Living With Fire Community Forums

The Eagle Creek fire: Looking back, looking forward

Living With Fire Community Forums
Greenery returns to Tanner Creek, an area severely burned in the 2017 Eagle Creek fire. (photo courtesy of U.S. Forest Service)

On Aug. 30, 2018 in Hood River and Sept. 12, 2018 in Portland, Friends hosted a special community forum around the anniversary of the Eagle Creek fire. We examined progress made over the past year and explored the policies needed to strengthen future wildfire resilience for the land, communities, and trails that make the Gorge such a special place.

  • Aug. 30 | Hood River forum at Columbia Center for the Arts | Thanks to everyone who attended, as well as our panelists. View KGW-TV news coverage of this event.
  • Sept. 12 | Portland forum at Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI) | Thanks to everyone who attended, as well as our panelists. 
The 2017 wildfire season was one of the worst in recent Pacific Northwest history. More than 1,000 fires were recorded in Oregon alone. The September 2017 Eagle Creek fire in the Columbia Gorge burned upwards of 48,000 acres, disrupting communities in Washington and Oregon and damaging scores of popular recreation areas in the heart of the Gorge’s waterfall corridor. 
According to numerous studies, the region will see increasingly drier summers due to climate change. Already in 2018, the Gorge has seen several blazes and the Substation fire east of The Dalles grew to over 70,000 acres in just a couple of days. These fires have inspired a remarkable public outpouring of support for protecting and stewarding the Gorge and supporting its communities. 
The Living With Fire forums featured roundtable discussions from a panel of experts with on-the-ground experience over the past year in Eagle Creek recovery efforts and fire ecology. The Forum also featured a tabling fair and special screening of documentaries made by White Salmon and Hood River middle school students about the impacts of the Eagle Creek fire on the forest, trails and communities of the Gorge.