More than 100 firefighters are working on the Silver Creek fire east of Salem in Silver Falls State Park. The fire, reported on July 12th, forced the evacuation of a YMCA youth camp on Friday, and has closed some backcounty trails. The fire is currently estimated at 27 acres and continues to burn in in remote, steep, timbered terrain in the Howard Creek drainage.
Crews from the Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) and partner agencies cut a trail toward the fire while aviation resources dropped water and retardant. After successfully forging trails to reach the fire, ground and air attacks made headway and containment is currently at 25%. The area is especially challenging for firefighters due to steep slopes and the nature of a mature forest; thick undergrowth slows progress and snags pose a falling hazard.
The 214 Trailhead and several backcountry trails, Howard Creek horse camp and day-use area, youth camp (Camp Silver Creek), and the Ranches are all closed. Howard Creek and the Ranches are closed to serve as command posts. Other areas of the park are currently operating normally, with no interruptions to scheduled events.
With hot, dry weather in the region, officials warn that conditions can change quickly. Temperatures in the area could approach 100 degrees on Sunday.
Any visitors who plan to visit Silver Falls State Park should check for updates at oregonstateparks.org.