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Gorge Fire Update: Wed, 9/6, 12:00

A smoke-shrouded Cascade Locks on Tuesday, Sept 5. Photo courtesy Charlie Quaempts, CRITFC.

Tribal Fishery:

The current tribal fishery closes in two days (Friday at 6:00 pm). Please be sure to plan accordingly and give plenty of time to remove gear from the river. If conditions warrant, use a face mask as prolonged smoke exposure, particularly during strenuous activity, can be harmful.

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 gear. Please note that these could change depending on conditions.

Air Operations:

Firefighting aircraft are getting water from the Columbia River downstream from Bonneville Dam. Please be aware of your surroundings and be on the lookout for low-flying aircraft.

There is a navigation safety zone on the mainstem Columbia River from river mile 126 to river mile 146 (Bonneville Dam). This allows planes to get water from the Columbia River without interfering with the tribal fishery and without interruption.

Evacuation Information:

Evacuation levels remain unchanged.

Wind is expected to change direction this afternoon. The west wind could result in immediate evacuation notices for some areas and be problematic for tribal fishers using the following sites:

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

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

Weather:

The storm system that is moving in this afternoon is expected to deliver around a tenth of an inch of rain over a 36-hour period, which will help with firefighting efforts and to wash the smoke and ash from the air in the lower Gorge. Late afternoon winds might be problematic as the wind shifts from east to west, creating unpredictable fire conditions and possibly spreading more embers. Little to no rain is expected past The Dalles.

Air Quality:

High levels of smoke in the Gorge is creating dangerous human health hazards. Please use a mask and avoid prolonged exposure to the smoke and haze. All 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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