Gorge group launches fundraising drive for rescuers
A fundraising effort has been launched to support the rescue of campers and hikers in the Columbia River Gorge threatened by wildfires.
Friends of the Columbia Gorge is raising money to support the Hood River County Search & Rescue, which is aiding over 150 hikers trapped Saturday growing fire.
"The speed and effectiveness of Gorge first responders to this sudden and devastating fire in Eagle Creek has been truly extraordinary," says Kevin Gorman, executive director of Friends of the Columbia Gorge.
Friends is accepting donations through its website and will be giving 100 percent of all gifts directly to Hood River County Search & Rescue. To donate, click here.
On the afternoon of September 2, a wildfire erupted in the Eagle Creek area near the town of Cascade Locks on Sept. 2, trapping over 150 hikers. Overnight the wildfire grew to over 3,000 acres and a Level 3 evacuations has been issued for portions of Cascade Locks. Hood River County Search & Rescue — along with the Oregon National Guard, Air National Guard, U.S Forest Service and others responding organizations — is currently engaged in efforts to bring all of the remaining hikers to safety. A Red Cross Shelter has been set up for Cascade Lock evacuees at the Skamania County Fairgrounds.
"Friends has launched a special gift appeal as a way of expressing thanks from our community to the Hood River County Search & Rescue — one of the local first responders at the forefront of efforts to bring stranded hikers and others threatened by the wildfire to safety," Gorman says.