Popular trails in the Columbia River Gorge recently reopened for the first time since the Eagle Creek Fire in September 2017.

Heavy rains have closed the Eagle Creek Trail in the Columbia River Gorge again. It reopened New Year's Day following a period of recovery after the 2017 Eagle Creek fire.

Debbie Asakawa

The Eagle Creek Fire of 2017 is still causing problems in the Columbia River Gorge.

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The Eagle Creek Recreation Area and Trail are closed because of the heavy rains earlier this week.

Stan Hinatsu with the U.S. Forest Service said when the trail reopened on New Year’s Day, crowds of hikers turned up. But now visitors will have to wait to visit the area again. How long, no one knows.

“The last few winters have been relatively mild, so the landscape really hasn’t been tested,” said Hinatsu.

“So when you think about the loss of vegetation, all those trees that have burned, the very steep slopes in there, and the really heavy rain. It really tested the landscape in those areas.”

The Forest Service is partnering with the Pacific Crest Trail Association to remove large fallen trees, landslides, rockfalls and other damage. But clean-up won’t start until the area is considered safe.

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