The Eagle Creek fire was reported Saturday afternoon September 2, 2017, and grew
to 3000 acres overnight. By September 5, the fire grew to over 20,000 acres, spread across the Columbia River to
Washington state, and caused evacuations in communities that included Cascade Locks and Corbett. By September 8,
the fire held at over 33,300 acres, being 7% contained. This includes our race course, the Larch/Wahkeena Trail
loop, as well as the entire trail system from east of Eagle Creek to Bridal Veil.
The main concerns for the Forest Service and fire crews are protecting life and
property (so far only two houses have burned), along with protecting historic buildings and public utilities, in
addition to the entire Bull Run watershed just south of the fire that supplies the Greater Portland Area with pristine
I-84 is currently closed from Troutdale to Hood River, and when the fire danger
is no longer present, ODOT will remove trees that present a danger of falling or dislodging boulders onto the freeway.
The Historic Columbia River Highway, the only access to Wahkeena Trailhead, is closed indefinitely; after the fire
danger subsides, the entire highway will need to be cleared of debris before it opens, and only then will we have
access to the trail system to access the damage to the course. Our trails may at that time be closed to the public,
as debris may have to be removed, bridges may have to be rebuilt, and trees or logs may have to be cleared.
As of today, September 9, we calculate that there will be no way to get access
to the trails in time to make an accurate assessment of the course before September 24, 2017, so we're postponing
the race until next year, September 30, 2018. Registration has been closed for 2017, but everyone who signed up
will receive entry for the Multnomah Falls Trail Run in 2018. We already miss access to the crown jewel of the
running community here locally, and will greatly miss the running of the event this year, but we can award everyone
who has already signed up with additional entries to the Pine Hollow Half Marathon (or Coyote 4-Mile) June 3, 2018
and the Timberline Mt Run August 12, 2018.
Multnomah Falls, showered in mist, is still intact and green, and the beauty of
the other four waterfalls are likely still intact. But there will be much work to do, over the entire trail system
along the Columbia River Gorge, over the fall, winter, and spring.