0% Contained Wildfire Prompts Evacuations in Oregon
06 September, 2017, 13:16 | Author: Ora Austin
Residents of Portland, Oregon, awoke Tuesday to a blanket of ash and the news that a forest fire in the Columbia River Gorge had somehow leapt the mighty river overnight. A fire started by kids playing with fireworks is destroying forests and famous OR locations along the Columbia River. As of Tuesday night, there is 0% containment.
"We started smelling smoke and felt heat, so we looked around, heard crackling, looked down the rail and right below there was a fire that jumped up on the trail just a few minutes later", Wong told CNN affiliate KPTV. Over the weekend, 140 hikers were stranded when the Eagle Creek Fire cut off exit routes from trails in the area.
The fire closed several roads and trails, and smoke continues to affect air quality in the upper Methow Valley.
Oregon State Police said the 15-year-old Vancouver boy may have been lighting fireworks along with other individuals on the Eagle Creek Trail.
The Jolly Mountain fire, near Cle Elum, Roslyn and Ronald, grew to almost 21,000 acres Monday, with more than 1,000 people evacuated. Another 100 structures are under a Level 2evacuation, and 200 structures are under a Level 1 warning.
In Washington state, Gov. Jay Inslee proclaimed a state of emergency across all counties as three major fires closed recreation areas and prompted evacuations.
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As the Eagle Creek fire in OR continues to burn and more evacuations are ordered, some are staying behind to support first responders any way they can. Fire officials said high winds and low visibility meant they could only offer a "low estimate" of the size of the fire - about 10,000 acres. Officials said the fire had gone through about half the grove but had not killed any trees.
Families reunite after campers were evacuated from a forest fire in the Eagle Creek area of the Columbia River Gorge Sunday, Sept. 3, 2017. The fire spread eastward, leading to an evacuation order for all residents on Illinois River Road within U.S. Forest Service boundaries.
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Mountain Wave Search and Rescue president Russ Gubele says search-and rescue-teams will walk the hikers out toward Wahtum Lake once it gets light. Mountain Wave Search & Rescue dropped supplies to the hikers. "Ash is coming down".
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