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local | Land use | Environment | News | OPB's Coverage Of The Oregon Solar Eclipse 2017

Whitewater Wildfire Closes Prime Solar Eclipse Viewing Area


The Whitewater Fire in the Mount Jefferson Wilderness Area has continued to grow in size since this photograph was taken on July 26, 2017. 

The Whitewater Fire in the Mount Jefferson Wilderness Area has continued to grow in size since this photograph was taken on July 26, 2017. 

Willamette National Forest/U.S. forest Service

Just two weeks ago, the Mount Jefferson area was expected to be among Oregon’s most popular places to view the total solar eclipse Aug. 21.  

But with the Whitewater Fire continuing to expand and all evidence pointing toward additional growth, U.S. Forest Service officials closed a large swath of land surrounding Oregon’s second-tallest mountain beginning Monday and effective through eclipse day. 

The closure includes 117,000 acres of roads, trails and mountains in and around the Mount Jefferson Wilderness. It includes popular hiking destinations Jefferson Park, Pamelia Lake and the Pacific Crest Trail for about 30 miles. 

Tens of thousands were expected to visit the Jefferson and Detroit Lake areas because they are smack in the middle of the eclipse’s path of totality. 

Read more at the Statesman Journal.

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