Canyon wilderness area is set to open again for the first time in two years following the forest fires that scorched the area in 2020 and 2021 — but don’t celebrate just yet.
For the past few years, the Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management have been hard at work clearing hazards and working to repair the damage caused by the 2020 Labor Day fire and the 2021 Middle Fork Complex fire.
They finally announced that the wilderness area would be opening again, there are however a few caveats.
While parts of the forest are technically open again, many of the main access points, including roads, trailheads and recreation sites are remaining closed until the end of the summer to ensure safe travel to popular spots in the area. This includes areas like Salmon Falls and Bear Creek.
As such, Marion County officials say that it isn’t advised to travel into these areas. They also had this to say:
“We are proud of the diligent work Marion County and its partners, including BLM and the Forest Service have done to reopen the canyon, but there is still much to do to ensure the safety of county residents traveling into the area,” they said.
For a complete list of closures visit the Marion County website.