(Originally published at 6:36 p.m. MDT September 7, 2017.)
These maps show heat that was detected by a satellite on wildfires in the northwestern United States during the 24-hour period ending at 6 p.m. Thursday September 7, 2017. We did not include heat from the 6 days previous to the last 24 hours.
If there was heat found, it means the fires are still active, however some of it could be from proactive burning by firefighters to secure the area between firelines and the edge of the fires.
The fire has burned 33,382 acres, which includes a 209-acre spot fire across the Columbia River in Washington.
On the map above, the red line was the perimeter of the Eagle Creek Fire at 2:15 a.m. PDT September 7, 2017. The white line was the perimeter about 24 hours before.
(Originally published at 9:06 am PDT September 7, 2017)
The Eagle Creek Fire that is believed to have been started by a teenager playing with fireworks, continued to spread Wednesday but more slowly than in previous days, adding another 2,453 acres mostly on the south and northeast sides. The spot fire across the Columbia River in Washington has expanded to 209 acres.
The main fire is 11 miles east of Gresham.
Interstate 84 is still closed. The Oregon Department of Transportation said Wednesday that there are nearly 2,000 trees that are in danger of falling into the highway.
Snow plows are being used to push fallen trees off the Historic Columbia River Highway, which is also closed “for an undetermined amount of time”, the DOT said.
The weather forecast indicates that the air quality should improve in the Portland area over the next few days. The prediction is for a “moderate” Air Quality Index for Thursday and Friday of this week. The forecast also calls for a chance of rain off and on over the next couple of days.
Above: 3-D map of the Eagle Creek Fire looking southeast, showing the perimeter at 7:30 p.m. PDT September 5, 2017.
(Originally published at 12:22 p.m. PDT, September 6, 2017)
The Eagle Creek Fire that has been burning since September 2 along the Columbia River Gorge just west of Cascade Locks on the Washington/Oregon border has merged with the nearby Indian Creek Fire, which together have blackened 30,929 acres. The blaze is about 10 miles east of the Portland suburbs.
Most of the fire is on the south side of the river in Oregon, but it has jumped across the river into Washington near Archer Mountain.
Six structures have burned and there is a report that at least one of them is a residence, with the others being outbuildings.
Several communities are under evacuation orders and a shelter has been established at Mt. Hood Community College, at 3691 NE 17th Drive, Gresham, OR. For information regarding evacuations in Skamania County, contact the Skamania County Emergency Operations Center at 509-427-8076.
Firefighters will be conducting burnout operations on September 6th from Bridge of the Gods to Bonneville Dam. There will be large plumes of smoke visible during the day.
Willamette Week reported that a Portland resident saw a teenage boy using fireworks that may have started the fire. On September 5 the Oregon State Police announced that a 15-year old boy from Vancouver, Washington is a suspect.
More than 27,000 firefighters are deployed on wildfires in the United States.
(Originally published at 10:35 a.m. MDT September 6, 2107)
These maps show the locations of large wildfires that are currently active in the Northwest United States. The red, yellow, and orange dots represent heat detected by a satellite in the 24 hour period ending at 10 a.m. MDT September 6.
According to the National Interagency Coordination Center, today there are 50 large uncontained wildfires in the United States that are being aggressively suppressed. In addition, there are another 35 fires that are not being fully suppressed.
Very large numbers of firefighting resources are currently assigned across the United States, including 560 hand crews, 1,865 engines, and 222 helicopters, for a total of 27,256 personnel.
As of yesterday 7.9 million acres has burned this year nationally, which compares to the 10-year average of 5.4 million acres for this date.
The video below shows heat and smoke in Idaho and Montana detected by a satellite on September 3 and 4, 2017.