CASCADE LOCKS, Ore. (KOIN) — Just about everyone in Cascade Locks in back in their beds Friday night after evacuating due to the Eagle Creek Fire more than a week ago.
Thankfully, no homes were lost to the fire, but the thick layer of smoke seen at times all over the Portland metro area never left Cascade Locks with the fire burning right in their back yard.
“I’m waiting for the smoke to get out of here so I can start breathing a little better,” Justin Adney, who returned home Friday, said.
While people are finally home, many businesses remain closed and they’ve taken a big hit the last week and a half.
“It’s been kind of nerve wracking, hit or miss,” said Katie Murphy at the Columbia Market, which was closed for 2 days. “It was slow, yeah, we still had quite a few people in town though and then all the fire fighters coming in.”
Outside of the Columbia Market, the Bridge of the Gods, RV park, motel and Shell gas station, just about everything is still shut down.
“This is supposed to be the busiest time of the year so to lose 2 weeks of business it’s going to be really tough for a lot of folks out here,” Caroline Park at Thunder Island Brewing Co. said.
To help kick start business in the town again, Thunder Island Brewing is pushing an online campaign, “Cascade Locks Strong,” selling gift certificates to local spots.
“The Gorge is not destroyed, it’s still a beautiful place and we want people to make the commitment that they’ll come back and see us,” Park said. “We are together we are strong and we’ll get through this.”