Fire leaps Columbia River, burns on Washington side of Gorge

Travelers warned to avoid state Route 14 east of Washougal

The massive Eagle Creek Fire burning on the Oregon side of the Columbia River Gorge jumped the Columbia River last night, sparking a separate fire in Skamania County on the Washington side of the Gorge.

The Washington Gorge fireĀ  has burned more than 20 acres on the south side of Archer Mountain, located approximately two miles west of Skamania and about 15 miles east of Washougal.

Interstate 84 from Troutdale to Hood River, Oregon, remains closed. State Route 14 through the Washington side of the Gorge is closed to semi-truck traffic. Passenger vehicles are still allowed on SR-14, but the Skamania County Sheriff’s Office warns that the highway is “very congested due to the fires and the traffic being routed from the closure of Interstate 84.” The sheriff’s office says travelers should avoid SR-14 unless they have to travel through the area.

Residents living in the immediate Archer Mountain area are under various evacuation orders today, from the Level III (go now) order on Archer Mountain, Smith Cripe, Franz, McClosky Creek and Kellet Roads, Dimrill Dale Drive and Victoria Lane to the Level II (be ready to evacuate at a moment’s notice) orders on Foggy Ridge, Patrick Lane, Columbia Ridge and Patrick, Hills Berry and Mabee Mines roads.

For the latest updates on evacuation orders in Skamania County, visit the Skamania County Sheriff’s Office on Facebook or call the Skamania County Emergency Operations center at 509-427-8076.

As of this morning, the Northwest Interagency Coordination Center was reporting that the nearly 5,000-acre wildfire on the Oregon side of the Gorge was at zero percent containment. The agency also reported Tuesday morning that “a thermal trough will continue to bring hot, dry and unstable burning conditions from the Cascade Crest westward for Oregon and Washington today,” adding that these types of conditions “have a history of resulting in significant flare-ups for ongoing incidents and rapid growth of new fires.”

Smoke from the wildfires has drifted west, degrading air quality throughout Camas and Washougal, and dropping ash in many areas throughout the Portland/Vancouver metro region. For tips on protecting yourself from the smoky air, click here.

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