WALLOWA COUNTY — With the Elbow Creek fire up to 10,941 acres, the Umatilla National Forest and surrounding river areas remain temporarily closed to the public. The announcement was made on Friday, July 16, and campers are being evacuated from the area.
As the fire continues to burn on both sides of the Grande Ronde River, the river remains closed at Minam State Park. Any rafters that turn up in range of the fire will be escorted out of the area by Wallowa County Search and Rescue. In addition, the boat ramps remain closed at the Minam State Recreation Area.
With three fires burning on the Umatilla National Forest, the area is closed off in order to promote firefighter safety and protect the public. The full closure limits any public access including the lands, roads, trails and recreational facilities. While there is currently no estimated containment date for the Elbow Creek fire, Umatilla National Forest officials are encouraging the public to cancel any plans to visit the forest in the next few weeks.
The current fire danger rating in the Umatilla National Forest remains extreme as dry conditions have contributed to multiple fires in the region.