Forest Service looking into drone video showing wildfire damage - KPTV - FOX 12

Forest Service looking into drone video showing wildfire damage in Gorge

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Eagle Creek Fire, KPTV file image Eagle Creek Fire, KPTV file image
TROUTDALE, OR (AP) -

A video that shows the damage to the Angel's Rest Trail in the Columbia River Gorge has many people curious, including the U.S. Forest Service.

Angel’s Rest sits in the closure area of the Eagle Creek Fire.

A video that surfaced on social media depicted a small group of people making their way up the trail Saturday. It showed the charred earth and badly damaged trees from the fire.

It later went on to show aerial video of Angel's Rest and the damage done by the Eagle Creek Fire which had grown to more than 35,500 acres Tuesday.

The man who posted the original video told FOX 12 he simply left his home, which sits in the evacuation zone, and headed up the nearby trail. He said there was no one nearby to tell him otherwise.

What really has firefighters and the U.S. Forest Service concerned is footage at the end of the video appears to be shot by a drone.

The Forest Service reports that it is illegal to go into these closed areas, as well to fly a drone in their temporary flight restriction zones.

A Forest Service spokesperson said they are working with the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office to look into the matter.

Wes Griffen said he shot the video and released a statement to FOX 12 on Tuesday. 

The Eagle Creek Fire, which has spread to within a mile of my house has devastated me just as it has the millions that have enjoyed the beauty of the Columbia river gorge. I in no way made this video to intervene or interject with the efforts set forth by the men and women helping to put it out.

I would never intervene or do anything within my own limitations to halt or slow the efforts in place to ending this fire. I was never in the way of any firemen and never anywhere near an aircraft of any kind. The Gorge is my home, always has been and most likely always will be and I have no intentions of ever trying to ruin the beauty that I'm fortunate to be surrounded by on a daily basis.

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