Rain a welcome sight for firefighters on the Eagle Creek Fire

A bridge damaged from the Eagle Creek fire. (SBG photo) 

CASCADE LOCKS, Ore. – Rain and cool temperatures will help firefighters make progress on the Eagle Creek Fire this weekend.

Recent warm weather created more smoke in the Columbia River Gorge Thursday, but a cold front arriving in the area Friday should reduce the fire activity.

Friday, the fire measured 48,831 acres and was 46 percent contained.

Fire officials say the fire might not be fully-contained until November because of the steep terrain. There's also no estimate on when the trails will reopen.

Suppression crews worked Thursday in 80-degree weather to mop up burning areas and minimize the smoke’s impact on Interstate 84 drivers.

While fire officials say the rain is a welcome sight, they also say it can complicate their repair work and increase the risk of erosion.

They say the rain could slow their efforts, but they don’t expect it to rain hard enough to cause resource damage.

Fire crews are mobilizing resources to meet specific goals before heavier rains arrive later in the fall.

“With these resources, and the help of local contractors that can contribute local knowledge to expedite operations, the repair crews have made exceptional progress toward meeting repair objectives,” fire officials said in a release.

In addition to the repair work, fire officials say the Burned Area Emergency Response team has been making progress on their rehabilitation assessment.

Friday, the Burned Area Emergency Response team met with local area management organizations to hair their input on public health and safety and resource protection concerns.

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