Gifford Pinchot Hike

Mt. St. Helens is seen above the tree line from the Gifford Pinchot National Forest in mid-July 2020.

Emergency crews continue to fight the Big Hollow Fire, which is currently burning 15 miles northwest of Carson and 7 miles southeast of Cougar in Skamania County. On Monday, crews continued working in the west along roads 57 and 58 and prepared roads to burn a control line at the fire’s southern edge. As of Tuesday, Sept. 15, the fire was 20,805 acres in size and 10 percent contained. The cause is unknown. Six hand crews, nine engines and one helicopter have been used to fight the blaze. 

Crews also cleared fuels along roads in the Siouxon Block and built containment lines on Monday. Crews monitored fire progress above the west ridge of Wind River Highway and held the fire on Road 201. Structure protection continued at Government Mineral Springs, and sprinklers were installed and crews prepared Trapper Creek Trail as a possible containment line on the fire’s southeast end. 

On Tuesday, crews continued operations along roads 57 and 58 and installed fire lines to limit the blaze’s progress south of Canyon Creek. Crews monitored fire in the Wind River drainage and reduced fuels as needed to stop fire spread. To limit fire spread east of Wind River Highway, crews burned a control line east of Road 64 and north of Road 201. 

As of Tuesday, emergency services have issued a Level 3 evacuation order for Government Mineral Springs and a Level 1 evacuation order for those north and west of the fire including Yale, Cougar and parts of Amboy and Yacolt. Area closures include most developed campgrounds, dispersed camping, most forest roads and trails in southwest Gifford Pinchot National Forest. Closures for the Siouxon Block and Merrill Lake Natural Conservation Area also are inplace. However, the Pacific Crest Trail is open.

Air quality information for the area is available online at wasmoke.blogspot.com/ 

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