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Eagle Creek fire explodes to 32,000 acres, merges with Indian Creek Fire

The human-caused Eagle Creek Fire grew from 3,200 acres early Monday to 4,800 acres by the end of the day. It forced the Oregon Department of Transportation to close Interstate 84 in both directions between Hood River and Troutdale. Photo by Tristan Fortsch

The Eagle Creek fire in the Columbia River Gorge has grown to 32,000 acres and has merged with the Indian Creek Fire as of Tuesday, according to fire officials. It is still 0 percent contained.

The fire started at the Eagle Creek Trail Saturday afternoon and was sparked by a 15-year-old boy from Vancouver, Wash. throwing fireworks. Oregon State Police are investigating. More than 450 personnel are fighting the fire, including 5 helicopters.

While brisk east winds contributed to the spread of the fire, by Tuesday evening the Multnomah County Sheriff's Office said the spread of the fire had "slowed way down for now."

It has caused Level 3 evacuations in several Gorge towns, including Cascade Locks and portions of east Corbett. Troutdale residents east of 257th and north of Stark are under Level 1 evacuations. Forest lands west of Highway 281 and north of Mount Hood are being put under Level 1 evacuations. No private homes are in this area, but many hikers, campers and hunters may be recreating.

CLICK HERE FOR THE LATEST EVACUATION ORDERS

The fire moved quickly overnight Monday into Tuesday, doubling in size and reaching Multnomah Falls. Crews worked overnight to protect the lodge from flames and falling embers, and for now, it appears to be safe.

It has burned some BPA power lines, and all railroad traffic remains closed.

At one point, the fire had spotted across the Columbia River into Washington near Archer Mountain. Several Level 3 evacuations were issued for portions of Skamania County.

Interstate 84 is closed from Exit 35 to Exit 64, and is closed westbound at The Dalles. Crews recommend limited travel along SR-14 in Washington.

Beacon Rock State Park is closed until further notice, Washington State Parks tweeted Tuesday morning.

An emergency declaration was issued for Multnomah County by chair Deborah Kafoury. It includes the unincorportated area of Multnomah County in the Gorge from Gresham and Troutdale. It allows the county to seek resources from other jurisdictions.

Portland Water Bureau officials are also keeping tabs on the fire's proximity to the Bull Run Watershed, which is the main source of water supply for the Portland metro. If the need arises, the bureau will switch the water supply to the Columbia South Shore Well Field.

Hood River County announced Tuesday night that it was closing all forestland, forest roads and forest trails due to the risk of fire. The U.S. Coast Guard also established a safety zone on the Columbia River, closing the river east of Portland from mile marker 126 to 146 to all river traffic.

Get More Information/Alerts:

You can sign up to receive emergency alerts from Multnomah County by going to this link and entering your email address in the box near the top of the page.

If you have received an evacuation notice or are under an evacuation order or alert, you may call the county at 503-823-2323. They are there to help you with questions and/or concerns.

For general information about the fire, you may call 211.


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