A wildfire near Eugene, Oregon, that ignited Sunday and called the Terwilliger Fire has exploded to 1,250 acres by Wednesday morning, up from an estimated 250 acres on Tuesday. The fire is having a major impact on the recreation season in the Cougar Reservoir area east of Eugene. The U.S. Forest Service has closed down 26 campgrounds, recreation sites and hiking trails due to the Terwilliger Fire.
The closure includes Aufderheide Scenic Highway and Terwilliger Hot Springs, which only opened recently after a landslide had kept the area closed last winter.
“We understand this is a disappointment to residents and visitors who patiently waited for the road to reopen after the December 2017 landslide, but unfortunately, the risk is too great,” said Forest Supervisor Tracy Beck. “Our highest responsibility must be visitor and firefighter safety.”
The closure also closes down a number of areas, including the French Pete Trail and Campground, that were closed last year due to the Horse Creek Complex fires.
There’s no timetable for reopening the sites.
The fire ignited near the trail to Terwilliger Hot Springs on Sunday, nearly trapping 20 people at the hot springs, including a father and son. The origin of the fire remains under investigation.
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