‘More fires on the side of the road’ as urban areas threatened too

Wildfires

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — It’s not just rural wildfires we need to worry about this season.

Officials say fires in urban areas are becoming more common. On Friday morning, there was a brush fire near I-205 and a yard burned close to a home in Clackamas County.

The drought and low humidity is making conditions more dangerous in and around cities.

It was Gloria Layoun’s yard in Clackamas County that caught fire early Thursday morning. She tells KOIN 6 she woke up to firefighters outside her house.

“They were in the area putting out another fire and someone called 911. I’m thankful because it could have been a lot worse,” she said.

Portland Fire & Rescue officials say everyone needs to be vigilant about anything that can start a fire, and even if you live in the city, make sure your grass is mowed and the vegetation surrounding your home is taken care of.

“We are seeing more fires on the side of the road. That seems to be happening more often. It picks up in the summer in general, this year it seems to be earlier,” Terry Foster with PF&R said.

Wildfires burning across the state is also impacting staffing, since they have sent firefighters to help fight the bigger wildfires

“Those members that are supposed to be here in the city, we have to backfill for those members that deploy, it could be up to 14 days they’re gone,” Foster said.

“While they’re gone, we still have the city to protect. We have the resources, it does run us more thin,” he said.

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