Started in the fall of 2017, the Eagle Creek Fire burned over 48,000 acres in the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area. While fires are a natural part of many forested ecosystems, when they impact places like the Columbia River Gorge, our thoughts turn to how we can help the ecosystems, trails and wildlife habitat that we cherish recover. That is why the NFF established the Eagle Creek Fire Restoration Fund to aid the recovery of the Columbia River Gorge.
The Eagle Creek Fire impacted some of the most visited sites in the Gorge and many people have been wondering how the area has recovered. The good news is that the fire’s impact was relatively light in many areas of the Gorge.
The U.S. Forest Service reports that 55 percent of the area did not burn or burned at a low severity not killing any trees. 30 percent of the fire burned moderately and only 15 percent burned at a high severity. What does this mean? While some parts of the forest will look different for many years, many places in the Gorge were not heavily impacted by the fire will recover on its own over time.