Crews establish fire lines, have Eagle Creek Fire 5 percent cont - KPTV - FOX 12

Crews establish fire lines, have Eagle Creek Fire 5 percent contained

Posted: Updated:
COLUMBIA RIVER GORGE, OR (KPTV) -

The Eagle Creek Fire has been five percent contained and crews have fire lines near Cascade Locks and Bridal Veil, though the number of homes lost to the wildfire has increased.

As of Thursday morning, the fire has burned 33,382 acres and destroyed three homes. According to the Oregon State Fire Marshal’s Office, 1865 civilians in the state have been affected by the wildfire.

Lt. Damon Simmons with the Fire Marshal's office said his office did not know if the two homes added to the list of damaged properties were primary residences of vacation homes. The properties were in the same Dodson - Warrendale area as the house Iris Schenk, whose home of more than 20 years was confirmed destroyed earlier this week.

Crews said the burnbacks Wednesday were helpful and more were planned for Thursday near the Bridge of the Gods.

Interstate 84 is still closed between Troutdale and Hood River, and the Oregon Department of Transportation does not have an estimated time when it will reopen. ODOT crews have also been involved in clearing debris from the roadways inside the evacuation areas.

While the highway remains shut down, the U.S. Coast Guard plans to reopen access to the Columbia River to commercial ships at night, and Union Pacific has been able to move seven trains through the Columbia River Gorge.

There will be a community meeting in the theater at Hood River Valley High School at 6 p.m., and additional meetings are being planned for Friday or Saturday near Troutdale.

Evacuation levels remain unchanged, and state fire officials said Thursday that there is no set time frame when displaced residents will be able to return home.

There are now 928 fire personnel working on the fire, many of whom are camping out in the Hood River County Fairgrounds.

MORE: Woman who has lived in Gorge for 20 years loses home in Eagle Creek Fire

The Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office arrested a Troutdale man, 23-year-old Cody Cunningham after fire personnel said he contacted them and obtained fire clothing, even though he was not part of any firefighting crew in the area. He is currently booked into the Multnomah County Jail.

Several schools in the affected areas are still closed, including those in the Corbett and North Wasco County school districts in Oregon and the Skamania School District 2 in Washington.

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