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A Misplaced Firework Created The Town Of Cascade Locks 80 Years Ago


Cascade Locks Mayor Tom Cramblett says most residents aren’t getting a paycheck while the fire burns – that’s tens of thousands of dollars a day, not coming in.

Cascade Locks Mayor Tom Cramblett says most residents aren’t getting a paycheck while the fire burns – that’s tens of thousands of dollars a day, not coming in.

Kristian Foden-Vencil/OPB

The Eagle Creek Fire is just a few yards away from the town of Cascade Locks, Oregon, in the Columbia River Gorge.

Authorities think the wildfire was caused by a 15-year-old and his friends playing with fireworks

Cascade Locks is one of the oldest towns on the Columbia River. Three white families settled alongside Native Americans there in 1853.

Mayor Tom Cramblett said Wednesday it is ironic the town is now threatened because it was only incorporated in the 1930s after a child launched a firework into downtown buildings.

The town was burned to the ground because the small pipes in the area couldn’t deliver enough water.

“We put in a water system. We started our own power system. We became a whole incorporated town because of that firework,” Cramblett said, chuckling. “And here it’s a firework that’s got this thing going out here again.”

The Eagle Creek Fire had burned more than 33,000 acres as of Thursday, destroying three homes and several non-residential buildings.

Capt. Bill Fugate of the Oregon State Police said the parents of the Vancouver, Washington, teen suspected of starting the Eagle Creek Fire are cooperating with police.

cascade locks eagle creek fire oregon fireworks history

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