fire update 9/3

The Herman Creek fire near Cascade Locks has grown to 200 acres, and Department of Forestry officials said they do not know when the blaze will be contained.

Interstate 84 remains closed. Along the freeway Wednesday, crews cut fire-damaged tree snags as a safety precaution.

The fire is burning in timber, brush and grass, and the smoke has covered the Portland metropolitan area. The cause is under investigation.

Three structures burned in Cascade Locks Tuesday, and fire officials do not know Wednesday morning if further evacuations of homes will be necessary. An aid center for local residents have been set up at Rock Creek Center in Stevenson; local residents are staying for free at local hotels.

A 10 mph easterly wind with gusts of 35-45 mph quickly pushed the fire to the outskirts of town Tuesday afternoon.

The fire is burning chiefly on USDA Forest Service lands and Oregon Department of Transportation lands.

The Forest Service air tankers and helicopters dropped retardants on the fire, along with other resources. Oregon Department of Forestry had two severity-funded helicopters at the fire, a bulldozer, and several fire engines. Fire agencies from throughout northwest Oregon sent in firefighters on Tuesday.

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Latest video:

Lawnmower torches Arbor Vitae on Portland Drive

The riding lawn mower driven by Norma Cannon overheated and made contact with dry arbor vitae owned by Lee and Norma Curtis, sending more than a dozen of the tightly-packed trees up in flames. The mower, visible at far right, was totaled. No one was injured; neighbors first kept the fire at bay with garden hoses and Westside and Hood River Fire Departments responded and doused the fire before it reached any structures. Westside Fire chief Jim Trammell, in blue shirt, directs firefighters. The video was taken by Capt. Dave Smith of Hood River Fire Department. Enlarge

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