PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Cooler 60-degree temperatures and recent rains have helped firefighters gain better control of the Camp Creek Fire burning in the Bull Run Watershed during the month of September.
Firefighters managing the Camp Creek Fire say that the break in summer weather allowed firefighters to increase the fire’s containment from 11 to 16%. As of Sept. 6, the Camp Creek Fire is estimated to be 1,922 acres in size with winds pushing the fire east and away from Portland’s water supply and water treatment plant.
“The recent wet, cool weather slowed down fire activity, giving firefighters a favorable break to remove trees from roads, remove fuels [like] licorice, moss, bushes, low tree branches, install water systems and neutralize the extreme of the fire when they had the opportunity to do it directly, or to perform burning operations to bring the main fire closer to our control lines,” the team of firefighters announced in Wednesday’s fire report.
Firefighters said that the weather allowed crews to improve and expand containment lines on Forest Service Roads 1210, 14 and 12. However, the recent rains also stalled the firefighters’ use of controlled buns along Highway 12, limiting the overall level containment seen this week.
“They are patiently waiting for a period of opportunity to carry out this work along Highway 12 in order to improve control,” the team of firefighters stated. “This tactic allows the strategic placement of low-intensity fire in areas that have not been burned, resulting in the fire diminishing or advancing when it hits the road due to lack of vegetation.”
“Very heavy” brush, tree canopies, rotted logs and decomposing forest debris continue to fuel the fire, firefighters said. Fire growth is expected to increase in the coming days as temperatures rise and the forest dries out.