Firefighters respond to ‘hotspot’ from Eagle Creek fire

Forest Service firefighters responded Tuesday morning to a small hotspot reported near Herman Creek.

The glow from the flare-up was reported around 2 a.m. on May 29. Firefighters located the hotspot about a half mile east of Herman Creek Trailhead, north of the Gorge 400 trail, according to spokeswoman Rachel Pawlitz.

Two engines and a hand crew from Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area are on scene suppressing the fire, which was found smoldering in heavy downed timber with few ground fuels.

Eagle Creek fire, contained in late November 2017, has not yet been declared out and the hotspot is not unexpected, according to Pawlitz. Heavy fuels and organic material known as duff can hold heat underground over winter and flare back up after a period of warm dry weather.

Hotspots are among the known post-fire hazards that have caused area trails to remain closed in the wake of Eagle Creek fire. Other hazards include fire-weakened trees and loose boulders that can fall on trails at unpredictable times, as well as ongoing rockslides and landslides.

This spring has already been unusually dry in the Columbia River Gorge, and the seasonal outlook suggests a hot, dry summer. People are reminded to be extra vigilant with campfires and observe any local prohibitions due to fire hazards. As a reminder, fireworks are always illegal on federal public lands. Always check that a campfire is stone-cold out before leaving; whenever it is too hot to touch, it is too hot to walk away.

For a full list of Eagle Creek fire closures and more details about response efforts, visit bit.ly/eaglecreekfireresponse.



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