LA GRANDE — One of Union County’s most popular recreation areas will be temporarily closed.

The Union County Board of Commissioners voted 3-0 on Wednesday, July 21, to immediately close the Mount Emily Recreation Area for at least a week due to high fire danger brought on by dry, hot weather. 

The board of commissioners will review the status of the closure at its July 28 meeting and may reopen MERA then if fire danger has dropped.

MERA, a forested site of about 3,670 acres, is a popular location for outdoor activities, including mountain biking, hiking, horseback riding and riding all-terrain vehicles.

“I always want to err on the side of caution,” said Matt Scarfo, chairman of the Union County Board of Commissioners.  

MERA is about 2 miles from downtown La Grande.

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