Eagle Creek Fire evacuees begin going home

The Eagle Creek Fire began September 2

Shannon Jolley reopened the Kirby Farm fruit stand in Corbett after the Eagle Creek Fire forced it to close (KOIN)
Shannon Jolley reopened the Kirby Farm fruit stand in Corbett after the Eagle Creek Fire forced it to close (KOIN)

CORBETT, Ore. (KOIN) — After nearly 2 weeks away from their homes, folks on the western side of the Eagle Creek Fire are finally heading back.

Some residents of Corbett and other communities are looking forward to life returning to normal now that the fire is 28% contained. Evacuation levels in Multnomah County were downgraded to Level 2.

Complete coverage: Eagle Creek Fire

The Overcash family of Warrendale are thankful they still have a home. Friday, they stopped by the re-entry center at Corbett Community Church to get their pass to return after staying with their daughter.

“It’s a good ending because we get to go back to your home,” Billie Overcash said. “We know there were at least 3 buildings in our neighborhood that did burn down, so for us to have ours still there, we are relieved.”

“The thing that bothers me the most is the animals,” Wayne Overcash said. They kept their cats with them while they stayed with their daughter. “Some of them had to be lost up there, you know. Some of them had to be lost. That’s hard. I don’t like seeing that.”

The Kirby Farms Fruit Stand re-opened for business. Shannon Jolley said the fire was a mile from their farm at the heigh of the blaze. They’re thankful that traffic is flowing again on the Historic Columbia River Highway.

Billie Overcash is a Corbett resident who is back home after Eagle Creek Fires forced him and his wife to evacuate. (KOIN)
Billie Overcash is a Corbett resident who is back home after Eagle Creek Fires forced him and his wife to evacuate. (KOIN)

Although many road blocks have come down, residents are still the only traffic being allowed back in the Larch Mountain-Warrendale-Dodson areas. But those areas are still at a Level 2 — be ready to leave — evacuation notice.

In Hood River, more than 1000 people remain under a Level 2 notice.

I-84 cleanup on Saturday

Just a day after opening westbound I-84 to traffic between Hood River and Troutdale, ODOT announced the expressway will be closed Saturday morning for tree removal.

The eastbound lanes in the same area remain closed. No date has been announced to re-open that side.