6 hikers rescued after 140 trapped by wildfires

06 September, 2017, 13:43 | Author: Chad Mckenzie
  • Incredible timelapse video shows spread of wildfire near Portland

Estimated 10,000+ acres and 0% containment.

On Tuesday, evacuation orders were in place for six Columbia Gorge communities, forcing residents to leave 400 homes.

Authorities say the fire has consumed about 500 acres (2 square kilometres).

A total of 600 Oregon National Guard troops have been called up to fight more than a dozen blazes across Oregon, including a much larger blaze in southwest Oregon in a rural area along the California border.

There were no reported injuries and no major structural damage to homes.

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A state police spokesman said no arrests had been made and declined to give more information, citing an active investigation. A 15-year-old boy is suspected of starting the fire by throwing fireworks, according to KVAL-TV. State Route 14 through the Washington side of the Gorge is closed to semi-truck traffic.

Conditions slowing the blaze could change again "in a moment's notice, and the winds can accelerate very quickly", Los Angeles Fire Capt. Ralph Terrazas warned, however. This includes all areas north of Wa Na Pa to the Columbia River and on the east end of town north of I-84 to the river, as well as Forest Lane and intersecting roads, running east to Government Cove. Trucks heading westbound are being detoured off the highway at The Dalles.

Interstate 84 from Troutdale to Hood River, Oregon, remains closed. He said they will work with law enforcement to determine when to reopen the road.

The Eagle Creek fire is just one of more than a dozen wildfires now scorching Oregon.

Winds sent ash raining down on Portland about 30 miles (48 km) to the west of the fire on Tuesday, said Joanie Schmidgall, a spokeswoman for the team fighting the fire.

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Firefighters in Ottumwa had to respond Monday, Sept. 4, 2017, to a brush fire on Camille Street, a reminder of just how quickly small fires can become a problem.

The Red Cross has opened shelters at the Skamania County Fairgrounds, immediately across the Columbia River in Stevenson, Washington, as well as at Mount Hood Community College in Gresham, Oregon.

Officials worked to protect structures built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s in the nearby Eagle Creek Day Use Area, and put sprinklers on a suspension bridge across Eagle Creek. They can contact police at (503) 375-3555.

All of the 153 hikers who were forced to spend the night in the mountains east of Portland made it down the trail to safety on Sunday.

Deputy Joel Ives says all of the hikers were accounted for. One hiker was taken out by ambulance for exhaustion and dehydration.

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