Weather conditions improve for Eagle Creek Fire

The Eagle Creek Fire is 7% contained and 33,382 acres

A burning tree from the Eagle Creek Fire, September 8 2017. (KOIN)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — After 5 days of fighting the Eagle Creek Fire, crews reported late Thursday the blaze was 7% contained.

The Eagle Creek Fire merged with the Indian Creek Fire on Tuesday and formed a 33,382 acre blaze. It also spread to Archer Mountain in Skamania County.

The wind forecast concerned crews ahead of the weekend despite slow growth overnight into Friday morning.

Lt. Damon Simmons said Thursday morning the fire was a “mosaic burn” and that there was significant damage to many trails. He also said there were still many patches of healthy trees that hadn’t been affected.

An updated Eagle Creek Fire map, September 8 2017. (KOIN)

 

Simmons also said 2 more homes were destroyed overnight in addition to the one that had already been reported. It was unclear if it was a vacation or uninhabited home.

“There is significant damage to the trails, you are going to see that when you are out there and it’s going to take a while to recover,” Simmons said. “I don’t have a time frame on that because I think they are going to have to make sure it’s perfectly safe to be out there before they open those trails up.”

Officials estimate the fire will be contained Sept. 30, according to InciWeb.

The Hood River Sheriff’s Office decided to close all of the Hood River Forestland, roads and trails to recreation due to the extreme fire danger.

I-84 and the Historic Columbia River Highway are still closed and will be until further notice. Kimberly Dinwiddie with the Oregon Department of Transportation said there are 1,500-2,000 damaged trees that are in danger of falling into the roadway on I-84. Crews are working on a plan to clear them out and figure out when it can reopen.

Eagle Creek Fire evacuation list 

Hundreds of people are staying in shelters in Skamania County and Gresham after they were forced to evacuate from their homes on Monday and Tuesday.

There are about 900 personnel fighting the Eagle Creek Fire, including 7 crews, 9 helicopters, 88 engines, 2 dozers, 21 water tenders and 20 structural OSFM task forces.