Eagle Creek Fire now 100 percent contained
The Eagle Creek Fire can't break out of the box built by firefighters, the U.S. Forest Service has announced.
The once-fearsome conflagration is officially 100 percent contained as of Thursday, Nov. 30. That means the fire is essentially quarantined inside a perimeter encompassing roughly 48,000 acres.
"We are comfortable at this stage that the fire will not grow outside of its existing perimeter, but there may be fuels smoking in a few places in remote terrain," noted Incident Commander Chris Harper in a press announcement.
So despite the good news, foresters emphasize that the wildfire isn't extinguished. It's likely that pockets continue to smolder in wild areas far away from population centers.
Folks who have been monitoring online the fire's progress — available at inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5584/ — may be wondering why containment levels suddenly jumped to 100 percent from about 50 percent.
"We had held the number at 50 (percent) for some time as a reflection of the percent surrounded by containment lines," explained U.S. Forest Service spokeswoman Rachel Pawlitz. "Today, we changed it to 100 percent contained based on our review of conditions and comfort level that it will not grow anywhere in its perimeter."
The Eagle Creek Fire made national headlines after it ballooned from 3,000 acres to 20,000 acres over several tense days in early September, coating most of Multnomah County in ash and smoke.
A total of 15 people are still assigned to combat the blaze as of Dec. 1.