Evacuees in Stevenson ready to get back to their lives after the - KPTV - FOX 12

Evacuees in Stevenson ready to get back to their lives after the Eagle Creek Fire

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More than 100 people are staying at a Red Cross shelter in Stevenson, Washington, across the Columbia River from where the Eagle Creek Fire has been burning since Saturday.

The folks there Wednesday told FOX 12 they are really encouraged by the fact that firefighters have been able to protect so many homes, but they are obviously nervous by the sheer size of the fire and the fact that it's growing.

While some of them wonder about their homes, they're also frustrated with still being away from their normal routines and jobs.

Rudy Bass works with his children at their Native American fishing business on the Columbia.

This time of year, they're usually under the Bridge of the Gods selling fresh and smoked salmon to tourists and other people passing through, but that has all changed due to the fire.

"This is the peak season, on Labor Day, and we end up losing a lot of money because they kicked us out of our selling spots by the Bridge of the Gods, and they just don't let us sell right now,” Bass said. “We have to comply. There's a lot of people in danger, there's no business in town so we are just doing the best we can.”

Tuesday afternoon, the Coast Guard shut down all boat and ship travel on the Columbia River from Reed Island to the Bonneville Dam.

Officials determined it was too unsafe for boaters at risk of falling ash, and they also wanted to allow firefighters a clear path to dip water to fight the fire from the air.

There's no word when this stretch of the river will reopen.

The Red Cross is serving meals and snacks to everyone staying there. Most of the people were evacuated from Cascade Locks, although some were evacuated from the Archer Mountain Fire in Washington Tuesday.

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