At 1:07 p.m. today, firefighters were dispatched to a reported brush fire in the 21400 block of Southwest 115th Avenue in Washington County between Tualatin and Sherwood. Firefighters from Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue arrived within seven minutes from being dispatched to find smoke coming from a heavily wooded area east of the reported address.
Crews immediately worked to access the area. Due to the terrain and location, additional firefighters from TVF&R and Lake Oswego Fire Department were dispatched to the scene to access the fire from multiple locations. The initial fire was burning approximately three acres in thick brush, blackberries, and trees. While fire crews began to attack the fire from several sides, an employee from a nearby business was able to use a bulldozer to help create a fire break around the fire. Firefighters worked for two hours to control the fire and spent hours on scene extinguishing hot spots.
Due to the location of the fire, which included an area without fire hydrants, firefighters had to shuttle water to the scene to supply smaller four-wheel-drive vehicles that were used to access difficult areas.
The fire was adjacent to a residential neighborhood. During firefighting operations, the neighborhood was patrolled to ensure that embers were not spreading to homes. Additionally, TVF&R personnel used an unmanned aerial vehicle (commonly referred to as a drone) to monitor fire conditions so that the incident commander could strategically position firefighting crews.
A TVF&R fire investigator remains on scene and will work to determine where and how this fire started. Washington County Sheriff’s Office is assisting with the investigation.
In addition to support from WCSO and LOFD, the city of Tualatin’s Police and Public Works departments worked at the scene.
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.
- Firefighters participate in annual hands-on training to ensure their readiness.