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Posted on: June 25, 2017

Firefighters from TVF&R and ODF Continue to Monitor Site of Chehalem Brush Fire

It is estimated that up to four acres burned, but firefighters were able to protect structures and keep it from becoming a wildfire. Due to high outside temperatures, crews are being rotated frequently to prevent overexertion and heat-related illness.

Residents living in the area where the fire occurred had been served by Washington County Fire District #2 until they contracted with TVF&R for service in 2015. Voters recently decided to join TVF&R permanently and the change takes effect on July 1. Yesterday's brush fire is an example of the benefits residents receive as a result of being part of TVF&R's large network of fire stations and resources that the previous fire district would not be able to mobilize.

Firefighters Battle Challenging Conditions to Prevent Brush Fire from Spreading

At 3:27 this afternoon crews were dispatched to a reported brush fire at 22755 SW Hillsboro Hwy. in the Chehalem Mountain area, north of Newberg. Initial reports to 911 indicated that the fire was approximately 20 by 20 feet and started by smoldering timber piles that grew out of control. First arriving crews on scene confirmed a brush fire that was not threatening any structures. The site presented several challenges to firefighting efforts. These challenges included steep terrain, one hundred-plus degree temperatures, and late afternoon wind. Due to the challenges presented to firefighters additional resources were requested to quickly gain control of the fire.

In addition to fire engines, brush-rigs and water tenders were dispatched. Brush-rigs are four-wheel-drive vehicles that are capable of accessing fires in rugged terrain. Water tenders shuttle water to the scene in areas without hydrants. Sixty firefighters worked to extinguish the fire and TVF&R was assisted by Hillsboro Fire and Rescue and Dundee Fire. There were no reported injuries and no structures were damaged.

Firefighters will likely remain on scene for several hours and possibly overnight as they continue to mop up and check for hot spots. It is estimated that Hillsboro Hwy. will be closed for another two hours.

A fire investigator is on scene and working to determine the cause of the fire. Though the cause of the fire remains under investigation, today’s fire serves as a reminder that recent hot weather has created dry conditions that increase the potential of vegetation fires. Firefighters urge caution when using any potential ignition sources during these hot conditions.
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