A man called 9-1-1 just before 10p.m. on July 20 to report the fire that started after a tree limb fell onto a power line and sparks ignited grass below. Once firefighters located the fire, a second alarm was called to get enough crews to surround the fire and shuttle water to the area that lacks hydrants.
Firefighters worked all night to extinguish burning trees, brush and grass. They also protected a home and hazelnut orchard as the fire burned within 200 feet. As the sun rose, firefighters surveyed the scene to be sure the fire had not spread beyond the containment lines.
Firefighters have worked in shifts to maintain a fire watch throughout the day. They have also been turning over charred debris and wetting down adjacent areas to ensure that nothing rekindles.
This incident illustrates how quickly fire can spread. There are many people in the Northwest who live in areas considered a wildland urban interface where homes are nestled among fields, forests and natural spaces.
If you live in one of these areas, please consider taking steps to make your home more defensible if a fire occurs.
-Maintain a 30-foot safety zone around your home to remove leaves, brush, and other combustibles.
-Clear debris from your gutters and underneath decks and crawlspaces.
-Mow and water lawns and other green belts regularly.
-De-limb trees at least 10 feet up from the ground.
-Plant low-growing, fire-resistant plants (groundcover, perennials, and annuals) near your home.
-Homeowners should also keep access in mind for large fire trucks. Long driveways should be at least 12 feet wide, have 10 feet of vegetation clearance from the centerline out, and about 14 feet overhead. Large vehicle turnaround areas are critical for your safety as well as firefighter safety.
What steps has TVF&R taken to prepare for wildfire season?
-Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue has long recognized this growing threat and has taken deliberate steps over the past two decades to prepare.
-The District has invested in specialized wildland vehicles and equipment and its firefighters participate in annual hands-on training to ensure their readiness.
-In addition, TVF&R offers complimentary inspections to homeowners who reside in these areas to discuss preventative measures.