The Eagle Creek Fire is now 100 percent contained but continues to smolder. And business owners in the Columbia River Gorge say they expect economic recovery efforts to stretch into next year.
Glenn Mackey is president of the West Columbia Gorge Chamber of Commerce. He told a crowd at a recent Gorge recovery forum that business in Troutdale was down anywhere between 60 to 70 percent compared to the same time last year:
"A lot of this adverse affect on businesses is going to last well into 2018 because as we know its going to take time before we can open up this area."
Gov. Kate Brown’s office says it’s drafting legislation to streamline disaster recovery assistance for businesses.
They say the idea is largely a response to the devastating summer of wildfires.
The Eagle Creek Fire began September 2nd. Incident commanders say they are now comfortable that the fire, while still burning in some places, will not grow outside its existing perimeter.