Human-Caused Wildfire In Oregon Forces 153 Hikers To Spend A Night In The Woods

Chris Wallner | FireFireBackcountryBackcountry
Fire in Columbia River Gorge. Image: KGW News

According to KGW News, Oregon State Police have identified a suspect that is believed to have misused fireworks that led to the start of this growing wildfire in the Columbia River Gorge, OR. 153 hikers were forced to unexpectedly spend a night in the wilderness after the fire trapped them in on Saturday night. These individuals were in the area, 90 miles east of Portland, swimming at popular waterfalls and pools, when the fire overtook the easy way out. Officials influenced them to spend the night and were able to drop supplies to them.

Fire in Columbia River Gorge. Image: KWG 8

Search and rescue teams reached the stranded hikers early Sunday morning and led them on a 14 mile hike to safety. All 153 hikers were safely reunited with their families, but one was transported via ambulance for non-life threatening issues related to dehydration and exhaustion.

Hood River Country Sheriff’s Office Press Release:

UPDATE: Eagle Creek Fire Search and Rescue

Cascade Locks, Ore.-

The final group of 153 hikers in the Eagle Creek area has been recovered from the Wahtum Lake area and is en route to the reunification site via bus. There are no hikers who are unaccounted for at this time. One hiker was transported non-critically via ambulance for issues related to exhaustion and dehydration.

An early image of the fire. Image: Hood River County Sherriff’s Office

It was reported that the fire grew to nearly 5 square miles by Sunday. Around 130 homes are under evacuation in the area due to the fire and a Red Cross shelter has been set up at the Skamania County Fair Grounds in Washington.

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