TROUTDALE, Ore. (AP) — Authorities say a 15-year-old boy is the suspect in the large Eagle Creek Fire burning east of Portland that was likely caused by fireworks.
The Oregon State Police said in a statement Tuesday that the teen from Vancouver, Washington, and others may have been using fireworks on a popular trail in the Columbia River Gorge area.
The blaze that has closed an interstate highway and forced hundreds to flee began Saturday. Authorities say the boy was interviewed in the parking lot of the trailhead.
State police say the investigation is continuing. No arrests or formal charges have been made.
Meanwhile, Oregon fisheries managers have released thousands of hatchery salmon months early in response to a large wildfire raging in the Columbia River Gorge.
The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife said Tuesday it released the fish into the Columbia River to reduce demands on water and equipment.
Workers released about 600,000 tule fall Chinook salmon Tuesday and four ponds of fall Chinook salmon Monday night.
The three fish hatchery facilities in Cascade Locks were evacuated over Labor Day weekend. The facilities have been used as a firefighting and staging area. Supplies at the hatcheries, including water and power, are helping wildfire efforts.
Officials say all hatchery workers are safe. No structures have been damaged.
The facilities are rearing about six million fish, mostly coho and Chinook salmon.