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Eagle Creek Fire now 28% contained, more evacuation notices lowered

Ridgeline above Oneonta Creek - Crews are working to contain the Eagle Creek Fire, a human-caused fire burning thousands of acres in Oregon's Columbia River Gorge and threatening several natural landmarks. (Photo taken by Chris Liedle on September 10, 2017)

CASCADE LOCKS, Ore. – The Eagle Creek Fire grew to more than 41,000 acres overnight Thursday into Friday. But, firefighters say they’re making progress. The wildfire is now 28 percent contained.

The Hood River County Sheriff’s Office said aircrafts assisting firefighters dropped nearly 100,000 gallons of water on the fire Thursday.

Friday, firefighters plan to focus on the northeast corner of the fire to protect the communities and infrastructure.

Crews will continue burnout operations from Cascade Locks east to Mitchel Point in an effort to control the fire and bring it down the slope. They will also reinforce their containment line from Mitchell Point to Wahtum Lake.

Oregon State Fire Marshal Crews will continue patrolling residential areas near the eastern edge of the fire.

Lt. Damon Stevens said two additional task forces were called in to watch the east side of the fire.

The Oregon Department of Transportation opened the westbound lanes of Interstate 84 Thursday night. Friday morning they opened the westbound exits to and from Cascade Locks.

Other exits remain closed along I-84 westbound to keep people out of the forest areas.

The U.S. Forest Service says even though I-84 is open, all national forests in the Eagle Creek Fire area are still closed.

The Red Cross says they are still sheltering about 60 evacuees.

Friday, the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office said all Level 3 evacuation notices were lowered to Level 2, meaning people can return to their homes.

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