STEAMBOAT — Oregon 138 East between Steamboat and Lemolo Lake junction will remain closed at least into this weekend due to wildfire next to the roadway.

A 14-mile stretch of North Umpqua Highway is closed between Steamboat Creek Road and Slide Creek (mileposts 41-55) due to the Jack Fire. It began Monday afternoon, July 5. The cause is still under investigation.

The fire is burning along the steep highway corridor, destroying guardrail and signs, and causing rocks and flaming debris to fall onto the roadway.

“We’re working with our partners in public and firefighter safety on when to reopen the highway to traffic. But now is not the time,” said Interim ODOT District Manager Jeremiah Griffin.

ODOT has set up a checkpoint at Lemolo Lake junction for westbound traffic. The checkpoint allows local and recreation traffic access to the nearby area, including Lemolo Lake.