Now that the extreme weather has moderated, firefighters beginning to make progress on fires in northwest Oregon

Map of fires in northwest Oregon, September 13, 2020 Riverside Beachie Creek Lionshead
Map of fires in northwest Oregon, September 13, 2020.

Lionshead Fire

Of the three very large fires south of Portland, Oregon the 138,718-acre Lionshead has been the most active in the last 24 hours, with most of the growth occurring on the northeast and southeast sides. Crews continue to secure and protect property and conduct damage assessments as fire activity, smoke, and other hazards allow. Wildfires have not burned in the area for many decades, which has resulted in heavy layers of fuel on the ground that firefighters must work through to construct fireline and mop up, a very laborious and time-consuming process.

Resources assigned to the fire include 51 hand crews, 62 engines, and 10 helicopters for a total of 1,482 personnel.

Air quality on the Lionshead Fire
Air quality on the Lionshead Fire, Sept 11, 2020. InciWeb photo.

Riverside Fire

On the Riverside Fire dozers completed a line around spot fires on the west side to help secure the areas closest to the communities of Estacada and Molalla. On Sunday crews were working on the north side above the North Fork Reservoir, looking at opportunities to move towards the east. Firefighters are using two unmanned aerial systems (UAS, or drones) to assess fire conditions from the air. Helicopters are flying when visibility allows.  The blaze has burned 53 structures at last count, and 133,799 acres, and is still a mile away from the Beachie Creek Fire. Resources assigned to the fire include 8 hand crews, 11 engines, and 3 helicopters for a total of 315 personnel.

“You’ll start in the coming days to see some lines showing containment” on the Riverside fire said Alan Sinclair, incident commander for the Type 1 incident management team. “We’re having a little bit more favorable weather and things are coming together.”

Riverside Fire
Riverside Fire, from La Dee Flats September 9, 2020. InciWeb photo.

Beachie Creek Fire

Fog slowed activity of the fire and firefighters on the 188,374-acre Beachie Creek Fire Sunday. After it dissipated firefighters resumed work on the perimeter and accessing damage to structures. Crews and heavy equipment are tying in the control lines on the west and northwest sides. The Beachie Creek and the Riverside Fires remain about one mile apart. Resources assigned to the fire include 11 hand crews, 45 engines, and 7 helicopters for a total of 563 personnel.

Three Area Command Teams (ACT) were mobilized Thursday to assist local units in suppressing the fires in the western states. One of them, led by Area Commander Joe Stutler, will be coordinating the efforts in northwest Oregon. The other two will be California.

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Author: Bill Gabbert

After working full time in wildland fire for 33 years, he continues to learn, and strives to be a Student of Fire. Google+

3 thoughts on “Now that the extreme weather has moderated, firefighters beginning to make progress on fires in northwest Oregon”

  1. I am wondering if all of Clackamas has been down grated to 0? It says Clackamas but map shows only part level0.
    Thank you very much.
    Also could you ask the tv stations to not run the information so fast at bottom of tv. Us elderly can’t read it and sometimes so small we need magnafying glass to see it.
    Thanks for everything
    Mary

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