Popular Oregon hiking spot closed indefinitely due to fires
SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Santiam State Forest, one of Oregon’s largest and most popular state forests, will remain closed indefinitely following the Beachie Creek wildfire.
The Statesman Journal reports the forest, which is located 40 miles southeast of Salem, is home to hikes leading to waterfalls, campgrounds and hunting areas.
Some of the most popular hikes impacted by the closure include Shellburg Falls Trail, Butte Creek and Abiqua falls, officials said.
“People should not plan to visit the Santiam this winter for sure,” Oregon Department of Forestry spokesman Jason Cox told the Statesman Journal. “We are still doing assessments and setting priorities, and this will inform which areas we focus on first in terms of re-opening.”
Officials say when the park is deemed to re-open, it will be done in phases.
More than half of the 48,000-acre Santiam State Forest was burned in the wildfire that raged in September. Of the 30 miles of trail in the forest, 24 miles were burned.
The 2020 Oregon wildfire season destroyed more than 1 million acres and killed at least nine people.