Dry, breezy, warm: Fire danger high in Oregon, Washington

Wildfires

Counties in both states have burn bans in effect

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — It may only be mid-April but the dry and breezy conditions coupled with unseasonably warm temperatures combined to elevate the fire danger through the weekend.

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There is no rain in the forecast until sometime next week and the temperatures are expected to climb into the 80s over the weekend. The wind will return later in the week as the offshore flow kicks back up, and extra caution should be continued.

Around 7:30 p.m. Thursday, firefighters from 5 districts rushed to a spot just outside of Hillsboro to battle a wildland fire that spread to a structure on Padgett Road.

The fire crews from TVFR, Hillsboro, Cornelius, Forest Grove and Banks attacked the structure from the outside while they dealt with the brush fire. No injuries were reported.

Much of the fire was put out by 8:15 p.m.

Ron Morgan with TVF&R said the investigators are trying to determine the cause, but this is a good reminder to be on alert this weekend.

“People just need to make sure they’re not burning brush or using heavy equipment in dry fields this weekend, just to reduce the chance of having a catastrophic fire,” Morgan said.

He also added there aren’t any hydrants in this area, “so water tenders were used. They carry 3000 gallons of water to shuttle water to the scene to make sure firefighters have enough water.”

Many areas put burn bans into effect. All outdoor burning should be avoided, especially in the breezy conditions.

Clark County is the latest to issue a burn ban that takes effect on Friday and will last for a week. All burning permits issued before Friday have been rescinded.

In Oregon, Multnomah, Clackamas, Washington, Polk and Linn counties have already issued burn bans.

This brush fire in the area of Harris Street Road/ Corduroy Road near Kelso was extinguished in 20 minutes, April 14, 2021 (Kelso/Cowlitz County)

Brush fires popped up throughout the region this week.

On Wednesday, a field on fire near Kelso torched an area about 20×100 feet, with 5 foot flames threatening multiple structures. Firefighters protected nearby homes and turned off power poles that had caught fire.

That fire was contained within 20 minutes but scorched about 1.5 acres very quickly.

KOIN 6 News will continue to follow this story throughout the season.

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