Defending private property and historical structures in the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area, state parks and the Bull Run Watershed will continue to be top priorities for firefighters. Interstate 84 remains closed from Troutdale to Hood River due to debris on the freeway.
The Eagle Creek and Indian Creek fires have merged, growing Wednesday to 30,929 acres at the Oregon-Washington border, according to fire officials.
The two blazes will be managed as one, officials said. The Archer Mountain fire on the north side of the Columbia River has grown to 112 acres, which started when embers jumped the Columbia River and state lines, officials said in a news release.
The fire may have been started by a 15-year-old suspect from Vancouver, Wash., who was using fireworks, according to the Oregon State Police. Witnesses are urged to come forward and an investigation is ongoing, police said.
Firefighters worked Tuesday to save the historic Multnomah Falls Lodge, erected in 1925, and they were successful after wetting the building as a “firestorm of falling embers” swirled.
Officials said defending private property and historical structures in the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area, state parks and the Bull Run Watershed will continue to be top priorities for firefighters Wednesday
Interstate 84 remains closed from Troutdale to Hood River due to debris on the freeway.
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Temperatures are expected to be cooler Wednesday, but a warning will be in effect in the afternoon for potential lightning. Winds will shift westerly, which could propel fire growth to the east.
Fire behavior had been dramatic, with big swaths of timber set ablaze in a matter of minutes on Monday and Tuesday. Embers carried by the winds were creating spot fires as much as 3/4 of a mile away from the main blaze.
“It was all fire, the whole hill,” said Mike Zamani, co-owner of the Skamania Store, who said he was told by a law-enforcement official to leave his home about 2:30 a.m. Tuesday morning.
For real-time and evacuation information, please contact the Multnomah, Hood River, or Skamania County sheriff offices.