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Devastating Eagle Creek Fire in the Columbia River Gorge

Updates, Trail Closures, and How You Can Help

09.06.17

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Devastating Eagle Creek Fire in the Columbia River Gorge

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  • The Eagle Creek Fire burns in the Columbia River Gorge.- Devastating Eagle Creek Fire in the Columbia River Gorge
  • The Eagle Creek Fire burns in the Columbia River Gorge.- Devastating Eagle Creek Fire in the Columbia River Gorge
  • Sun rays cut through the mist from Punchbowl Falls. The Eagle Creek Fire was started just up the trail from here.- Devastating Eagle Creek Fire in the Columbia River Gorge
  • Multnomah Falls Lodge, built in 1925, is one of the historic structures being threatened by the Eagle Creek Fire.- Devastating Eagle Creek Fire in the Columbia River Gorge
  • Burned trees from a fire in 1991 dot the views from Angels Rest in the Columbia River Gorge.- Devastating Eagle Creek Fire in the Columbia River Gorge
  • Multnomah Falls and Benson Bridge before the fire.- Devastating Eagle Creek Fire in the Columbia River Gorge
  • Weisendanger Falls on the Larch Mountain Trail is within the fire boundaries.- Devastating Eagle Creek Fire in the Columbia River Gorge
  • Angel's Rest, a Portland-favorite, is also being impacted by the fire.- Devastating Eagle Creek Fire in the Columbia River Gorge
  • The Gorge as we know it will be drastically different once this fire is out.- Devastating Eagle Creek Fire in the Columbia River Gorge
  • We will miss the many bright greens that enveloped the Gorge.- Devastating Eagle Creek Fire in the Columbia River Gorge
  • Morning clouds down the Columbia River Gorge from Munra Point before.- Devastating Eagle Creek Fire in the Columbia River Gorge
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Team

For those of us living near the Columbia River Gorge, spending the last few days under smoky skies and a thin blanket of ash has added some personal misery to the emotional loss of knowing the Gorge will be a different place in the months and years to come. The human-caused Eagle Creek fire and the Indian Creek fire have been merged into over 30,000 acres of burned forest. Until the fires are out, we won't know just how extensively burned these areas are, but going by the photos being shared on social media and in the news, this fire appears to have done a lot of damage. Our hearts go out to The Gorge, those who call it home, and all of the wonderful firefighters, volunteers, and support staff who are working tirelessly to contain the fire!

Public Asked to Stay Out of the Gorge

The foremost concern right now is that people under evacuation orders are able to get to safety and that firefighting personnel, currently 602 people, are able to do their work unhindered by anyone who does not need to be in the area. Kevin Gorman, Executive Director of Friends of the Columbia Gorge, has asked that the general public avoid the gorge for the immediate future. "The situation is continuing to rapidly evolve and it's crucial that members of the public stay out of the Gorge at this point," says Gorman. "Keeping the roads clear for firefighters, first responders and evacuating Gorge residents is critical." Friends of the Columbia Gorge has also put together a webpage listing all trail closures and other critical updates for the general public, and will be keeping it updated as the firefighting efforts continue.

Updated Fire Information

According to OPB, the fire has reached the Bull Run Watershed but does not currently pose a risk to Portland's water supply.

It appears that efforts to protect the Multnomah Falls Lodge have been successful as of now, though the structure remains threatened.

Rain is expected later this week. This will help slow the spread of the fire and assist firefighters in battling the wildfire.

As the fire continues, up-to-date fire information is available on the Eagle Creek Fire InciWeb page.

Where to Direct Donations and Assistance

Many people have expressed a desire to help out. Friends of Columbia Gorge is recommending people make donations to Hood River County Search and Rescue. They are serving alongside the Oregon National Guard, U.S. Forest Service and the Red Cross to assist Gorge residents impacted by the fire. Friends of the Columbia Gorge has setup a donation website specifically for Hood River County Search and Rescue

Multnomah County has started receiving physical donations such as bottled water and other goods for people displaced by the fire. However, they do not have the storage or distribution capacity to take these donated items and have asked that people contact the local Red Cross Shelter instead.

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