Camas, Washington

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Camas (pronounced /ˈkæməs/) is a city in Clark County, Washington, with a population of 12,534 at the 2000 census. Officially incorporated on June 18, 1906, the city is named after the camas lily, a plant with an onion-like bulb prized by Native Americans. At the west end of downtown Camas is a large Georgia-Pacific paper-mill from which the high school teams get their name "the Papermakers". Accordingly, the city is about 20 miles east (downwind) from Portland, Oregon. Historically, the commercial base of the city was based almost solely on the paper mill; however, the diversity of industries has been enhanced considerably in recent years by the influx of several white-collar, high-tech companies including Hewlett-Packard, Sharp Microelectronics, Linear Technology and WaferTech among others. Annual events include the summer "Camas Days," as well as other festivals and celebrations.

The east side of town borders the city of Washougal, Washington and the west side of town borders Vancouver, Washington. Camas lies along the Washington side of the Columbia River, across from Troutdale, Oregon, and is part of the Portland, Oregon Metropolitan Statistical Area as defined by the United States Census Bureau. At this juncture the Columbia River is nearly a mile wide; vehicular traffic flows across the Columbia via the Interstate Bridge on I-5 and the Glenn Jackson Bridge on I-205. The main road through town is the limited-access SR 14 expressway.

One of the major geographical features of the city is Prune Hill, upon which a great portion of the residential area of the city is located. Prune Hill is the remaining cinder cone of an extinct volcano.

Based on per capita income, Camas ranks 59th of 522 areas in the state of Washington.

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