Smoke from Mount Jefferson wildfire visible from highway, nearby towns

Whitewater Fire burning in the Willamette National Forest (USDA Forest Service)

DETROIT, Ore. - Smoke from a forest fire burning in the Mount Jefferson Wilderness is visible from Highway 22 and the communities of Marion Forks, Idanha and Detroit, the Willamette National Forest said Tuesday.

A plane spotted the fire Sunday. A fire lookout confirmed the location of the fire as the Whitewater Creek drainage. The fire has been dubbed the Whitewater Fire.

Trail closures in the wilderness announced Monday remained in place Tuesday.

Forest Service Road 2243-370 (off of Highway 20) is now closed just past the Cheat Creek Trailhead to allow for fire-related traffic.

"The trails and road will remain closed to protect public and fire fighter safety until further notice," the Forest Service said in a statement.

The fire is burning about 4 miles from the Whitewater Creek Trailhead, a popular entry point to the wilderness.

No homes are in danger.

Hand crews and helicopters are working to halt the fire's spread. About 85 people are working the fire as of Tuesday, including a trio of 20-person hand crews, 2 heavy helicopters and one light helicopter.

The fire has been mapped at 50 acres. The size is smaller than initial estimates due to more accurate mapping, according to the Forest Service.

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