PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Officials working to contain the Big Hollow Fire in Southwest Washington said light winds and warmer temperatures will worsen conditions for firefighters Saturday.
By Sunday, the fire grew to 18,000 acres and is 0% contained.
While the fire did not expand exponentially from Friday to Saturday, thick smoke has substantially decreased visibility for crews. Incident commander Jeff Dimke reported efforts to prepare cabins at Government Mineral Springs for fire protection have been enacted. Crews conducted firing operations along the 57 road to slow southward spreading — and structures near Yale Lake and Swift Reservoir were also assessed for risk.
On Sunday, the 42 cabins at Government Mineral Springs are under a Level 3 evacuation. Carson Fish Hatchery is not under an evacuation order.
The areas SE and NW of Yale Lake, including the communities of Yale and Cougar, are now under a Level 1 evacuation. The areas NE and SW of the Level 2 evacuation area, including the community of Northwoods and portions of the towns of Amboy and Yacolt, are under a Level 1 evacuation.
On Saturday, crews are slated to scout for potential containment lines to the northeastern and eastern side of the fire. Additionally, a sprinkler system will be set up around the cabins at Government Mineral Springs and structures will be assessed for risk in Chelatchie Prairie, Yale, and Northwood.
Officials said more resources would be arriving Saturday in support of the fire.
Jim Courtney works as a store clerk at Chelatchie Prairie General Store near Yale Lake, about eight miles from the fire. He told KOIN 6 News the store is currently under a Level 2 evacuation order.
“The last few nights it’s just been a stream of cattle cars and horse trailers. We’ve had people from Oregon coming over to volunteer to move horses for people and move their homes,” Courtney said.
The store is located in a rural area near the small town of Amboy, Washington.
Courtney said he lives about four miles from the fire and he’s all packed to evacuate soon, possibly to relatives in Portland, Oregon.
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