Eagle Creek Fire now at 20,000 acres, evacuations in three count - KPTV - FOX 12

Eagle Creek Fire now at 20,000 acres, evacuations in three counties

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CASCADE LOCKS, OR (KPTV) -

The Eagle Creek Fire burning in the Columbia River Gorge continues to grow and has sparked fires across the Columbia River in Washington, according to fire officials.

Officials said an infrared fly-over estimated the fire to be at 20,000 acres Tuesday night. Officials also said the Eagle Creek and Indian Creek Fires have merged together and will be managed as one incident.

More than 450 firefighters are deployed on the fire, which started Saturday afternoon.

Latourell, Bridal Veil, Warrendale, Dodson, Larch Mountain and Corbett east of the 38700 block of Columbia River Highway are under Level Three evacuations, which means “get out now!” The rest of the city of Corbett and Springdale are under a Level Two evacuation, which means “get ready to leave.”

A Level One notice was issued for east of 257th Avenue and north of Stark in Troutdale, meaning people there should get ready for a possible evacuation. 

The Red Cross has opened a shelter at the Yoshida Event Center at Mount Hood Community College in Gresham.

Multnomah County Chair Deborah Kafoury issued a declaration of emergency Tuesday morning for the unincorporated area of the county in the Gorge from Gresham and Troutdale east. The declaration allows the county to seek resources from other jurisdictions, including the state, and to pursue emergency measures to help fight the fire.

Everything south of Interstate 84 in Cascade Locks is under a Level Three evacuation, and the Hood River County Sheriff’s Office moved all areas previously under Level One evacuation to Level Two, including all areas north of Wa Na Pa to the Columbia River and on the east end of town north of I-84 to the river, as well as Forest Lane and intersecting roads, running east to Government Cove.

The Red Cross shelter has been set up across the river in Stevenson, Washington, for these evacuees.

The Skamania County Sheriff's Office also issued a Level Three evacuation for several areas on the south side of Archer Mountain, including Archer Mountain Road, Franz Road, Smith Cripe Road, Kellet Road, Dimrill Dale Drive and Victoria Lane, while Foggy Ridge, Patrick Lane, What Road, Hills Berry Road, Columbia Ridge and Mabee Mines Road are under a Level Two evacuation.

An evacuation area for people affected in Skamania County has been set up at the Rock Creek Hegewald Center in Stevenson.

Level One notices were also put in place Tuesday for all public forest lands west of Highway 281 and north of Mount Hood. No homes are in that area, but deputies have been advising campers, hikers and hunters. 

Hood River County Board of Commissioners has approved the closure of all Hood River County forestland, forest roads and forest trails to all recreational use until further notice. 

Westbound Interstate 84 is closed from The Dalles to Troutdale, while the eastbound lanes are closed from Troutdale to Hood River. The Bridge of the Gods is also closed to southbound traffic.

The Oregon Department of Transportation is detouring westbound truck traffic onto Highway 197 at The Dalles south to OR-216 to Highway 26 west to Interstate 84, with eastbound truck traffic using the reverse.

Larch Mountain Road near Corbett was closed Tuesday due to fire concerns, and the Washington Department of Transportation has closed SR-14 between Washougal and Highway 197 in Dallesport to commercial traffic.

Many school districts near the fire area closed Tuesday, including Corbett Schools, Cascade Locks Elementary, Skamania Schools and the Stevenson-Carson School District.

The Corbett School District announced classes would also be canceled Wednesday. 

Investigators said a 15-year-old boy from Vancouver is suspected of starting the fire with fireworks. He is not facing charges at this time as the investigation continues. 

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