#EagleCreekFire | Update 1 | October 10, 2017

INCIDENT SUMMARY

The Eagle Creek Fire was reported on September 2, 2017 around 1600 hours that is located in the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic area near the town of Cascade Locks, Oregon.  This fire would soon become like a firestorm exploding into 3,000 acres overnight the first night.  During nights two (9/5) and three (9/6), the east winds would begin to blow scooping up excessive heat and pushing the fire westward.

UPDATE 1 – 10/10/2017 – 2215 hours PDT

On October 9th, crews were working on hazard tree assessments, fire suppression repairs and patrolling.  Area closures are in effect.  ODOT was busy assisting with removing rock and other debris along the iconic and historic Hwy 30.  The highway still remains closed and there is no estimated time when it will reopen.

As of October 8th, the fire was said to be at 48,831 acres with a 50% containment status.  The fire behavior is minimal and an increase is expected to be very small, if at any.  Fire suppression efforts have turned to Burned Area Emergency Response efforts (BAER) which evaluates risks to life, property and critical natural and cultural resources resulting in a post-fire state.  There are still 106 personnel assigned with the fire being managed by a Type 3 Command unit.  The cause is unknown but is being investigated.

Damaged was recorded to have impacted many structures in the area including the Eagle Creek Suspension Bridge. The bridge is notably unstable when a support cable broke free.  The bridge is said to be hanging near the stream.  This has or will be removed to stop further erosion or damage to the environment and nearby lives working in the area.

(Photo Credit:  BAER team)

A view across the Eagle Creek suspension bridge after a support cable pulled free. The bridge and cables hang near the stream. It is proposed for emergency removal before it causes more resource damage.

One of the responsibilities of the BAER team is to look for hazards that may impact or danger human life and property damage.  Here in this photo a team is looking down at the Multnomah Lodge below where rocks are observed falling down the slopes which could pose a serious problem to those at, in, around or outside of the Lodge.

(Photo Credit:  BAER team)

Looking down at Multnomah Lodge - BAER   BAER team members look down at Multnomah Lodge from the same location as the last photo. Rocks falling down the slope pose a serious hazard to Multnomah Lodge.

This photo clearly shows that there has been a rock slide and one are ongoing as two of these member stand here.  This is on the Benson Bridge at the Multnomah Falls.

(Photo Credit:  BAER team)

BAER Team

It appears that the Oneonta Tunnel burned during the Eagle Creek Fire causing the popular trail to become dangerous to those who walk near, through and entering/exiting it.  Since it had burned, rocks are now falling from the burned slopes above on to Highway 30 and this trail (tunnel).    Since, rains come and go in the NW, this will pose a life-threatening injury to all lives should additional water rundown and bringing large rocks with it.  The BAER team has determined this hazard and will close it to prevent injuries/loss of life.

(Photo Credit:  BAER team)

Oneonta Tunnel burned during the Eagle Creek Fire. Rocks are falling from the burned slopes above onto Hwy. 30 and the trail, creating a hazard that will grow worse with winter rains.

Additionally to damage and destruction to buildings or infrastructure, there were four homes that were destroyed.

(c) 2017 NW Fire Blog

 

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