Eagle Creek is the most popular spot to recreate in the Columbia Gorge. The Eagle Creek trail hosts spectacular views as you pass by many waterfalls. The payoff is the iconic Punchbowl falls. The water spills down a hundred feet into a blue-green bowl. It looks like something out of a fairy tail. At the end of the trail, just for good measure, is Tunnel Falls. The trail passed through a tunnel behind the falls. It’s awesome.
On Saturday September 2nd a fire was reported at Eagle Creek in the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area. It was started by some teenagers who had the brilliant idea of throwing fireworks off a cliff. Now, we were all teenagers once, and probably did some pretty dumb stuff, I certainly did, so I’m not calling for jail time. Just some community service till they’re in their 40’s. Hey, maybe they should plant some trees. Overnight the fire had spread to about 3,000 acres, and by Tuesday to 200,00 acres. Embers had flown across the Columbia River and started a fire at Archer Mountain. Can you dig that? The fire was so huge that it started a fire across one of the widest rivers in the world. Unbelieveable.
As of this Saturday morning the fire has expanded to 33,682 acres and is 7% contained. There is a massive effort to combat this fire. There are 987 firefighters, 102 engines, and 12 helicopters dumping water from the Columbia onto the fire. One of the great things to come out of disasters like this are the heroic efforts of our emergency personnel. Sunday night the jewel of the Columbia River Gorge, Multnomah Falls Lodge, had come under danger of being destroyed. Flames had lit up the entire ridge behind the lodge, coming as close as 30 yards. By midnight Monday it was a close call. The firefighters had to constantly douse the lodge with water. The roof is cedar and they were worried one ember could spark a blaze. Crews had to replenish their water from Multnomah Creek. There are no fire hydrants at the lodge. By 3 a.m. they had beaten the blaze back. The crews are going to stay until they are 100% sure the lodge is safe.
The Eagle Creek fire is far from over and if you would like to help here are a few ways to do so: