A cold front moved into the area Tuesday bringing cooler temperatures and rain. This weather system will further reduce the potential for any significant fire activity. The wildfire is listed at 50 percent contained where the majority of containment lines are near communities, infrastructure and along road systems. The uncontained portion of the fire is in steep, inaccessible terrain and fire managers do not anticipate the wildfire will spread in these areas. Residents and visitors may see visible smoke coming from the fire area, but this heat is well within established containment lines.
Firefighters have completed most of the suppression repair work and resources no longer needed for support will be released. The Oregon Department of Transportation will continue removing rock and other debris along Historic Highway 30. In order to open the Highway, a significant amount of work must be done. There is no estimated timeline for reopening Highway 30.
The main safety concerns are the existing hazards within the burned area. In some areas much of the vegetation and root systems that stabilize rocks, logs and ultimately entire hillsides have been consumed by fire. As a result, standing dead trees, large diameter logs and rolling rocks will continue falling onto roads and trails. Rockslides and landslides are also a threat especially after heavy rainfall.
An area closure will limit access to some recreation sites and roads for the foreseeable future. The closure will be lifted when it is safe to allow people into these areas. Fire managers and forest officials urge locals and visitors to stay out of the area closure because of existing hazards. Entering a closure area will not only jeopardize those who enter these unsafe areas, but also put emergency first responders at risk if they need to extract lost or injured persons. Anyone who enters a posted area closure is subject to fines.
Where can people go to recreate in the Columbia River Gorge area? The following links have the status of recreation sites, including trails and campgrounds.
Columbia River Gorge Scenic Area: https://www.fs.usda.gov/recmain/crgnsa/recreation
Mt. Hood National Forest: https://www.fs.usda.gov/recmain/mthood/recreation
All other areas: http://oregonstateparks.org/index.cfm?do=v.dsp_featureArticle&articleId=208
For additional information on the fire or road and trail closures, please visit:
● Inciweb: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5584/
● Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/EagleCreekandIndianCreekFires2017/
● Twitter: https://twitter.com/eaglecreekfire
● Mt Hood National Forest Road Closures:https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/mthood/alerts-notices?cid=stelprdb5191108
● Columbia River Gorge Scenic Area Road Closures: https://www.fs.usda.gov/recmain/crgnsa/recreation#conditions