Smoke from western wildfires brings health concerns, damage, evacuations

Creek Fire visible from the nearby town Cascade Locks

Creek Fire visible from the nearby town Cascade Locks. Amelia Templeton

The growing blaze east of Portland, Oregon, in the scenic Columbia River Gorge, was one of dozens of wildfires in western US states that sent smoke into cities from Seattle to Denver.

"The wind shift could push the fire to the east, especially in the higher elevations in the Mark O. Hatfield Wilderness", InciWeb says. The National Weather Service said that quality was likely to get worse from fires burning in Canada, Montana, Oregon and Washington.

"You can't really stand outside without getting rained on" by ash, Fisher said. When we first moved here from the East Coast two years ago, we came across this spot. "The gorge is Oregon's crown jewel, it's our playground and we are very, very sad". "The particulate matter that shows up on the cars, it gets in your hair, it gets in your eyes, its all over the place like it was in those days". The new Level 1 area - where people should be ready for a possible evacuation - runs from Collins Road in Dee to I-84 and includes all areas west of Country Club south to Reed Road, then due south to Highway 281, continuing until Milepost 12.5 and then following the Middle Fork of the Hood River until it comes parallel with the south end of Collins Road.

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One orders nursing homes and hospitals in seven counties on or near the coast to evacuate. "Irma is a powerful storm". Deal expanded a state of emergency to 30 counties near the coast on Thursday afternoon.

The National Inter agency Fire Center in Boise, Idaho, a federal agency that harmonizes wildfire-confrontation said that there were 80 large fires burning on 2,200 square miles in nine Western states. It caused the evacuation of over 700 homes and consumed over 2,800 hectares. Thick black smoke closed parts of two highways as firefighters struggled to fight the blaze fueled by winds gust at up to 40 miles per hour.

In Washington, the U.S. Department of Defense agreed to assign 200 active-duty soldiers to help fight a wildfire.

He also said that investigators have spoken with several of the other people who were with the suspect at the time it is believed the fire started, adding that they have been cooperating with investigators. A portion of the park was closed. Some areas in Multnomah and Hood River Counties in OR and Skamania County, Washington have already been evacuated, and others are on high alert. The situation has forced residents in nearby areas to evacuate.

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Authorities say the teen and others may have been using fireworks, igniting the Eagle Creek fire that has burned more than 30,000 acres since it began Saturday. Suzanne Bonamici (OR-01), and Kurt Schrader (OR-05) - sent a letter to House leaders Tuesday requesting that emergency funding for wildland fire suppression be included in the Hurricane Harvey emergency supplemental appropriations bill the House will take up later this week. The fire even jumped the Columbia River to Washington in the early hours of Tuesday morning, reports King 5 News.

Simmons said he had no timeframe for when the trails would reopen, saying the U.S. Forest Service will need to address what the plan for restoration and reopening of the gorge's trails.

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