Eagle Creek Fire, Sept. 3, 2017

A wildfire broke out in the Columbia River Gorge in the popular Eagle Creek area on Sep. 2, 2017. The fire stranded nearly 150 hikers, which many had to be rescued. The cause of the fire is not known yet. Given the remote area, no thunderstorms for weeks, and not being near any powerlines, it is likely that this fire is human-caused.

On Sunday, smoke filled the Columbia River Gorge. The small town deep in the heart of the gorge, Cascade Locks, Oregon, had a mandatory evacuation for some of its residents. For a typically busy Labor Day weekend, many of the town’s restaurants and stores closed for the day. East Wind Drive-In remained open and only served from the window. Bridge of the Gods toll was free.

The Historic Columbia River Highway trail was closed between John B. Yeon State park about 7 miles west to Cascade Locks. John B. Yeon State Park, Toothrock, Wahclella Falls, and Eagle Creek areas were closed.

Northwest Interagency Coordination Center website update for Eagle Creek reported the fire was first reported on Saturday around 4:00 p.m. Their latest update reported the cause as “Caused human caused – under investigation.” Cascade Locks residents south of I-84 had a mandatory evacuation and residents to the north of I-84 were told to be ready.