Fire officials: Eagle Creek Fire won't outlast predicted rain - KPTV - FOX 12

Fire officials: Eagle Creek Fire won't outlast predicted rain

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HOOD RIVER, OR (KPTV) -

The Eagle Creek Fire continues to grow and so does its containment by fire crews who have been working nonstop in the Columbia River Gorge to keep the flames from homes and businesses. Now, some relief is on the way.

Fire officials gave an update on the Eagle Creek Fire from Hood River Valley High School Saturday afternoon. They said the predicted rain is expected to stomp out fire season.

Carolyn Welty-Fick lives in Hood River and says she’s looking forward to being able to see clearly across the Columbia River in the mornings again.

“We’d love for this to be over and get back to being able to breathe clearly,” Welty-Fick said.

It was a full house inside the high school gym where locals heard from officials that starting Sunday, things may be changing.

“There’s been just a lot of fear and anxiety,” said Welty-Fick.

National Weather Service Incident Meteorologist Shawn Weagle says, in his opinion, there is one more day of fire season -- Saturday.

That statement brought cheers and lots of clapping from the crowd because, finally, the weather is turning in their favor.

“Any rain at all is gonna be great and it’s gonna make, hopefully, a big difference in what happens,” said Welty-Fick.

“When the weatherman told us there’s a day and a half left of fire season, the whole crowd started clapping. What a relief!” exclaimed Paul Blackburn, the mayor of Hood River.

There is an end in sight for Oregonians.

Officials say fire season won’t be able to outlast this rainfall. They’re telling locals to be hopeful, but cautious. There’s still a fire to fight before the weather shifts.

“With the fire being close enough to some of the values at risk in the communities, we cannot turn around and walk away yet,” said Rick Miller, who’s the Operations Section Chief for the Eagle Creek Fire.

Pat Schmuck was at Saturday’s meeting and says she evacuated herself last night at a level two.

“It’s one day at a time,” she said.

Fire officials say when there’s a lot of rain after a fire, it could create a mess in the burn areas, shaking rocks and other debris loose.

But they say ODOT has a handle on the situation and, other than that, the rainfall will be nothing but good for the fire.

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