Crater/Diamond Lake Fires Still Making Travel Difficult
UPDATE: MONDAY, AUGUST 24, 5:00 P.M. ... It's hard to get around near Crater Lake National Park as crews work to contain the National Creek fire complex.
The two fires burning in Crater Lake National Park and the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest since August 1st now total 10,833 acres. The fires are 10 percent contained.
The Level 1 (Get Ready) evacuation order for the area around Diamond Lake Area has been lifted.
On Sunday, the fire was not as active as previous days due to an inversion layer shading vegetation which reduced the intensity of the fire. Helicopters could not be used safely to assist firefighters when heavy smoke covered the area.
On the south flank some group tree torching and short-range spotting occurred. Multiple spot fires were detected and quickly suppressed east of the North Entrance Road to Crater Lake National Park.
Crater Lake National Park has closed the north entrance road between State Highway 138 at the park’s north boundary and the Crater Lake west rim drive at north junction.
State Highway 230 will be open to the public when conditions are safe. Check with Tripcheck.com or call 511 for current information. Even when open, areas of dense smoke, large fire equipment and firefighters along the road are possible. Pilot car escorts may be used or other restrictions may apply. Please allow extra time for safe travel.
ORIGINAL POST: FRIDAY, AUGUST 21 ... The National Creek Complex of fires continues to trouble travelers and require the attention of firefighters in an area between Crater Lake and Diamond Lake.
Firefighters caught a break from the weather Friday (Aug. 21), but it was a minimal one: temperatures dropped a bit from Thursday, but the wind picked up, with some gusts expected to reach 20 mph.
Fire managers said they would keep a sharp watch for spotting, new fires starting from embers carried by the wind.
For a second day, crews expected to close Oregon Highway 138 intermittently, as smoke from burnout operations nearby reduces visibility on the road.
Oregon 230 remains closed for its entire length, from the Oregon 62 turnoff near Union Creek to Diamond Lake Junction, a distance of 24 miles. The north entrance road into Crater Lake also remains closed from Diamond Lake Junction into the park. Both roads have been closed all week, for fire crew staging and as de facto containment lines.
The Mail Tribune of Medford reports hard times at Diamond Lake Resort as a result of the road closures. A trip from Medford to Diamond Lake normally covers 85 miles. With travelers forced to detour through Roseburg, the mileage effectively doubles.
Travelers from the Rogue Valley to Central Oregon are also diverted, having to seek routes either north or south of Upper Klamath Lake.
The fires, by the numbers, as of this afternoon: two fires, 8,880 acres (roughly 14 square miles), 10% contained.