'Significant damage': Trails torched by Eagle Creek Fire

I-84 to remain closed through the weekend

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While many of the Columbia River Gorge's most iconic landmarks have been preserved so far from the Eagle Creek Fire, one area that has been harmed are the trails.

"There is significant damage to the trails," said Lt. Damon Simmons of the Oregon Fire Marshal's Office on Thursday morning. "You're going to see that when you're out there and it's going to take awhile for that to recover."

KGW's Pat Dooris shared a photo taken by Sky8 near the top of Angel's Rest that shows the damage the wildfire has inflicted on the trail.

VIDEO: Sky8 captures damage to trails in gorge

Simmons said he had no timeframe for when the trails would reopen, saying the U.S. Forest Service will need to address what the plan for restoration and reopening of the gorge's trails.

"They're going to have to make sure it's perfectly safe for people to be out there before they open those trails up," he said.

RELATED: Tragic view: Oneonta Tunnel after the Eagle Creek Fire

On Wednesday, Simmons said the gorge didn't look like a burned wasteland and that much of the area's beauty had not been impacted by the fire, which has burned more than 33,000 acres since it started on Saturday, Sept. 2. On Thursday, Simmons clarified his comments.

"To be clear, a fire did go through the gorge," he said. "My point is, it is very much a mosaic burn. There are definitely areas that will look very different."

© 2017 KGW-TV


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