Friends of the Columbia Gorge is shocked and saddened by this devastating wildfire.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to Gorge residents who have been evacuated and our deepest appreciation goes to the U.S. Forest Service, Hood River County and other local Search & Rescue teams, Oregon National Guard and Air National Guard and the many other agencies on the front lines responding to this devastating wildfire.
The situation on the Eagle Creek fire is continuing to evolve.
To help first responders in fighting the fire and assisting those evacuating it's crucial that members of the public stay out of the Gorge at this point. For the most up-to-date information please consult the Forest Service's incident response page at: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5584
The best way for members of the public to help at this point is to give money
(not supplies or in kind donations, which can actually become a burden to emergency responders) to groups directly responding, such as Cascade Red Cross
which is operating shelters for those evacuated from affected Gorge Communities. In kind donations of un-needed supplies can actually become a burden to emergency responders.
Friends is accepting donations online in support of the Hood River County Search & Rescue,
one of the local emergency responders on the front lines to help those impacted by the Eagle Creek fire. You can also make a donation via check by mailing Friends' Portland office. Please note on your check that that it's a donation for Hood River County Search & Rescue.
If you are interested in volunteering at a Friends stewardship work party after fire damage is assessed
, email Outreach Manager Maegan Jossy, firstname.lastname@example.org
and we’ll put you on a stewardship list. You’ll receive information when we are able to provide it.
Friends Eagle Creek Fire General FAQ
What can be done immediately on the policy front?
Ensuring any and all federal and state resources are available for all public agencies working to fight, contain and aid communities in the Gorge threatened by the Eagle Creek Fire is critical right now.
What does this mean for the future of Gorge recreation?
Right now our primary concern is the safety of those in Gorge communities threatened by this devastating fire and those on the front lines working to fight the fire and aid those in need. The time to discuss how to rebuild and create policy solutions to prevent future wildfires and better manage the Gorge will come later, after the fire has been contained and all are safe.
Friends Eagle Creek Response Appeal FAQ
Why is Friends doing this appeal?
Friends has members, staff, board members and countless partners that live and work in the Columbia Gorge. We know the devastating impact that wildfires can have on a community and we wanted to provide a way to mobilize and help support the ongoing efforts of the Hood River County Search & Rescue, one of the local responders on the front lines to help some of those first impacted by the Eagle Creek fire, including the over 150 hikers and others suddenly trapped on Saturday.
How will Friends guarantee that all funds raised as a part of this appeal are given to Hood River County Search & Rescue?
Transparency and accountability is a top concern for the management team and our board. Friends will post a report after the conclusion of the appeal noting the amount raised, number donors, and how/when the funds were transmitted to Hood River County Search & Rescue. Friends will endeavor to answer questions from the press and public to the best of its abilities and as quickly as our communications and finance teams are able to respond.
Why was the Hood River County Search & Rescue selected?
As a small, conservation non-governmental organization (NGO) we're focusing, at present, on a targeted effort to help support a specific, local first responder and partner that Friends has worked with in its work over the years. Fire response places a particularly large burden on local search and response teams and we encourage members of the public to also help support the ongoing efforts of Multnomah and Skamania County search and rescue teams.
Will Friends be giving proceeds to help other first responders and/or efforts to help evacuees from Cascade Locks and other impacted communities?
Our first priority was to start an effort to help a local, Gorge emergency responder and partner that Friends has worked with over the years. To help Gorge evacuees we encourage people to give directly to the Cascade Red Cross, which is leading the effort to create shelters for those displaced by the fire in affected Gorge communities. The best way for members of the public to help at this point is to give money, not supplies or in kind donations. In kind donations of un-needed supplies can actually become a burden to emergency responders.
Is Friends charging or taking an administrative fee from these efforts?
No. We will be absorbing any staff time and/or resulting administrative costs incurred by Friends.