Progress on Eagle Creek Fire, but evacuation alerts raised in areas east of Cascade Locks
UPDATED: Sept. 13, 2017 at 9:45 p.m.
CASCADE LOCKS, Ore. – The Eagle Creek Fire crossed Herman Creek Tuesday night and began spreading into the Camp Creek drainage south of Interstate 84, fire officials said.
According to the latest update, the fire ran approximately three miles to Nick Eaton ridge. Part of the fire burned toward Gorton Creek.
Firefighters said they were prepared for the fire to go in this direction.
Helicopters are dropping water on the area to slow the fire’s growth.
The Eagle Creek Fire is estimated to be 37,567 acres and 17 percent contained.
On Wednesday, officials lowered the Level 3 (evacuate now) in Cascade Locks to Level 2 (be ready to evacuate at a moment's notice). But a zone along the I-84 corridor from Exit 47 to Exit 56 that contains the Wyeth/Herman Creek Road area, and includes the tribal fishing in-lieu site, has been raise to a Level 3. People in that zone should leave immediately.
Another zone has been raised to Level 2. The zone includes homes west of Country Club Road from Frankton Road to York Hill Road, and all residences on the north and west side of York Hill Road. All residences on I-84 from mile post 57 to mile post 61, including Morton Road and Mitchell Point Road, are also included.
Also on Wednesday, officials planned to continue the water drops and they hope to establish and strengthen contingency lines along the power line corridor east of Cascade Locks to Shellrock Mountain and from Mitchell Point to Wahtum Lake.
These efforts will help protect the towns near I-84.
Although the fire did spread into a new area Tuesday, crews made progress along the I-84 corridor. They completed line between Bridal Veil and Warrendale.
Firefighters are continuing mop up efforts on the west end of the fire and they’re constructing direct line on the southwest side.
Crews are also planning to build contingency lines in power line corridors. These areas are already cleared of trees, making them a natural barrier to the fire.
On the eastern end, near Herman Creek, they expect the fire will remain active, but cooler weather later in the week could help slow its advance.
The Oregon State Fire Marshal plans to keep two task forces on the day and night shifts to patrol areas with homes and help with operations along the I-84 corridor.
Almost 900 firefighters are fighting the fire.
On Wednesday evening, residents in or near Hood River emailed the KATU newsroom and posted on social media photographs of a smoke plume from the fire billowing into the sky.