Eagle Creek Fire detours hikers on the Pacific Crest Trail - KPTV - FOX 12

Eagle Creek Fire detours hikers on the Pacific Crest Trail

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CASCADE LOCKS, OR (KPTV) -

The Eagle Creek Fire is not just affecting people who live and work in the Columbia River Gorge. It's also affecting those hiking the Pacific Crest Trail.

Hikers Bradley Kilgore, Betty Cameron and Tim Cameron spent two years planning the more than 2,600-mile hike of the Pacific Crest Trail.

The trio started in Mexico in April but remained halted Monday morning at a parking lot near the Bridge of the Gods in Cascade Locks.

Tim Cameron said the group had already traveled more than 2,000 miles on their journey, though the trip through Oregon has seen numerous unplanned hurdles due to the wildfires burning around the state.

“It's been dogging our progress. We just had to skip 130 miles of the trail because of the fires in Oregon,” he explained. “It is a big worry. It is quite hard to get information. and fires can be springing up all around us and we don't know.”

Kilgore said their goal is still to complete the trail and reach Canada by October 1. They just want to make sure they can do that safely.

“We always make sure we have access roads or a way to get away from the fire. or try to,” he said.

The three hikers were just five miles from the Eagle Creek Fire when it roared to life on Saturday. When word reached them that hikers were trapped by the wildfire, Kilgore described it as “kind of a sobering moment” while Betty Cameron said it also served as a reminder to not panic.

“It does cross our minds that a fire could spring up, but we really try not to panic and keep a level head,” she told FOX 12.

The Eagle Creek Fire closed a number of trails the three hoped to hike Monday, something that Betty said they would just have to work through.

“I am trying to be completely respectful of warnings from the Forest Service and closures,” she said. “We're not trying to hike through anything that's been deemed dangerous.”

The group told FOX 12 that they wish they could have seen Oregon at its best and not through smoke and haze.

“Oh, it's heartbreaking not to get to hike the trail that's been closed like we've been doing for months,” Betty said, “We've really been looking forward to Oregon, and we've had to miss so much of the state.”

In the end, the hikers just crossed the Bridge of the Gods to hike the day on the Washington side of the Gorge as they make their way north.

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