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Wildfire Update: Thunderstorms and Trail Closures

Posted by Loren Drummond at Aug 02, 2014 12:55 PM |
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New thunderstorms, high winds and a stretch of 90 and 100 degree weather continue to impact communities and complicate the wildfire situation on the east slope of the Cascades. Many trails are closed for the safety of hikers and fire crews.

New thunderstorms, high winds and a stretch of 90 and 100 degree weather continue to impact communities and complicate the wildfire situation on the east slope of the Cascades. Many trails are closed for the safety of hikers and fire crews.

Below is a partial list of the trail closures throughout the state, but conditions can change quickly, so it's a good idea to double check the status of the area before you leave.

Carlton Complex Fire

Multiple fires burning across 251,698 acres in the rough triangle between Chelan, Okanogan and Winthrop are impacting local communities and closing area trails. Below is a partial list of trails closed due to fire in the Methow Ranger District of the Okanogan-Wentachee National Forest.

  • Beaver Lake (#359)
  • Crater Creek Trail (#416)
  • Dean Creek Trail (#456)
  • Eagle Lakes (#416)
  • East Fork Buttermilk (#420)
  • East Fork Pasayten (#451)
  • Foggy Dew Creek (#417)
  • Libby Creek (#415)
  • Middle Fork Ridge #418
  • Lightning Creek (#425)
  • Lookout Mountain Trail (#412)
  • Martin Creek (#429)
  • Middle Fork Beaver Creek (#406)
  • Pearrygin Peak (#526)
  • Sunrise Lake (417.2)

Get more details and maps from the Cartlton Complex.

Follow this fire on Twitter at #CarltonComplex

Chiwakum Creek fire: trail closures, delays on Hwy 2

The second largest complex fire in the state, the Chiwaukum Creek along Highway 2 between Coles Corner and Leavenworth has closed a number of trails and caused off-and-on closures of Hwy 2. Expect delays along this stretch, and be prepared for the road to close suddenly.

Fire crews have been making progress containing the fire, but they have also been responding to several new fires in the area: two in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness on French and Black Pine Ridges, one near Little Wenatchee River, one near Merritt Lake Trail, and one in Panther Creek north of Lake Wenatchee.

As of July 24, the following areas and trails were closed by the Okanogan-Wenatchee Forest Service because of safety concerns to hikers and firefighters.

  • Icicle Ridge Trail (#1570) Hatchery Creek Trail (#1577)
  • Fourth of July Trail (1579)
  • Painter Creek Trail (#1575)
  • Index Creek Trail (#1572)
  • Chiwaukum Creek Trail & South Fork Chiwaukum Creek Trail (#1571)
  • North Fork Chiwaukum Creek Trail (#1591)
  • Chatter Creek Trail (#1580)
  • Badlands Trail (#1576)
  • Glacier Creek Trail (#1573)
  • McCue Ridge Trail (#1574)
  • Roaring Creek Trail (#1584)
  • Loch Eileen (#1584.1) Lake Ethel (#1585)

Icicle Road and all campgrounds along Icicle Road remain open.

Lone Mountain Fire

The Lone Mountain Fire is burning in a remote part of the Stephen Mather Wilderness in North Cascades National Park approximately five miles northwest of Stehekin in the Boulder Creek drainage. For safety, park officials banned some campground use and closed area trails. The following trails remain closed:

  • Boulder Creek Trail from Hooter Camp to War Creek Pass
  • Williams Creek Trail (#407)
  • War Creek Trail (#408) to War Creek Pass
  • South Fork War Creek (#407)
  • Libby Lake Trail (#415)
  • East Fork Buttermilk Trail (#420) to Hoodoo Pass

Entiat Area fires

The Mills Canyon and Kelly Mountain fires are largely contained, but trails (or roads to trails) are still closed in the Entiat Mountains. If you are planning a trip to the Entiat, monitor the situation closely and check conditions before you leave.

Salmo-Priest Wilderness

Lightning has also caused a very small 3-acre fire that firefighters are monitoring in the Salmo-Priest Wilderness a half mile east of the Shedroof Divide.

Additional fire information and resources

Research trails near the wildfire area, get the latest information or find out how to help communities impacted by trails, visit

On Twitter, follow #WaWILDFIRE for the latest statewide.

Tip: If you ever have a question about hiking in a region with an active wildfire, contact or visit a ranger station.

WTA Recommends: No backcountry campfires

The hot, dry weather is also prompting campfire restrictions in many areas around the state. These restrictions are being expanded daily. To be perfectly safe:

  • Backpacking: WTA recommends that all backpackers refrain from making campfires until fire season has passed.
  • Car Camping: please check with a campground host before lighting a campfire, as some counties and forests are expanding their bans to campgrounds as well.

The fire impacts on trails

Until the wildfires burning across Washington are out, we won't know the impact to your favorite trails. Fires can have positive impacts on forest ecosystems overall, but they can do real damage to hiking trails.

WTA has a lot of experience helping land management agencies reestablish trails in burned forests. If you're interested in the process, read this 2012 Q&A with Alan Carter Mortimer, WTA's Field Director, about the impact fires can have on trails and what helping a trail recover involves.