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Gorge Fire Update: Thur 9/7, 1:00pm

Tribal Fishery:

The current tribal fishery closes tomorrow at 6:00 pm. Please be sure to plan accordingly and give plenty of time to remove gear from the river. If you do not have access to the river or cannot access it safely before the fishery closure, please contact CRITFE for assistance.

Barges are still operating on the Columbia River so please keep an eye out and use normal precautions.

If you must access the Columbia River in the lower Bonneville Pool, consider using access sites on the Washington shore. Boat ramps at Cooks, Wind River, Stevenson, Drano Lake, and White Salmon are currently accessible for fishers needing to access the river or their gear. Please note that these could change depending on conditions.

Yakama Nation Fish and Game and CRITFE will be on the river for this week’s fishery closure. They may be available to assist tribal fishers in emergency situations. Please contact CRITFE for questions or assistance.

Air Operations:

Helicopters and airplanes are getting water from the Columbia River to fight the fire. Please be aware of your surroundings and be on the lookout for low-flying aircraft.

Access:

Access across the Bridge of the Gods is being regulated by state WADOT on the Washington side. CRITFE is working with WADOT to facilitate tribal fisher access. Please be prepared to show your tribal IDs for access.

Private vehicles will be able to travel west on I-84 from Hood River to Cascade Locks at set times throughout the day. The first opening will leave at 5:30 this evening and tomorrow at 9:00am, 12:00pm, 5:30pm, and 8:00pm. Departure location will be Exit 64 (Westcliff Drive) and will not travel past Cascade Locks since the freeway from Cascade Locks to Troutdale is blocked by debris. Cars waiting for the opening could impact local traffic near Exit 64.

Evacuation Information:

Evacuation levels remain unchanged.

Wind is expected to pick up this afternoon and tomorrow. This could result in immediate evacuation notices for some areas and be problematic for tribal fishers utilizing the following sites:

  • Wind River
  • Cooks
  • North Bonneville
  • Underwood
  • Drano and Stevenson boat launches

Be prepared to evacuate. Have your belongings, your boat, and your gear ready to go in a moment’s notice. Human safety is priority one.

If you need assistance or transportation during an evacuation situation, please contact CRITFE at 541-386-6363.

Weather:

West winds could pick up this afternoon and tomorrow. This could be problematic and create unpredictable fire conditions and possibly spreading more embers. A NWS red flag warning for dry lighting is in effect for today throughout the Columbia River Gorge. Please be aware of your surroundings.

Air Quality:

High level of smoke in the Gorge continues to create dangerous human health hazards. Please use a mask and avoid prolonged exposure to the smoke and haze. Outdoor vigorous or strenuous activity should be avoided. Vulnerable individuals with chronic cardiovascular or pulmonary disease, children, and the elderly should be especially cautious. If you feel the effects of smoke inhalation (nausea, headaches, or respiratory problems) please get inside or visit a medical facility.

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