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Author Topic: Columbia Gorge fire  (Read 826 times)

pcgpcg

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Columbia Gorge fire
« on: September 05, 2017, 12:54:50 PM »

If you're planning a fall trip to the Columbia Gorge for photos you should rethink.

A major fire (Eagle Creek fire) is burning out of control and advancing rapidly through the Gorge. I-84 is currently closed from Troutdale to Hood River. Local communities have been evacuated and firefighters are working to protect major structures like Nesika Lodge, Multnomah Falls Lodge, and Crown Point. It's burning on both sides of I-84 and it jumped the Columbia River this morning and about 20 acres is now burning in Washington across from Cascade Locks. The fire is currently over 10,000 acres and ash is falling in Portland. Hikers have identified two teenage boys who started the fire by throwing fireworks on the trail up to Punchbowl Falls, resulting in 153 hikers being prevented from hiking down from Punchbowl Falls Saturday afternoon. They were forced to spend the night and then hike to Wahtum Lake on Sunday, where the Forest Service then bused them back to the highway.

Local news is reporting that the fire is currently burning both above and below Multnomah Falls, and photos show firetrucks spraying down the lodge. Hikers in the area before the closure have reported that both Nesmith Point and Munra Point have burned. The USFS is reporting that the historic highway tunnel at the base of Oneonta Gorge "has been damaged". And, of course, this closes yet another section of the PCT, a bad year to make that trek.

This fire won't begin to go out until the rains come and long term forecast is hot and dry. So tragic.
« Last Edit: September 11, 2017, 02:15:54 AM by pcgpcg »
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hogloff

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Re: Columbia Gorge fire
« Reply #1 on: September 05, 2017, 10:08:44 PM »

That's a shame. Such a lovely place.

Funny, I was Photographing the Eagle Creek are this past March and it was raining so hard waterfalls were forming on the trail where none ever existed before. The creek was not passable.
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Joe Towner

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Re: Columbia Gorge fire
« Reply #2 on: September 06, 2017, 11:25:54 PM »

Add in a second fire on the NE side of Mt Rainier that's closed off access to Sunrise & Crystal Mountain (their gondola offers up one of the best vantage points of the mountain).

I'm ready for the rain.
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pcgpcg

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Re: Columbia Gorge fire
« Reply #3 on: September 11, 2017, 04:25:07 PM »

This photo of Oneonta Canyon was taken on Sept. 10 by Portland hiker Don Nelson from the Washington side of the Columbia Gorge. The west side of the canyon is not visible from this angle, but it shows that the east side has completely burned. Oneonta Gorge begins at the cliffs at the bottom of the photo and extends up under the shadowed portion of the canyon proper. The narrow often-photographed portion of Oneonta Gorge is probably not burned (no way to tell until I-84 re-opens, perhaps in another week) as it is sheltered and the only greenery is moss and ferns. However, the steep slopes directly above are dirt and loose rock which has been held in place by dense undergrowth and trees. Now that that has burned it is likely landslides and debris will fall down into the gorge this winter when the rains start, making it a very dangerous place to be and likely adding a great deal of mud,rocks, and logs to that picturesque slot canyon.
The fire is now over 34,000 acres and 7% contained.

« Last Edit: September 11, 2017, 04:30:49 PM by pcgpcg »
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