Columbia Gorge trails might be closed for months

(Courtesy: Eagle Creek Fire/Facebook)

TROUTDALE, Ore. (AP) – Authorities say trails affected by an Oregon wildfire in the Columbia River Gorge might be closed for months.

Dawn Stender, a trail crew supervisor for the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area, tells The Oregonian on Monday that trails will likely be off-limits until spring because of landslide risk and fire damage.

The wildfire damaged the popular Angel’s Rest trail and burned a pedestrian bridge near Oneonta Gorge.

It’s too early to fully assess the damage elsewhere but many popular trails were in the middle of the blaze and are likely affected.

Stender says trail crews will be contending with fallen trees, burned snags, rockslides and severe erosion.

The fire has burned 52 square miles. Eastbound lanes of Interstate 84 will remain closed another week.