Visitors viewing the Eagle Creek Fire feel stunned and saddened

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

It’s an unimaginable view of the Columbia River Gorge as the Eagle Creek Fire continues to grow Tuesday. Walls of bright red and orange flame shoot up the cliff faces and run along the ridges toward and around Multnomah Falls.

The sounds are even more horrifying. It sounds crackling wood from a campfire, only it's amplified to a roar.

And to top it off, a strong east wind is blowing through the Gorge, causing the fire to spread.

The National Weather Service tweeted that the fire moved 12 miles westward in 9 hours. It also jumped the Columbia River to Washington and began a new spot fire on Archer Mountain early Tuesday morning.

The new fire warranted Level 3 evacuations of several rural properties in the area.

The smoke choked out the sun, turning it red, and causing temperatures to drop.

People began stopping at the viewpoint for the dam at North Bonneville to see the fire and take pictures. One of those visitors has been on a month long road trip from Santa Cruz, California.

Donald May has been to the Gorge before, and was stunned at what he was seeing.

“It’s very sad,” he said. “This has some very nasty characteristics from my perspective. Specifically, you have a very deep canyon, incredibly hot weather on both sides, and this is going to be like a funnel. It’s the narrowest point in the canyon so winds will be the highest here. So if you get a fire here, it’s the worst of all possible places.”

The Eagle Creek Fire was measured to be more than 10,000 acres and was 0 percent contained Tuesday afternoon.

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