September 7, 2017

Conditions improving for crews fighting Eagle Creek fire

Favorable weather conditions including the possibility of rain and cooler temperatures are helping crews working to contain the Eagle Creek Fire according to U.S. Forest Service spokesperson, Traci Weaver. Crews are working towards containment and conducting burn-out activities to remove fuels from the fire’s path.  The fire has not grown significantly and is in the same footprint, confirmed Weaver.

No timeline on trails reopening due to hazards

After viewing the burned area this afternoon, Weaver confirmed “there are many green trees and plants still remaining and the area is beautiful.”  She noted that the Columbia Gorge’s relatively wet  and  will allow burned areas to recover more quickly compared to a drier forest area.  Weaver cautioned, however, “it will be awhile before trails would be open again as crews need to evaluate trails and slopes for hazards.”

Bull Run reservoir not threatened by fire; water safe to drink

Fire has not reached the Bull Run reservoir and water from the Bull Run reservoir is safe to drink, Weaver said. Crews are working on a small hotspot at the top of the Bull Run Management Area and have a plan to keep the fire from entering the watershed, stated Weaver.

No ETA to open I-84 or Historic Columbia River Highway due to Eagle Creek Fire

ODOT is working to address a number of hazards posing a threat to safe travel before opening Interstate 84 and the Historic Columbia River Highway said ODOT spokesperson Kimberly Dinwiddie.

“As many as 2000 burned trees have been identified as being in danger of falling into I-84.  Additionally,  ODOT inspectors need to assess rock slopes and evaluate bridges and tunnels to ensure that structural damage did not occur in the fire.  I-84 will remain closed until these hazards have been addressed,” Dinwiddie said.

“We recognize the closure of Interstate-84 and Historic Columbia River Highway is inconvenient for travelers and difficult on everyone who lives in, travels through, or loves the beauty of the Columbia Gorge and we will have the roadways open as soon as it is safe to do so” Dinwiddie said.

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No new evacuations; no timeline for reentry; enhanced patrols in evacuated areas

“No new evacuation orders were issued today and all evacuation orders remain in place” said Sheriff Mike Reese.  “It is not safe to reenter the evacuated areas and reentry will only occur once the Fire Management team notifies us that it is safe for residents to reenter the area. There is no estimate for reentry at this time” Reese said.

Responding to concerns expressed on social media about looting in evacuated areas Reese said “the sheriff office in partnership with Oregon State Police and Portland Police Bureau has increased its presence in evacuated areas which has resulted in traffic stops on a handful of vehicles not registered in these areas.” Law enforcement is also looking for hotspots in the area and passing that information to fire management team, transportation and other responding agencies, said Reese.

Current Evacuation Levels for Eagle Creek Fire as of 09/06/2017 7:00 am

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Evacuation levels remain unchanged. Please continue to monitor MCSO for any changes.

Warrendale - Level 3 GO!

Dodson - Level 3 GO!

Larch Mountain- Level 3 GO!

Latourell- Level 3 GO!

Bridal Veil - Level 3 GO!

Corbett, East of the 38700 block of Columbia River Highway - Level 3 GO!

Corbett/Springdale, West of 38700 block of the Columbia River Highway to the Sandy River - Level 2 Be Set.

Troutdale, East of 257th, North of Stark, West of the Sandy River -- Level 1 Get Ready

Evacuation shelter is established at Mt. Hood Community College located at 3691 NE 17th Drive, Gresham OR.Red Cross continuing to shelter evacuees; public may designate donations to local relief efforts

The Red Cross is continuing to offer food, water, shelter, health and mental services to support evacuees at its shelters according to spokesperson Monique Debaw.  About 225 people are continuing to be sheltered at the Mount Hood Community College and Skamania County Fairgrounds shelter locations.  Additionally, donations can now be designated to support local Red Cross to support local relief efforts. Members of the public can call 503.528.5634 or go online to designate donations to support local relief efforts.

Chair Kafoury offers appreciation for responders; support for evacuees

Multnomah County Chair Deborah Kafoury traveled with Governor Brown today to parts of the affected area.  “We saw firefighters from around region working together to fight this fire and we are so grateful for their efforts” she said.  “Our hearts go out to people who have been displaced and lives have been disrupted.  We will back tomorrow and every day until people are back in their homes and Oregonians are back in their beloved Gorge” said Chair Kafoury.