February 24, 2018

Eagle Creek Fire threatens Multnomah Falls, fire crosses into Washington state

06 September 2017, 01:44 | Kara Nash

Several agencies and fire districts are fighting the 20,000-acre fire.  U.S. Forest Service

Several agencies and fire districts are fighting the 20,000-acre fire.                        U.S. Forest Service

As the Eagle Creek fire in OR continues to burn and more evacuations are ordered, some are staying behind to support first responders any way they can.

The fire spread as most parts of Oregon remained under extreme heat warnings and air quality alerts, according to the Oregon Department of Forestry.

Fire officials say an OR wildfire in the scenic Columbia River Gorge has grown to almost 16 square miles and is threatening homes. As of Tuesday night, there is 0% containment.

As of Tuesday morning, the fire has grown to more than 10,000 acres and has involved approximately 500 emergency personnel.

The Eagle Creek Fire is still actively burning and moving right now, with more than 500 firefighters working on it. The cause is unknown.

The fire closed several roads and trails, and smoke continues to affect air quality in the upper Methow Valley.

In the Willamette National Forest in alone, officials said Monday 16 fires covering 45,670 acres are burning.

Mountain Wave Search and Rescue president Russ Gubele says about 104 people have made their way down a different trail to safety.

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Shearer also admitted that the department's blood-draw policy "hadn't been updated for a little bit" when the incident occurred. The incident unfolded on July 26, but the video was only made public on Thursday at a news conference held by Wubbels.

The smaller Eagle Creek fire was ripping through stretches of the Columbia River Gorge, old-growth trees and and some of the area's most popular hiking trails. The blaze was burning on the Eagle Creek Trail, and the only other way out was longer and more hard, and it was getting dark, so officials told them to spend the night near Tunnel Falls.

Lieutenant Damon Simmons, a spokesman for the OR state Fire Marshal's Office, told reporters that in his 18 years experience in the area he had never seen a wildfire propel ash as intensely as the Eagle Creek Fire.

Mountain Wave dropped supplies to the hikers.

The Red Cross has opened shelters at the Skamania County Fairgrounds, immediately across the Columbia River in Stevenson, Washington, as well as at Mount Hood Community College in Gresham, Oregon.

The first group made it out by about 10:30 a.m. and the last group by about 1 or 1:30 p.m. 'Ash is coming down.

An Evacuation Order is in effect for all residents west of Highway 93 on the north side of Bass Creek Road north to residents on the south side of Hannaford Avenue and west of Florence Carlton Loop.

Ash drifted onto the OR town of Cascade Locks from a fire burning nearby in the Columbia River Gorge as firefighters battled to keep it at bay.

By Sunday, the Oregon National Guard had rescued all 153 hikers.

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