Wednesday, February 1, 2023
Feb. 1, 2023

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Pacific Crest trail alternative route opened around Mount Adams fire

The Columbian

TROUT LAKE — Divide Camp trail No. 112 in the Mount Adams Wilderness has been reopened to provide Pacific Crest trail hikers a route around the Horseshoe Fire in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest.

The detour for northbound hikers begins at the junction of the Crest trail, Pinchot road No. 8810 and Pinchot road No. 23. Hikers will follow road No. 23 to road No. 2329 past Takhlakh Lake to the Divide Camp trailhead.

It is about a three-mile hike on Divide Camp trail to the Crest trail.

On Monday, firefighters hiked two miles to reach the perimeter of the 250-acre Horseshoe Fire and assess suppression techniques.

Firefighters will use “minimum impact suppression techniques” because the fire in within a wilderness area.

A reconnaissance team on Monday determined the fire has burned up to the boundary of the Cascade Creek Fire of 2012 on its south and east perimeters. The lack of ground fuel in the burned area helps slow the new fire’s movement, according to the website of the Washington Interagency Incident Management Team No. 4.

Brian Gales, incident commander, said ground fuels are smoulder along the fire’s northern perimeter, where small ponds and swampy areas have slowed growth.

“Helicopter water bucket drops have helped slow the fire along the northern boundary, and kept the fire from burning into the contiguous, flammable forest beyond that perimeter,” Gales said. “If the winds continue to cooperate, we have a good chance to contain this fire with the firefighting resources that will arrive over the next several days.”

The fire is at about the 5,300-foot elevation level on Riley Camp trail No. 64. A spike camp for firefighters is being established south of Riley Camp trail and north of Island Lake.