LOW - Fires are not easily started. Fuels do not ignite readily from small firebrands, although a more intense ignition source, such as lightning, may start many fires in duff or punky wood. Fires in open cured grassland may burn freely a few hours after rain, but fires burning in forested areas spread slowly by creeping or smoldering, and burn in irregular fingers. There is little danger of spotting.
MODERATE - Fires start easily and spread at a moderate rate. Fires can start from most accidental causes, but with the exception of lightning fires in some areas, the number of starts is generally low. Fires in open-cured grassland will burn briskly and spread rapidly on windy days. Woods fires spread slowly to moderately fast. The average fire is of moderate intensity, although heavy concentrations of fuel may burn hot. Short-distance spotting may occur, but is not persistent. Fires are not likely to become serious, and control is relatively easy.
HIGH - Fires start easily and spread at a fast rate. All fine dead fuels ignite readily and fires start easily from most causes. Unattended campfires are likely to escape. Fires spread rapidly and short-distance spotting is common. High- intensity burning may develop on slopes, or in concentrations of fine fuel. Fire may become serious and difficult to control unless they are hit hard and fast while small.
VERY HIGH - Fires start very easily and spread at a very fast rate. Fires start easily from all causes, spread rapidly and intensify quickly. Spot fires are a constant danger. Fires burning in heavy fuels may quickly develop high-intensity characteristics, such as long-distance spotting and fire whirlwinds. Direct attack at the head of such fires is rarely possible after they have been burning more than a few minutes.
EXTREME - The fire situation is explosive and can result in extensive property damage. Fires under extreme conditions start quickly, spread furiously, and burn intensely. All fires are potentially serious. Development into high-intensity burning will usually be faster and occur from smaller fires than in the very high danger class. Direct attack is rarely possible, and may be dangerous, except immediately after ignition. Fires burning in heavy slash or in conifer stands may be unmanageable while the extreme burning condition lasts. Under these conditions, the only effective and safe control action is on the flanks until the weather changes or the fuel supply lessens.
Winter is upon us. Please be prepared for all conditions and be aware that there are fewer daylight hours. Leave an itinerary and do not rely on electronic devices See the outdoor safety page for more.
A portion of the Wahkeena Trail #420 has washed out about 1/4 mile from the Historic Highway trailhead. The trail is still passable but may wash out more before repairs can be done. The Forest Service and Pacific Crest Trail Association plan to repair the washout in the next couple of weeks, weather permitting.
The Catherine Creek Arch area is closed for the protection of the geologic and cultural resources permanently. Please click here for a map of the area closure. The closure area is deliniated on the ground by fencing. Please click here for the forest order.
The Multnomah County Sheriff's Office would like to remind the public to leave those valuables that you don’t plan on carrying with you at home or in your hotel room when visiting the beautiful Columbia Gorge Scenic Area.
We encourage you to only carry the essentials such as your driver's license, debit/credit card, cell phones, cameras thatyou can keep with you when exiting your vehicle.
Items such as Laptops, MP3 players, GPS units, purses, and backpacks are placed at risk for theft if stored in a vehicle while visiting the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area. If you must leave valuables in your vehicle, place them in your trunk BEFORE you get to your destination so as not to alert opportunistic crooks that you have placed valuables in your trunk.
Finally, please report any suspicious activity immediately and minimize your opportunity to become a victim of a car prowl.
A large landslide has made access to Triple Falls impassable from the north side of the trail. The slide is about 1 mile from the Historic Highway. The popular Horsetail Falls/Oneonta Trail loop is still open.
A large slide has rendered the Oneonta Trail #424 impassable. The slide is at about milepost 1.0 from the historic highway heading south. Access to Triple Falls will not be possible from the north. The Horsetail Falls/Oneonta loop is still open (the slide is about 1/4 mile south of the Horsetail/Oneonta junction.