Fire lines created to protect Cascade Locks from Eagle Creek Fir - KPTV - FOX 12

Fire lines created to protect Cascade Locks from Eagle Creek Fire

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CASCADE LOCKS, OR (KPTV) -

Firefighters have been working hard creating fire lines to protect Cascade Locks from the Eagle Creek Fire.

The concern Wednesday night is changing winds. The fire has been spreading to the west, but now a westerly wind may spread the fire growth to the east.

FOX 12 toured the fire line around 3:30 p.m. when the flames were only two tenths of a mile from town.

Despite that, firefighters say they're confident in the work they're doing, and say Cascade Locks is still in good shape.

Interstate-84 creates a natural barrier for the small town, and fire crews are doing burn outs around homes on the western edge of town, moving the growing fire away from homes and businesses.

While wind is never good in a fire fight, this wind is different from the east wind that came through the Columbia River Gorge a few days ago.

"The difference is higher humidity, cooler temperatures. We've got an inversion so we're not seeing that lift from unstable air, so it's moving slowly," said Eric Risdal, Division Chief with Willamette National Forest. "Instead of going miles per hour, it's going feet per hour."

"They're not going to stop it, no going to happen. They're out there to put a wedge in this thing around Cascade Locks and get it to move by this town," said Cascade Locks Mayor Tom Cramblett.

It's tough for Mayor Cramblett to see Cascade Locks as it is now. The majesty of the Columbia River Gorge blanketed in a thick layer of smoke.

Hundreds of families are still evacuated.

Mayor Cramblett is worried about the changing winds but also knows they're in good hands. Thankful to all of the firefighters doing so much to help.

"They do not want to give up one house, they don't want to give up one person, they don't want to give up anything, and that's their attitude towards it," said Mayor Cramblett.

If the fire does not reach the town like fire crews are hoping it will, the local fire chief said she hopes to be able to bring people home soon.

But there's still a lot of work to do, and at this point, they're just hoping for rain.

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