Due to the continued high level of fire activity, the West Cascades will continue to experience heavy smoke impacts today, and east winds will continue to move smoke from the Cascade Crest and into down-wind communities.
According to the Hood River County Emergency Management Office, these winds and fire activity will lead to “very unhealthy” to “hazardous” air conditions throughout the day. More information about the smoke is available at http://oregonsmoke.blogspot.com.
"Fires across the state and incredibly devastating, towns lost, devastating power outages and communications are down in some parts of the state," said Hood River County Emergency Manager Barb Ayers, "Please send your good thoughts their way."
See below for updates on the numerous fires currently impacting the Columbia River Gorge.
Hood Meadows Fire (Heather Canyon, Mt. Hood Meadows area)
Following Monday's successful suppression efforts, firefighters returned yesterday and today to improve the containment line and mop up. The fire, located by the Timberline Trail on the edge of Heather Canyon, remains at 1.5 acres. After locating a water source nearby, crew installed a hose lay to the fire so the dependency on helicopter water drops was removed. Firefighters from 2 engines along with 8 repeller firefighters are staffing the fire today. Staff at Mt. Hood Meadows have been providing critical support. Firefighters expect that at the end of shift today, the fire will be in "patrol" status, and crews expect the fire to be completely contained by tomorrow.
PSPS (power outages for fire hazard weather, to prevent utility caused fires) is still in effect for PGE customers in Clackamas County’s Mount Hood area – Government Camp to Sandy area along the Highway 25 corridor, where extreme weather and winds occurred. Power is anticipated to be back on by this weekend to these areas, if possible – PGE has more on their website.
Fire is in mop up status, ODF, US Forest Service Scenic Area, MCFR and Mosier Fire responded. Size of fire is approximately 1 acre on both sides of railroad track.
State Road Fire
Agencies responded were, Mosier Fire, MCFR, ODF, US Forest Service Scenic Area, Wildland Immediate Need Task Force from Hood River County consisting of Hood River Fire, Wy East, Westside Fire, and Cascade Locks responded; approximate size of fire is about 2.5 acres. Evacuation Notices have been lifted, fire is contained and in Patrol Status.
White River Fire
White River Fire size is approximately 17,507 acres and 70 percent contained as of end of day Sept. 8. Pine Grove remains at Level 1 Get Ready Evacuation Status. The Type 1 Incident Management Team is transitioning and shifting resources to the Lions Head fire but will ensure sufficient resources remain for the White River Fire and will retain control until it is sufficiently contained for ODF and USFS resources on site.
The Mt. Hood National Forest is currently under a full forest closure including all campgrounds, roads, trails, and other areas. Other road and areas closures will be updated as that information becomes available.
Riverside Fire (Clackamas County side of the Mt. Hood National Forest)
As of 1 p.m. on Sept. 9, the fire had reportedly grown to 40,000 acres under critical fire weather. Firefighters responded immediately in the early morning hours of Sept. 8, when the Riverside Fire was first reported. Driven by high winds, crews reported extreme fire growth including torching, running, and spotting fire behavior as the fire moved 17 miles west along the Clackamas River drainage over the course of the day.
“This weather is extremely hazardous to our firefighters and first responders,” said Richard Periman, Mt. Hood National Forest Supervisor. “We responded immediately when the fire was first reported, and we’ll keep all of the firefighting resources we have available on the Riverside Fire as we keep life and human safety as our top priority.”
A second day of high-winds and low humidity today could continue to drive active fire growth on the Clackamas River corridor of the Mt. Hood National Forest and surrounding private lands. Crews and available air resources will continue to look for opportunities to stop forward growth on the fire and protect life and property. More than 20 engines and crews are currently working to address immediate human life concerns, including working with county emergency management to assess any buildings burned yesterday. The fire remains seven miles from the community of Estacada. "This is an extremely fluid situation and more information will be shared as it becomes available," said a press release.
Please check with the Clackamas County Sheriff's Office (https://twitter.com/ClackCoSherif) for the most current evacuation information.