The Eagle Creek Fire has now burned more than 10,000 acres and was estimated to be around 4,800 around 10:00 p.m. last night.
A fire official told reporters Tuesday that no homes have been lost so far, but crews were still assessing the damage.
Over the weekend, the fire gobbled up miles of delicate habitat in the gorge - a place known for the many plant species that grow nowhere else.
"We started smelling smoke and felt heat, so we looked around, heard crackling, looked down the rail and right below there was a fire that jumped up on the trail just a few minutes later", Wong told CNN affiliate KPTV.
I-84 Exit 41 to Eagle Creek is closed due to the fire.
Ash has been reported falling thickly in areas like Seattle, covering cars and lawns like a thin layer of snow.
If anyone has information about the cause of the fire, including anyone who heard fireworks or explosions go off in the Eagle Creek Trail/Punchbowl Falls area, Oregon State Police urges them to come forward. The Level 1 warning calls for people to gather up valuables in anticipation of an evacuation.
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Get ready for more smoky haze in the Puget Sound area from wildfires in Washington and OR that are forcing evacuations and threatening homes. The southern part of town has been evacuated and the north side is under level 2 evacuation notices.
The Multnomah County Sheriff's Office says fire onlookers are hindering rescue operations.
In the Willamette National Forest in alone, officials said Monday 16 fires covering 45,670 acres are burning. The additional bad news is that unconfirmed reports have the fire jumping the Columbia River and sparking a new fire on the Washington state side.
Troutdale, Ore. - Police have identified a juvenile suspect who they believe had a hand in starting the Eagle Creek Fire burning in the Columbia River Gorge. State investigators said they talked with the boy in the parking lot of the trailhead after the fire began. Mountain Wave dropped supplies to the remaining hikers overnight.
'It's horribly smoky, ' Gubele said.
Mountain Wave Search & Rescue president Russ Gubele said search and rescue teams headed up the second trail on Sunday morning and led the hikers out the 14 miles toward Wahtum Lake. It's like a Mount Saint Helens eruption all over again'.