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La Dee OHV area reopens, Highway 224 closure expected to continue through the end of this year after 140,000 acre fire

PMG PHOTO: JAIME VALDEZ  - The entrance to the Mt. Hood National Forest on Highway 224 remains closed to the public in the aftermath of the Riverside Fire.

After a closure in the aftermath of last fall's Riverside Fire, the La Dee Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) Riding Area reopened in mid-October.

The area is accessible by Forest Road 4613 near Southeast Tumala Mountain Road, seven miles south of Estacada city limits. La Dee has 28 miles of trails, log crawls and a climbing area, along with opportunities for all classes of ATVs.

Though La Dee has reopened, many Forest Service closures remain in place because of the 140,000 acre Riverside Fire. This fire, which came within a half-mile of Estacada city limits, reached full containment in December. There were no fatalities from the Riverside and nearby Dowty Road fires, but 150 structures in the Estacada area were lost — including 50 homes.

Because of significant damage from the fire, Highway 224 is closed past Promontory Park. Additionally, Forest Roads 46 and 45 are also closed.

The closure areas also include Lazy Bend, Cater Bridge, Big Eddy, Armstrong, Lockaby, Fish Creek, Roaring River, Sunstrip, Indian Henry, Alder Flat, Rainbow, Ripplebrook, Riverside, Bagby, Memaloose Lake, Lower Lake, Olallie Lake, Camp Ten Peninsula and Horseshoe Lake.

Highway 224, managed by the Oregon Department of Transportation, is expected to open by the end of 2021. To ensure safety in the aftermath of the fire, crews are removing hazard trees and rocks and installing fences and barriers. Some hazard trees had to be assessed by drone and then removed by helicopter. Additionally, prior to safety fencing being installed, crews have to climb up the hillside to perform rock scaling or remove the unstable rock using hand tools.

To view a complete map of the closure, visit fs.usda.gov.


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