At 1:54 this afternoon, several citizens and an airplane flying over the Pumpkin Ridge area reported a rapidly growing brush fire in the vicinity of Corey Road near North Plains. Crews from Station 17 responded, and quickly started to attack the fire and provide tactical information for incoming units. Crews were faced with the potential for exponential fire growth in recently cultivated wheat fields surrounded by heavy brush and timber. Battalion Chief Jeff Cooper stated “with moderate winds and extreme dry conditions, this incident had potential to be much larger than it was. Crews first on scene did an excellent job keeping it in check”.
Fire crews were faced with difficult remote access, having to shuttle water using water tenders from distant locations, and hot, dry winds. Tualatin Valley Fire and Rescue, along with units from Oregon Department of Forestry, Banks Fire District, and Cornelius Fire Department, fought the fire using specialized light and heavy brush rigs and hand tools. The fire was declared under control at 3:16 PM, having consumed just under 10 acres. There were no injuries, and no structures were damaged.
TVF&R and ODF Investigators worked side-by side and have determined that the fire was accidental, caused by a vehicle driving illegally off-road on leased farmland. A citation has been issued to the driver of the vehicle. Most of the burned land was a recently-harvested wheat field, with approximately one acre of timber impacted as well. Fire crews will remain on scene into the night monitoring the area for hot spots.
With hot, dry, and windy conditions predicted for the rest of the week, this is a timely reminder that a burn ban is in effect, and that all citizens should remain alert and vigilant. Please call 911 if you see any unusual smoke or signs of fire.
For more information on protecting your home or property from wildfire, visit www.tvfr.com.