Current situation

Rain will move across much of the region today, Oct. 5, diminishing over the weekend. Temperatures will remain below average. Winds will vary across the region as weather systems arrive and depart. The potential for large fire initiation over the region is minimal due to the wet and cool weather today and lingering through the weekend. Fire restrictions in different parts of the state began to be lowered last week based on the local fuel conditions. Check with your local district or forest protection association for restrictions on activities linked to fire starts or use ODF's fire restrictions and closures web page for the latest details at https://www.oregon.gov/ODF/Fire/Pages/Restrictions.aspx.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Eagle Creek Fire forces evacuations in the Columbia Gorge

The Eagle Creek Fire in the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area was reported early this morning at 4,800 acres and has come within four miles east of Corbett. The fire started on Sept. 2, just south of Cascade Locks. Over the weekend it jumped the Columbia River near Archer Mountain. All hikers and campers in the area were accounted for and safely removed or led out by Sunday. Trail, railroad and area closures are now in effect. 
 
As of this morning, about 300 personnel were assigned to the fire. Oregon State Fire Marshal task forces are in the fire area doing structure protection. No primary residences have been lost. Additional resources have been ordered. Level 1, 2, and 3 evacuations are in place for Cascade Locks and nearby areas in both Hood River and Multnomah counties. Evacuation levels and zones can rapidly change. The Hood River County Sheriff (http://www.hoodriversheriff.com/news/breaking-news/) and Multnomah County Sheriff (https://flashalert.net/id/MCSO/107579?alert=1) are the most reliable sources for the latest evacuation information. Shelters have been set up at Mt. Hood Community College, 3691 NE 17th Drive in Gresham and at the Skamania County Fairgrounds, immediately across the Columbia River in Stevenson, Wash.
 
A section of Interstate Highway 84 was reported closed from Troutdale (Exit 17) to two miles west of Hood River (Milepost 62). Bridge of the Gods is also closed. SR-14 in Washington is closed to commercial traffic in both directions but open to passenger vehicles. SR-14 is extremely congested in both directions, please travel only if necessary. Get the latest information on road closures at www.tripcheck.com. 
 
On Sunday, Governor Kate Brown declared the fire a conflagration, enabling additional structural resources to be assigned to this fire. She visited the fire's joint information center in Troutdale this afternoon.
 
An interagency incident management team (Type 2) assumed command of the fire yesterday. Under Unified Command ODF is fully integrated with that team and providing mutual aid. Also in the Unified Command are the U.S. Forest Service, the Oregon State Fire Marshal and the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area. The team is also assuming command of the nearby 850-acre Indian Creek Fire. 
 
The fire is reported to be human-caused and is under investigation by the Oregon State Police and other authorities.

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The purpose of this blog is to provide breaking news about wildfire activity on the forestlands protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry. We invite you to post questions or comments about current wildfires. Please keep your posts civil and free of profanity.

Current wildfire info

National weather forecasters predictions that Oregon would see above average temperatures and below average rainfall in the summer of 2018 proved true. Almost all of Oregon was abnormally dry this summer, with a majority of the state in moderate to severe drought. Many areas posted record high temperatures or record strings of hot days. These conditions set the stage for potentially large, fast-moving wildfires.


What we do

Protection jurisdiction
The Oregon Dept. of Forestry protects 16 million acres of private and public forestlands from wildfire. This includes all private forestlands in Oregon as well as state and local government-owned forests, along with 2.8 million acres of federal Bureau of Land Management lands in the western part of the state. In total there are about 30.4 million acres of forest in Oregon.

Fire suppression policy
The department fights fire aggressively, seeking to put out most fires at 10 acres or smaller. This approach minimizes damage to the timber resource and fish and wildlife habitat, and protects lives and property. It also saves money. While suppressing large fires can cost millions of dollars, economic and environmental damage from wildfires can be many times greater.

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Oregon Dept. of Forestry's public information officers in Salem, Ore., maintain this blog. During the wildfire season, we spend much of our time reporting on fires and firefighting to news media and the public.