By The Chronicle
A fire reported Sunday morning has led the U.S. Forest Service to close the Indian Heaven Wilderness in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest.
The about 1,000-acre fire, named the East Crater Fire, is located about 12 miles west of Trout Lake.
Forest Service staff have evacuated the Pacific Crest Trail and other trails in the area and swept campgrounds to ensure people were out of the fire’s way.
The Gifford Pinchot National Forest has implemented an emergency closure including all of the Indian Heaven Wilderness.
The Goose Lake Campground is still open. The Pacific Crest Trail is closed from Crest Horse Camp north to Surprise Lakes.
More information on the closures is available at www.fs.usda.gov/alerts/giffordpinchot/alerts-notices.
The cause of the East Crater Fire is under investigation.
“With the current hot weather, vegetation is extremely dry and will ignite quickly,” a press release from the USFS states. “The U.S. Forest Service would like to remind the public to use caution, and recognize that any spark can cause a wildfire.”
Visitors to the park should research restrictions before they travel and plan on using an alternative fuel source for cooking, such as a backpacking stove or propane burner.