The fire brought many changes to Nesika. It’s brighter and hotter without the shade once provided by the huge firs, and we are seeing many new kinds of plant life, including fireweed, which grows in areas recently burned.
At the August 2018 work weekend, Trails Club members and friends made good progress on rebuilding the roof of the generator shed and built the first of the planned tent platforms. More work was done on electrical and we tested the lines to the lodge. The generator is still away for maintenance but should be back soon. When it returns we’ll be ready to hook up the power. In the meantime, portable generators power tools and keep lights on in the lodge.
Volunteers began restocking the wood room and cleared branches if brush along the tractor road and trail to the lodge.
We achieved a welcome milestone on the July 2018 work weekend – the viewpoint benches have been restored and the path to the point graded and widened!
Work continued on repairing the electrical system and the generator shed roof. A path was cleared along the route of the water line to where the large water tank was, and plans are to bring in a new tank before the end of summer.
More scrap was hauled out to the parking lot and some scrap was hauled back to the city for recycling.
Cleanup from the Eagle Creek fire continued at Nesika. The lodge has water but the pressure is low. We still have no power, but the generator has been removed for repairs. Tons of scrap metal has been moved to the parking lot where it will be trucked out and recycled. Several large piles of charred tree trunks and limbs were cleared and cut into firewood. The team enjoyed delicious meals thanks to cooks Karen and Roger.
May 18-20 marked the first official Nesika work weekend since the Eagle Creek fire. Trails Club members and friends of the club cleaned debris from Redwing’s basement and cleared the site where the women’s dorm once stood. A firewood pile was built at the site of the former wood shed. The trailer has been rebuilt and the club’s new tractor is up and running on the tractor trail!
A small group of Trails Club members visited Nesika in April, 2018. They cleared six trees from the road and opened up the tractor trail.
The Forest Service has approved limited work trip access to the lodge this summer! We must go in as a group and access will be limited to scheduled work weekends only. Lodge chair Glen Conrad will open the gate on Larch Mountain Road each work weekend at 9 am on Friday and Saturday mornings and 6:00 PM Saturday evening. Only high clearance 4WD/AWD vehicles may drive in.
On Dec. 2, a small group of TCO members and a team from Multnomah County Search & Rescue were able to visit the lodge with a special permit from the Forest Service. Two professional tree cutters came with the group to take down large firs that were killed by the fire and a threat to the lodge.
The Trails Club’s insurance company has prepared a proposed settlement for the damages at Nesika. The settlement includes:
- Funds to replace our tractor and trailer
- Replacement of misc. landscaping tools
- Replacement of cracked windows
- Funds for cleaning, caulking and painting
- Removal of debris
- Replacement of the asphalt shingle roof
- Funds for new landscaping
The two dormitories were not covered by the policy.
Glen Conrad was able to visit the lodge accompanied by our insurance adjuster and two Forest Service employees.
The interior of the lodge is in good shape and doesn’t even smell of smoke. Several of the large windows and some windows in the copula have hairline cracks caused by the extreme heat during the fire.
None of the trees between the lodge and the viewpoint have any green needles.
The tractor was destroyed – the tires burned off and the tractor and trailer are sitting on their rims. The club will need a new tractor to bring in materials and haul out debris once the roads are safe and open.
The generator was not started due to damage to wiring on the ceiling, but it appears to be in good shape.
The upper water tank melted, but the spring box is fine and is supplying water through the buried water pipes.
We have not determined yet if the basement walls of Redwing were damaged by the fire or if they can be used as a foundation for rebuilding.
Both outhouses, the wood shed and the small storage shed were destroyed.
September 15, 2017
The Club hasn’t been able to visit the property since the fire swept through. Once we do, we will provide updates here on the extent of the damage and our progress in recovery.