The wildfire spread swiftly giving police just minutes to apprise residents on the OR side of the river to evacuate their homes.
Oregon State Police have identified a teenager they believe started the raging Eagle Creek Fire that has now merged with another fire, burning around 31,000 acres and forcing hundreds of residents to evacuate.
The blaze is now raining ash on Portland and pushing firefighters to their limits as they battle the blaze in weather conditions that are less than ideal.
"Right now I think that Troutdale is okay and actually, we've noticed kind of a shift in the wind right now", said Portland Fire & Rescue Lt. Damon Simmons.
The first group made it out by about 10:30 a.m. and the last group by about 1 or 1:30 p.m.
Horses graze in a field filled with smoke from nearby wildfires, including the Jolly Mountain Fire, in Cle Elum on Tuesday.
Thirty miles of the Oregon's Interstate 84 were shut down due to smoke, ash and flames in the area. "This happened fairly suddenly".
The redwood was planted as a symbol of reconciliation over a half-century ago by the family of Nobuo Fujita, a Japanese Navy pilot who dropped incendiary bombs on the forest near Brookings, the Bulletin newspaper of Bend reported. Oregon State Police confirmed that they interviewed FitzGerald.
Interstate 84 from Troutdale to Hood River, Oregon, remains closed.
The Multnomah County Sheriff's Office says fire onlookers are hindering rescue operations.
The evacuation levels are "ready" or level 1, "set" or level 2 and "go" level 3.
In northern California, a fire destroyed 72 homes and forced the evacuation of about 2,000 people from their houses. Evacuations are taking place all over the Columbia River Gorge, with residents in Corbett Springdale just given warning to prepare to evacuate.
For real time and current evacuation information, contact the Multnomah, Hood River, or Skamania County Sheriff's Offices.
The air quality in Spokane, Washington, was rated as hazardous Tuesday morning. None of those fires is mentioned on National Interagency Fire Center website, but the organizations map show the burn area split nearly evenly between Montana and Wyoming.
Over 600 firefighters are battling the inferno in the Columbia River Gorge, which stretches from the eastern edges of Crown Point to areas near the Indian Creek Campground.
After the officer called for fire trucks and a helicopter carrying fire retardant, she told him that she was anxious the teens might try to drive off undetected, FitzGerald said.
Larch Mountain Road near Corbett was closed Tuesday due to fire concerns, and the Washington Department of Transportation has closed SR-14 between Washougal and Highway 197 in Dallesport to commercial traffic.