CASCADE LOCKS, Ore. -- Officials say two busloads of hikers have been reunited with their friends and family after they were forced to spend the night in the mountains east of Portland when a wildfire closed their trail.
Mountain Wave Search and Rescue president Russ Gubele says about 104 people have made their way down a different trail to safety.
About 42 more were expected to arrive at Wahtum Lake by early Sunday afternoon. They would then take a bus to meet their families.
Many of the hikers had gone up the Eagle Creek trail on Saturday to swim at the popular waterfalls and pools, but a fire cut them off. The only other way out was longer and more difficult, so officials told them to stay in place until Sunday morning.
The first group made it out by about 10:30 a.m. and the last group was expected by about 1 or 1:30 p.m.
The Eagle Creek Fire was reported Saturday afternoon near Eagle Creek Campground in the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area. It grew to 3,000 acres overnight.
A National Guard helicopter dropped supplies to the hikers, and local search and rescue teams are leading them out this morning.
The Eagle Creek Fire is human-caused and the Oregon State Police is investigating.
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