Eagle Creek Fire Story & Data

JFire at night from across the riverust after 4 p.m. on September 2, 2017, a carelessly tossed firework from Eagle Creek Trail landed in a steep river canyon that was a dry tinderbox, after a long summer of drought. In the hours that followed, the U.S. Forest Service and Hood River County Sheriff's Office worked side by side to fight the fire and rescue more than 170 hikers. By September 4, east winds and excessive heat pushed the rapidly growing blaze west across the ridges of the National Scenic Area. In the days that followed, it became a 48,000-acre conflagration that rained ash down on Portland, smoldered near the city's water supply at Bull Run, and closed transportation arteries through the only sea-level route in the Cascades Mountain Range - Interstate 84, the Union Pacific railroad, and even the Columbia River. 

More than a year later, the Gorge's resilience is as beautiful as its new views, a testament to nature's wild ways with its active geology and ecological regeneration. Below we chronicle the backstory -- facts and individual perspectives -- of a fire that will be remembered for a generation.

See and Hear the Fire Story

Eagle Creek Fire was highly visible, draped across the slopes of a widely photographed and heavily visited Western Cascades forest that had not seen a large wildfire in roughly a hundred years. 

A burning stump

View photos from the fire and response efforts on our Eagle Creek Fire and Response on Flickr.

Photo of Eagle Creek Fire flames at night with lights from a nearby fishery.

Explore an interactive multimedia timeline of the 2017 Eagle Creek Fire. Read narrative about the fire and response, explore maps and view photographs. 

Image of a forest and stream

Watch personal accounts and expert explanations about fire impacts and response efforts in our multimedia video gallery.

Fire Facts, Maps, Data

Fortunately, only one primary residence was burned during Eagle Creek Fire, and no lives were lost. However, the fire changed the landscape and created elevated hazards that will last for years to come. Get more facts about the fire's impacts below.

Screenshot of flier about Eagle Creek Fire

Find dates and metrics about the fire, its impacts, and response efforts at the Eagle Creek Fire At A Glance Factsheet (pdf).

Team of soil experts assess soil damage from fire

Learn from scientists's analysis of post-fire landscape changes and hazards in the Burned Area Emergency Response (BAER) findings (pdf).

Large image of the fire progression showing each stage in another color

Visualize the fire's growth during its active phase in the Fire Progression Map created by the Incident Management Team.

Graphic: map that shows soil burn severity

Explore the severity and geography of fire's impact in the Soil Burn Severity Map (pdf) generated by scientists on the Burned Area Emergency Response team.

Grapic: map of landslides and debris flows past and present

Learn about increased risks of landslides and debris flows at the Debris Flow Risk Maps webpage created by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).

Joe Hannon and Bill Schneider with the National Weather Service, Portland, OR.

View data from NRAWS 4 (Tanner) TARO3, a weather station installed Oct 31, 2017 by the National Weather Service to support better forecasting in the Gorge. 

Return to Eagle Creek Fire Response landing page.