PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The Eagle Creek Fire was 31% contained on Friday evening, up from 17% Thursday, officials said , and Level 3 — go now — evacuations in Multnomah County were eased.
The blaze had spread to 45,779 acres with growth to the northeast line and to the south between Thursday and Friday, officials said. Aircraft dropped nearly 100,000 gallons of water on the fire Thursday.
The westbound lanes of I-84 reopened Thursday night between Hood River and Troutdale after ODOT crews determined it was no longer threatened by the fire. However, ODOT said the westbound lanes would be closed from 6 a.m.-11 a.m. Saturday morning for more tree removal.
Eastbound lanes are still closed and will be until further notice.
A change in the wind pattern blew smoke from the Gorge back toward the Portland metro area, with reports of smoke coming from as far as Washington County.
Rain in the forecast left crews optimistic about containment.
The U.S Forest Service announced that the National Forest Foundation has started a fund for Eagle Creek Fire restoration. They said replanting of trees will happen down the line but that fire is a natural event and the gorge is expected to recover.
Officials said that despite some areas that don’t appear damaged by fire, the area still needs to be assessed for geology and rock slides. They said hiking trails will not be open until spring 2018.
The Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office said Friday that all Level 3 evacuation orders were being downgraded to Level 2.
Level 2 Be Set evacuation orders are in effect in the areas of:
East Historic Columbia River Highway: East of Alex Barr Road, addresses in the 43800 block and higher
Larch Mountain Road: East of Brower Road, addresses in the 45800 block and higher
All of Brower Road including Toll Road
E Haines Road, addresses in the 43800 block and higher
Larch Mountain Road: West of Brower Road, addresses in the 45700 block and lower — including Salzman Road and Alder Meadows
E Haines Road, addresses in the 43700 block and lower (toward Larch Mountain Road)
Troutdale, addresses east of the Sandy River
Hood River County still had Level 3 evacuations. Click here for the latest evacuation levels.