Hwy. 242

Hwy. 242 closesWith approximately 6 inches of snow already accumulated on the west side of the McKenzie Pass Highway, and more snow expected through the week, the Oregon Dept. of Transportation has closed OR 242, west of the summit, for the season.
The highway was closed to through traffic at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, October 10th, from the junction with 126 to milepost 76.7, three-quarters of a mile west of the Dee Wright Observatory. Access to the observatory will still be available from Sisters until additional snow accumulates on the eastern roadway.

Fire near Scott Lake now contained at 1 acre

A fire raised its smoky head this afternoon on the steep slopes above Highway 242 near Scott Lake. The fire was called in nearly simultaneously by two Lookouts and a recreation visitor on South Sister. The response to the fire was swift and complete, within a few hours of attack the fire is now (at 5 p.m.) just smoldering and there is a line completely around the impacted area.

A wildfire early this afternoon was restricting travel on OR 242 (Old McKenzie Pass Hwy.) at MP 64, approximately 9 miles east of the junction with OR 126 (McKenzie Hwy.). Travelers were advised to avoid the route and be alert for fire fighting equipment and personnel in the area.

At 2 p.m. the Old McKenzie Pass Hwy. was closed at the junction of Hwy. 126. Travelers from the east side (Sisters) were allowed to travel only as far as the Dee Wright Observatory (MP 75.5).

The route reopened at 3:43 p.m.


McKenzie River Reflections

Atop Hwy. 242The year 2014 was the hottest on Earth in 134 years of record-keeping, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA, continuing a pattern of global warming that is attributed primarily to rising levels of greenhouse gases.
Oregon was not exempt from the warming and logged the second hottest year since records were kept beginning in 1895, according to researchers with the Oregon Climate Change Research Institute at Oregon State University.


Weather conditionsMIDDLE SISTERS: The search is continuing for Ben Newkirk, a 39 year old Bend, Oregon resident who is reported to have fallen to the west off the south-east ridge of the Middle Sister in the Three Sisters Wilderness around 10:00 pm on Wednesday, November 12th. Search and Rescue Teams from Deschutes and Lane County responded. The climbing partner of Newkirk was able to walk out to Camp Lake where their camp was established. He was assisted out and back to Bend by Deschutes Search and Rescue personnel.





McKENZIE BRIDGE - With 6 inches of snow already accumulated on McKenzie Pass Highway and another 8-10 inches expected through Friday, the Oregon Department of Transportation will close Oregon 242 for the season as of 9 a.m. today.

Built in the mid-1930s, the highway became a seasonal scenic highway in the 1960s with the completion of the Clear Lake-Belknap Springs section of OR 126.

Oregon Dept. of Transportation crews finally completed blowing snow out of the middle of Highway 242 late Monday. However, according to ODOT spokesman Rick Little, "It is very important that early users understand they will likely encounter a layer of ice on the asphalt when temperatures remain near freezing and high water conditions when the temperature is warmer."
In addition, and very importantly, the extreme cold temperatures of the winter have resulted in the heaving of asphalt at two locations:  Milepost 72.01 and 75.03.


McKenzie River Reflections is the weekly newspaper serving Oregon's McKenzie River Valley. Available by mail for $23/yr in Lane County, $29/yr outside Lane. Digital subscriptions are $23/yr. Subscribe at: http://mckenzieriverreflectionsnewspaper.com/catalog/subscriptions-0. Purchase copies online at: http://mckenzieriverreflectionsnewspaper.com/catalog/back-issues-0. Read about area communities including Cedar Flat, Walterville, Camp Creek, Leaburg, Vida, Nimrod, Finn Rock, Blue River, Rainbow and McKenzie Bridge.