News Stories for Wed., Sep. 6, 2017

The Eagle Creek wildfire burning in the Columbia River Gorge enters its fifth day and was measured at 20,000 acres yesterday. The Eagle Creek and Indian Creek Fires have merged together and will be managed as one incident.  While evacuations were still in effect for hundreds of people, the good news from officials was that firefighters Tuesday were successful in keeping the fire growth to a minimum. A spot fire, which spread across the Columbia River early Tuesday morning morning, is approximately 30 acres and is being managed by a Washington DNR Type 3 Team.

Due to rocks, snags and other debris entering the roadway, Interstate 84 remains closed to all vehicles from Troutdale to Hood River with limited access from The Dalles to Hood River. Truck traffic is being diverted onto OR 197 then to U.S. 26. Washington’s SR 14 is remains closed to truck traffic from Washougal, MP 19 to Dallesport, MP 84.  Westbound passenger vehicle traffic is being diverted to SR 14 from The Dalles. Expect very slow going on the highway in both directions.

Dealing with smoke in the air has become the norm this summer due to wildfires all throughout the west. You really should limit your time outside in these conditions. And, when you are outside, do not overdo it. Heavy breathing increases the amount of smoke you breathe in. If possible, keep doors and windows closed and use the recirculating setting on air conditioners and car vents. It is also advisable to avoid other types of indoor smoke such as from wood stoves, candles and cigarettes. If you have heart, lung or respiratory diseases, make sure to keep your prescriptions for these issues filled and store them where they can be easily reached, and let others know where it is and how to help you use it.  If your throat is dry and scratchy, lozenges may help. And, as always, drink fluids to stay hydrated.

All five of Oregon’s House members — Reps. Peter DeFazio , Earl Blumenauer, Greg Walden, Suzanne Bonamici, and Kurt Schrader (OR-05) — sent a letter to House leaders Tuesday requesting that emergency funding for wildland fire suppression be included in the Hurricane Harvey emergency supplemental appropriations bill the House will take up later this week. The Forest Service is expected to exhaust its funding for wildfire suppression within days. Dangerous wildfires have forced thousands of Oregonians to evacuate their homes and businesses and degraded air quality has caused serious health issues across Oregon.

In prep sports yesterday: Madras Varsity Volleyball was defeated by Ridgeview 3-0. The Ravens rolled to a 25-10, 25-6, 25-7 nonleague victory over Madras.

In Boys Soccer, Madras came out on top 2-0 over Sisters. Esteban Gomez scored on a corner kick in the second minute, and Tyler Lockey netted a goal in the 23rd minute to lead the White Buffaloes (2-0) to a shortened nonconference win. The game was called off at the half due to poor air quality. The girls varsity match was cancelled.