By Omar Carrillo
In early September, the Columbia River Gorge area was severely damaged by a developing forest fire.
This rapidly moving fire spread across the Cascade Locks area, endangering residents and wildlife alike, and brought a large amount of media attention.
The cause of the fire has been determined to be teenagers lighting off fireworks during a firework ban, and several roads and state parks have been closed off in the midst of the disaster.
The city of Troutdale in particular suffered significant damage to both its environment and citizens.
The air quality in surrounding areas greatly surpassed dangerous levels, causing an immense hazard to older residents, residents with specific conditions, and young children alike.
Troutdale resident Maria Vasquez was affected greatly by this safety hazard, having been in an area preparing for evacuation.
“…the fire in the cascade caused a lot of stress on me and my family,” Vasquez said. “The day Troutdale became a level one both of my parents were at work and I was at home with my three siblings and four month old niece.”
Almost 2,000 residents have been evacuated from the area, and almost 50,000 acres are currently affected by the forest fire.
As of the 19 of October the fire has reportedly been 50% contained, and expect it to be fully contained by November 30, according to fire departments working hard in the Columbia River Gorge.