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Hood River residents put at ease over Eagle Creek fire threat

Hundreds of people pack Hood River Valley High School's gym Thursday night to get an update from fire officials on the Eagle Creek fire burning nearby in the Columbia River Gorge. (KATU Photo)

The Eagle Creek fire was more than 33,000 acres and was 7 percent contained Thursday.

The fire has destroyed three homes.

Most of the new growth has been in the northeast part of the fire near Cascade Locks.

The fire has also burned close to Hood River County, sparking fear for the people who live there.

That brought hundreds of people to a town hall Thursday night.

Eagle Creek Map as of 9/7/2017:

For the most part, people KATU spoke with felt relieved. They received information notices, which for some was the first time they had confirmation as to what was happening in their community.

A meteorologist confirming things were cooling down and there was more moisture in the air, drew some of the loudest applause of the night.

It’s been a tense few days for residents in Hood River as the Eagle Creek fire crept within miles of their community.

“We’ve been on edge wondering if we’ll have to evacuate. We haven’t heard anything. It would just be nice to get regular updates,” said Michelle Nardone.

So she and a few hundred of her neighbors packed the Hood River Valley High School gym, hoping to get answers from local and state officials.

Patricia Huff said there were a lot of rumors going around about when or if they would have to evacuate. After the meeting, she felt a little better.

“I felt confident in hearing about the huge amount of effort that’s being put out there to protect us,” she said.

“This community is so resilient that they don’t need us to stand them back up, they’re on their own two feet. They just need us to stand beside them and get where we need to go,” said fire marshal spokesman Damon Simmons.

The town hall broke into smaller groups, so people could ask questions. Many wanted to know if the threat was still there.

“There’s definitely still a danger or we’d have the whole county back in their homes. That’s what we really want,” Simmons said.

The Hood River County sheriff was also in attendance. He encouraged residents to sign up for the citizen alerts to get the latest information about evacuations.

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