Western U.S. cloaked in smoke as wildfires continue to spread

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

A rapidly spreading Oregon wildfire swelled to over 10,000 acres Tuesday, raining ash in parts of Portland and cloaking the rest of the state in smoke.

The Eagle Creek fire was one of dozens enveloping the western U.S. in flames, leaving cities from Denver to Seattle in a haze.


In Oregon, the Eagle Creek fire in the Columbia River Gorge had grown to 10,000 acres as of Tuesday morning, according to officials.

It is still 0 percent contained.

The fire, which began at the Eagle Creek Trail Saturday afternoon, was sparked by a 15-year-old boy from Vancouver, Washington throwing fireworks.

Elsewhere in the state, the Chetco Bar Fire engulfed much of Curry County.

That fire has spread to 176,00 acres and has been reduced from 10 percent to 5 percent containment, according to Sinclair station KTVL.


Part of Mount Rainier National Park in Washington state closed Tuesday due to its proximity to a nearby wildfire.

The wildfire, burning outside the east boundary of the park, has scorched more than 29 square miles, according to The Associated Press.

Elsewhere in the state, 14 wildfires burned in a complex in the Umpqua National Forest, engulfing 47 square miles.

The U.S. Department of Defense agreed Tuesday to assign 200 active-duty soldiers to help fight the flames; they will join about 1,000 firefighters already at the site.


Authorities said Tuesday that a fast-moving wildfire in Utah has destroyed at least five homes and forced more than 1,000 people to evacuate, according to The Associated Press.

Parts of some highways were also closed due to smoke clogging the roads.

Flames have engulfed about 500 acres (and six structures) and the blaze is zero percent contained, according to Sinclair station KUTV.


Firefighters have increased containment of a big Los Angeles wildfire from 30 percent to 70 percent.

The fire in the Verdugo Mountains burned around 11 square miles since it erupted Friday and was spread by shifting winds.

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