Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area
U.S. Forest Service
Hood River, OR 97031
Eagle Creek Fire
October 5, 2017 - 9:00 a.m.
Fire Information: 541-392-1632 (8 a.m.-8 p.m.)
Approximate Fire Size: 48,831 acres
Approximate Fire Containment: 47%
Fire line repair continues today, with the majority of the work taking place now in the western end of the fire. Dry weather is increasing fire activity slightly, but is aiding fire crews working on repair by drying soils out so that they can safely use heavy equipment. It’s also important that soils are dry to prevent compaction during the repair work. Finishing the work before fall rains begin in earnest is vital, which is one reason a significant fire crew is still being deployed on the fire.
Dry weather accompanied by warmer temperatures reaching normal highs will continue for the remainder of the week. This will likely result in the appearance of small, isolated hot spots that will produce smoke visible from various locations. This is not expected to result in any significant fire activity nor pose any threat to containment. An upper level low-pressure trough is forecast to drop out of British Columbia on the weekend, ushering in cooler weather and the potential for rain showers that will once again suppress fire activity.
The containment figure has not changed recently which frequently raises questions about why this is and whether it indicates that there is still a significant threat to homes, the highway, or public safety from fire activity. The answer is that it does not. Containment often refers to the amount of fire perimeter that has been lined and that fire mangers are confident will contain the fire under anticipated conditions. In the case of the Eagle Creek fire, fire managers concluded that a containment level adequate to protect valuable resources and public safety had been achieved with the lines that were constructed given the behavior of the fire and anticipated weather patterns. Another frequently asked question is, when will the fire be out? The answer is, not until after fall rains and snows come and it naturally is extinguished. It’s not feasible nor safe to attempt to achieve full suppression with fire crews given the size and exceptionally rugged terrain. But once again, the minimal fire activity present poses no significant threat to containment.
The Burned Area Emergency Response (BAER) Team released the Eagle Creek Fire Burned Soil Severity map, which provides the basis for their assessment. It can be found on our InciWeb and Facebook pages as well as in our Twitter feed. Final BAER products are expected to be released on Friday.
Resources Assigned: 3 Hand Crew; 4 Engines; 1 Helicopter, 4 engines, 1 Dozer; 166 total Personnel.
Additional fire, closure and evacuation information can be found at the following sites:
Oregon Smoke Information: https://oregonsmoke.blogspot.com/
Multnomah County Sheriff Flash Alert: https://www.flashalert.net/id/MCSO
Hood River County Sheriff: http://www.hoodriversheriff.com/news/breaking-news/
Firewise Information: http://www.firewise.org/