Kennewick couple evacuated from Multnomah Falls due to fire
KENNEWICK, Wash -- A Kennewick couple was visiting Multnomah Falls in the Columbia River Gorge Monday evening, when authorities evacuated the entire area.
Susan Ellis and her family were on the first platform on the climb up to view the falls, when an official told them they had to turn around and leave the area immediately.
Interstate 84 was shutdown in the eastbound direction, so they were forced to drive back to Portland and return home on the Washington side of the Columbia River.
From there, they were able to see the huge, fast moving flames. "The ash was thick in the air, I didn't know the fire was so close. And then, once we got onto the Washington side we could look straight across ... and it was just so tragic," says Ellis.
It was a long drive, but Ellis and her family made it home safely late Monday night.
Oregon state officials say firefighters are now working to protect the historic lodge at Multnomah Falls.