Small grass fire near Mosier preludes fire season


MOSIER, Ore. (KOIN) — A grass fire ignited Thursday about 5 miles east of Hood River, bringing with it a reminder that fire season is fast approaching. 

The Wasco County Sheriff’s Office said the fire was consuming thick brush near Union Pacific Railroad tracks at around 5:30 p.m. 

According to the United States Forest Service, the fire torched just 1.5 acres. 

Sandwiched between the north side of the tracks and Interstate 84, the fire — dubbed the “Pirate Cove Fire” — was quickly contained by crews from Mid-Columbia Fire and Rescue, Mosier Fire and the Oregon Department of Forestry.

Officials were working to learn what caused the fire. No roads were closed but Union Pacific temporarily stopped train traffic in the area. 

While Thursday’s fire was small and didn’t cause any major damage, it’s a reminder that as summer quickly approaches the Pacific Northwest, wildfire season is just around the corner. 

Last summer, wheat-field fires near The Dalles consumed hundreds of thousands of acres while the Eagle Creek Fire — sparked by human hands in the summer of 2017 — forced evacuations and scarred one of the most iconic destinations in Oregon. 

The National Interagency Fire Center predicts an above-normal outlook on this year’s fire season across large swaths of North America due to factors like drought and El Niño, with the western and northern parts of Washington, the upper northwest part of Oregon and a large part of southwest Canada experiencing increases in fire risk in  May and June. 

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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