Anxious community hears latest on Eagle Creek Fire during meetin - KPTV - FOX 12

Anxious community hears latest on Eagle Creek Fire during meeting in Troutdale

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Eagle Creek Fire (KPTV/Air 12) Eagle Creek Fire (KPTV/Air 12)
TROUTDALE, OR (KPTV) -

Local officials came together Monday night to inform community members about the current status of the Eagle Creek Fire. 

Transportation, living conditions and evacuations were all on tap for the meting that was held at McMenamins Edgefield in Troutdale. 

Officials said, "There's still a fire out there and we want you to be safe." 

The Eagle Creek Fire started nine days ago and has burned more than 34,000 acres. 

While some said the fate of the Gorge is up in the air, others believe its future is dependent on the men and women who have battled the Eagle Creek Fire from the beginning. 

Don Rose, who lives in Troutdale, felt more at ease.

"By the sounds of what I heard tonight, they've got a pretty good handle on the fire, they'll get control of it," he said. 

Representatives from the Oregon Department of Transportation, U.S. Forest Service and others filled people in on the fire that moved 13 miles within 16 hours.

Rick Miller, operations section chief, highlighted burn out operations on the west boarder along the Interstate 84 corridor. 

"Along the whole corridor up to Cascade, we've been working pretty diligently to either put line in to keep the fire from coming down and impacting the highway, and or burning it out, so we're doing really well," he said. 

Dan Bacon with ODOT addressed the big question: When will I-84 reopen? 

"I've been asked several times, 'When are you going to open the road?'" Bacon said. "'When it's safe,' is my answer. We've been working together with all of the folks that have been speaking here tonight, their plan is to continue cutting some of the danger trees."

Westbound traffic will most likely reopen before eastbound traffic.

Heidi Wiedmaier, a Troutdale resident, said she is still on the cusp of having to evacuate.

"If it can jump the Columbia, it would jump a pretty good long ways," she said about the fire spreading into Washington last week. 

After hearing the updates from the meeting, she said she is hopeful things will not come to that,

"I'm glad to hear they're listening to the local people because if you don't know the Gorge winds, if you don't live out here, you don't know the Gorge winds, you don't know what it can do," she said. 

To find out when evacuations will be lifted, log onto Publicalerts.org or contact the Multnomah County Sheriffs Office. 

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