Weather experts installed a new tool meant to help people stay safe when severe weather rolls through the gorge.

Last week a team with the National Weather Service installed a portable weather station in the Eagle Creek burn area near Tanner Creek. That's one of the worst-burned areas in the gorge.

The weather station tracks temperatures, humidity, wind direction and speed, as well as rainfall amounts. The hope is that it will help give forecasters the information they need to better alert people who live in the area when that weakened soil may come sliding down.

"It will really enhance their ability to forecast what the weather is doing in the area and provide better clarity on when their might be a warning or and alert for flash flood," said Rachel Pawlitz, public information officer with the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area.

The burned slopes are more susceptible to sliding since much of the vegetation that helped secure the slopes burned off during the Eagle Creek Fire.

Because of such hazards, trails in the burned area are still closed to the public and will be for some time.

The U.S. Forest Service is in the process of taking down the temporary laminated trail closure signs and putting up more permanent metal ones.