Following an official review of Eagle Creek Fire status Thursday, the fire has been updated to 100% contained.
The change reflects a determination made that the fire is not expected to grow beyond its perimeter, and is not the same as officially declaring the fire “out.” At this stage of the fire, no further growth is expected, but “fuels” (timber and other flammable natural materials) may still be smoldering within the fire perimeter.
“We are comfortable at this stage that the fire will not grow outside of its existing perimeter, but there may be fuels smoking in a few places in remote terrain,” said Chris Harper, current incident commander for Eagle Creek Fire.
An incident commander with the U.S. Forest Service is still assigned to the fire and will continue to apprise the situation. Current personnel on the fire are focused on protecting public safety in the closed areas. The Forest Service’s Eagle Creek Fire Closure, which includes numerous recreation sites in the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area and Mt. Hood National Forest, remains unchanged except for Multnomah Falls Lodge and front plaza, which opened yesterday.
“Folks might be wondering why we went from 50% contained to 100% contained,” said Rachel Pawlitz, public affairs office for the national scenic area, “We had held the number at 50% for some time as a reflection of the percent surrounded by containment lines. Today, we changed it to 100 % contained based on our review of conditions and comfort level that it will not grow anywhere in its perimeter.”