Police: Fireworks likely caused Eagle Creek Wildfire in Columbia Gorge, suspect identified
CASCADE LOCKS, Ore. (KATU) – Fireworks may have sparked the 3,000-acre Eagle Creek Wildfire on Saturday that has evacuated dozens of homes near the town of Cascade Locks in Oregon, Oregon State Police said.
Troopers said they have a suspect in the case - a "juvenile male." He could face several charges, including arson and reckless endangerment.
The fire was first reported about 4 p.m. Saturday along the Eagle Creek Trail. KATU News talked with witnesses who said they heard a loud bang before the fire broke out.
More than 150 hikers were stranded overnight by the fast-growing wildfire. They sheltered overnight near Tunnel Falls before search & rescue crews hiked with them to Wahtum Lake. There are no hikers unaccounted for, officials said Sunday.
The fire is burning about a half-mile from Cascade Locks. Those living south of Interstate 84 are Level 3 (leave immediately) and those living north of the interstate are at Level 2 (prepare to leave at a moment's notice).
More than 130 homes were evacuated; Red Cross volunteers have set up a shelter at the Skamania County Fairgrounds across the Columbia River in Stevenson, Wash.
A Type 2 incident team is heading to the fire to start work on containing the blaze.
This is a developing story; updates will be posted.