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Columbia River Weather
Overcast
Currently
50°
Chance of Rain
Wednesday 60%
High 63° / Low 47°
Partly Cloudy
Thursday 10%
High 62° / Low 46°
Clear
Friday 10%
High 68° / Low 45°

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Local News

Crystal Springs Lifts Boil And Conservation Orders

Crystal Springs Water District has lifted its boil and conservation orders.  Water test samples from the district’s distribution system came back safe to the drink.  The boil water and conservation advisories occurred last week due to a water main break.  After the water reservoirs were filled, pipes flushed, and the pipe-break was repaired, water tests were collected.  None of those tests found evidence of bacteria in the water.

Eagle Creek Fire Information Summary (as of 9 a.m. on September 17)

Eagle Creek Fire managers say Saturday was a fairly quiet day across the fire.

Due to active fire on Shellrock Mountain, resources stayed overnight to monitor fire activity…and during Saturday’s morning shift, fire backed slowly on the southeastern and southern edges but had no major runs or growth.

There was very little activity along the Interstate 84 corridor and fire officials expect to have more containment there today.  Engines will be rotating shifts and maintaining a presence at Multnomah Falls Lodge.  Crews will also continue to monitor the I-84 corridor with focus on the northeast sections taking action where needed.

Light rains are expected tonight, turning to heavy rains on Monday.  Officials say flash flooding is a concern and resources will be repositioned to keep firefighters safe. With the expected rains, crews will likely begin demobilizing from the incident and number of assigned personnel will decrease.

Due to concerns of rolling logs and rocks, Bonneville Power Association was not able to complete falling hazard trees near the powerline corridor east of Cascade Locks, and line will remain powered off until it is safe for BPA to finish removing those trees.  Power to Cascade Locks and Hood River has not been affected.

Saturday night Oregon State Fire Marshal structural resources working the night shift were released, and if weather and fire conditions permit today, the remaining structural task forces will be back to their local departments.  The OSFM Red Incident Management Team will also demobilize.

There is no change in evacuation levels established Thursday in Hood River County…map links are available at Gorgeradio.com and the Hood River County Sheriff’s Office Facebook page.

Hood River County Emergency Management has set up an information hotline for the Eagle Creek Fire, that number is 541-387-6941.

The Hood River County Sheriff’s Department encourages County residents to sign up for the Citizen Alert automatic notification system that sends emergency alerts through home, mobile or business phones, email addresses, and text messages.  To sign up, go to the Hood River County website.

The Red Cross shelter is at the Hood River Assembly of God Church at 979 Tucker Road in Hood River.  Pet sheltering assistance is available there.   Evacuee RVs may park at the Port of Hood River Lot 1 free of charge.

The Oregon Department of Transportation reopened westbound Interstate 84 between Hood River and Troutdale to all travelers Thursday evening, and Friday morning announced that exit 44 on and off-ramps at Cascade Locks had been reopened.  ODOT says all other off-ramps along the 45-mile stretch of road from milepost 62 to milepost 17 remain closed.  Eastbound I-84 will remain closed until authorities are confident the road is no longer threatened by falling debris, rolling rocks and the ongoing fire.  Travelers may not stop anywhere along Interstate 84, as it is still an active fire zone.  Please watch for—and move over for—emergency vehicles. Fire crews are still using the interstate to fight the fire.  Travel through the area if only absolutely necessary.  Cars parked on the shoulder will be towed. ODOT does say that if fire conditions change, I-84 westbound will close again.  Travelers should be aware of this possibility and visit www.TripCheck.com to check road conditions before heading out.  On Washington Highway 14, weight restrictions between Washougal and Dallesport remain in place until both lanes of I-84 are open.

Because of smoky conditions…the Gorge Kids Triathlon scheduled for Sunday has been cancelled.

The History Museum of Hood River County’s Cemetery Tales will take place this weekend as scheduled – rain or shine.  Organizers say they have a plan to deal with the possibility of smoke.  A few tickets are still available on line at brownpapertickets.com or at the museum. For more information call 541-386-6772.

A full area closure is in effect for the Hood River Ranger District West of Highway 35 and North of the Mt. Hood Wilderness.  The expanded closure is a result of extreme fire danger and to provide for firefighter safety during fire operations for the Eagle Creek Fire.  All roads, trails and National Forest System lands within this area are closed.

The Gifford Pinchot National Forest is prohibiting fire use and smoking throughout the forest. Restrictions will remain in effect until there is significant moisture to lower the fire danger.

All campfires and target shooting are now prohibited across the Mount Hood National Forest.  The forest also issued a more stringent Industrial Fire Precaution Level that governs industrial uses on the forest. All spark emitting machinery use such as chainsaws, tractors, skidders, or mechanized loaders are now prohibited.

Hood River Valley Football Game Moved To Barlow High School

Tonight’s scheduled Hood River Valley High School varsity football game vs. Ridgeview has been moved to Barlow High School in Gresham due to air quality in Hood River.  Kickoff will still be at 7 p.m., and the game can be heard on AM 1340/98.3 FM KIHR and on-line at Gorgeradio.com.

ODOT Opens Westbound I-84 Between HR and Troutdale; Eastbound Remains Closed

The Oregon Department of Transportation has reopened westbound Interstate 84 between Hood River and Troutdale reopened to all travelers this evening, ten days after the Eagle Creek Fire forced the closure of the highway.

ODOT says all off-ramps along the 45-mile stretch of road will remain closed. This includes the off-ramps to Cascade Locks. Residents traveling to Cascade Locks will continue to use Bridge of the Gods.

Travelers may not stop anywhere along Interstate. This is still an active fire zone. Travelers will see active fire along the highway and firefighting equipment will be active in the area.  Stopping along shoulders is dangerous.  Don’t stop to take pictures; the shoulder is for emergency stopping only.

Please watch for—and move over for—emergency vehicles. Fire crews are still using the interstate to fight the fire.

Travel through the area if only absolutely necessary.

Cars parked on the shoulder will be towed. Tow trucks are staged in the area to ensure stopped vehicles are immediately towed.

Please travel cautiously; other travelers may be distracted by the changed scenery.

Do not use your electronic device while driving to take pictures or video. Follow all distracted driving laws.

Please watch for—and move over for—emergency vehicles. Fire crews are still using the interstate to fight the fire.

Travel through the area if only absolutely necessary.

If fire conditions change, I-84 westbound will close again. Travelers should be aware of this possibility and visit www.TripCheck.com to check road conditions before heading out.

Eastbound I-84 will remain closed until authorities are confident the road is no longer threatened by falling debris, rolling rocks and the ongoing fire. ODOT crews continue to remove danger trees and pull down rocks loosened by the fire.

Fire On Indian Creek Trail Controlled; Police Ask Public For Information

Firefighters dealt with a fire on the Indian Creek Trail in Hood River on Tuesday night.  According to Hood River Police Chief Neal Holste…the fire was reported on the trail between 3rd and 5th streets just south of Pine Street just before 10:30 p.m.  Hood River Fire Captain Manuel Irusta estimated the fire to be less than two acres in size, and burned just below the trail and extended about 100 feet down toward the drainage.  The fire was brought under control by early morning, and fire crews monitored it through the night.  The cause of the fire is unknown, but Holste says a citizen called about five minutes before the fire was discovered to report multiple juveniles in a dark colored pickup had stopped near Horizon Christian School on Pacific Avenue and shot off aerial fireworks.  If anyone has information as to the cause of the fire, call Hood River Police Department Detective Anthony Frasier at 541-387-5257.  State and federal fire crews assisted in fighting the blaze.

ODOT Says When I-84 Can Open Westbound Lanes Will Open First

Interstate 84 between Hood River and Troutdale remains closed.  The Oregon Department of Transportation affirmed that when the freeway can be reopened, Interstate 84 westbound lanes will open first.  ODOT has removed about 2,500 trees that were in danger of falling onto I-84, but about 1,000 remain to be removed.  ODOT’s Don Hamilton says a couple of things have to happen before any part of the freeway can open:  first the road has to be safe, and then Eagle Creek Fire officials have to give clearance.  Eastbound lanes are probably still a week away from being opened.  The biggest impediment to re-opening the I-84 eastbound lanes is the threat of falling rocks, mostly around the Toothrock Tunnel.  The work is slow in steep, difficult terrain and reaches high up the hillside.  The Historic Columbia River Highway remains closed with no schedule to reopen.

TD Council Adopts Vertical Housing Zone Policies

The Dalles City Council has adopted vertical housing zone policies as the City receives an application to take advantage of it.  The vertical housing zone was created by the state in 2001 to encourage construction or rehabilitation of properties in certain areas to help provide more housing, with a partial property tax exemption for a maximum of ten years.  The Dalles established the zone in 2014, encompassing an extended area of downtown.  Mayor Steve Lawrence says the City has an application before them involving the Honald building.  Assistant City Manager Matthew Klebes was appointed to manage the vertical housing zone.

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