Today, the U.S. Forest Service and other lead agencies fighting the Eagle Creek wildfire reported that the blaze was now 5 percent contained. Kevin Gorman, executive director for Friends of the Columbia Gorge, said in response:
"Where days ago I only saw smoke, I now see some hope. We applaud the ongoing efforts by firefighters to contain this devastating wildfire and commend all of the first responders and community groups working together to help those in the Gorge who have been displaced.
"We have a long journey ahead but the Gorge is a resilient place. We will rebuild, wild areas affected will rebound and Friends is committed to ensuring that community voices are taken into account when the restoration process for this national treasure begins.
"We continue to urge members of the public to stay out of the Gorge and keep the roads clear for firefighters, first responders and evacuating Gorge residents. The federal government must make any and all resources available to state and local first responders on the front lines of this effort."
Friends Ends Hood River County Search & Rescue Special Appeal
On the afternoon of Sept. 2, a wildfire erupted in the Eagle Creek area, trapping over 150 hikers. Immediately following the rescue of the hikers, Friends of the Columbia Gorge launched a social media fundraising campaign in appreciation of the Hood River County Search & Rescue team -- a lead agency in the weekend effort and local partner that Friends has worked with over the years. Friends raised over $30,000 in less than a week.
Having raised far more, far faster than expected, Friends has brought its special fundraising drive to an end. Friends is in communication with Hood River County officials on how and when to present the gift. With the completion of the drive, Friends is refocusing its efforts in preparation for the eventual rebuilding process and ongoing, long-term stewardship of the Gorge.
Ongoing Ways to Support Eagle Creek Fire EffortsHood River County Sheriff and Search and Rescue Memorial Fund:
A memorial fund has been created in honor of a recently deceased sheriff deputy. The Hood River County Mike Anderson Search and Rescue Fund
will allow donations to directly support the county’s search and rescue efforts. Donations can be made at any U.S. Bank office or can be delivered or mailed to: 601 State Street, Hood River, OR 97031.
Skamania County is still fighting the Archer Mountain fire, as well as supporting the Stevenson Red Cross evacuation efforts, and county officials are asking for monetary donations. For more information please contact Sarah Slack with Skamania County Community Events.
Cascade Red Cross:
The local Red Cross is maintaining evacuation centers for displaced Gorge residents in Gresham, OR and Stevenson, WA. For more information please see: http://www.redcrossblog.org/2017/09/red-cross-is-operating-three-relief.html
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Friends of the Columbia Gorge is a nonprofit organization with over 6,000 members dedicated to protecting and enhancing the outstanding resources and communities of the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area.