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Scenic Oregon highway likely to remain closed until spring

McKenzie Pass Highway (USDA Forest Service)

EUGENE, Ore. (AP) — A scenic highway that connects the central Oregon town of Sisters to Belknap Springs on the other side of the McKenzie Pass will likely remain closed to motorists until spring.

Oregon Department of Transportation officials tell The Register-Guard that dead and dying trees in forests scorched by wildfires make Oregon Route 242 unsafe.

Loggers on contract with the U.S. Forest Service have been working along the road cutting down hazardous trees.

Officials also say heavy firefighting equipment damaged the roadway and culverts are filled with debris.

The road typically closes to vehicles sometime after mid-October as winter arrives.

Officials say skiers and snowmobile riders and other winter recreationists might have access to the area during the winter.

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