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Oregon's Scenic Old McKenzie Highway Likely Closed Until June


A damaged mile marker due to the Milli Fire is pictured in this Sept. 4, 2017, photo of the McKenzie Pass/Santiam Pass Scenic Highway, also known as Oregon Highway 242. 

A damaged mile marker due to the Milli Fire is pictured in this Sept. 4, 2017, photo of the McKenzie Pass/Santiam Pass Scenic Highway, also known as Oregon Highway 242. 

Oregon Department of Transportation/Flickr

The Old McKenzie Highway, winding from Highway 126 near McKenzie Bridge to Sisters, probably will be closed to motorists until spring because of hazards posed by dead and dying trees in forests charred by recent wildfires, state highway officials said Friday.

“It’s unlikely that it will open before it starts snowing,” said Angela Beers Seydel, spokeswoman for the Oregon Department of Transportation in Springfield. ODOT closes the road — Highway 242 — every winter when snowdrifts build up on it.

The Separation and Milli fires both burned along Highway 242, a popular scenic route. The highway already has been closed for weeks because of the fires and will remain closed while loggers on contract with the U.S. Forest Service cut down hazardous trees. Forest Service workers have identified trees that might topple within three to five years.

“Some were burned quite badly and didn’t fall,” said ODOT spokesman Peter Murphy in Bend.

Read more at The Register-Guard.

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