Portland, OR Wildfire (8/8/01)

Daniel B. Wheeler dwheeler at ipns.com
Wed Aug 8 23:08:48 EST 2001

Between 5:30-6pm today, a wildfire broke out in North Portland among
dry grass and tinder abutting a railroad. One eyewitness claimed the
fire(s) were set from sparks shed by a passing locomotive.

By 6:30pm the blaze had grown large enough to become a 5-alarm fire,
with firefighters from Gresham and Vancouver, WA responding. Over 100
firefighters were working the fire by 7pm, including a helicopter with
a water bag.

News coverage of the fire was and is still on-going. Smoke from the
fire is visible from most part of Portland.

The blaze moved quickly, fanned by wind gusts up to 26 mph. From the
aerial photos shown by KATU-2 television, it appears that the fire was
spread out over steep terrain between the Columbia river and a bluff
near the University of Portland. Several sheds were apparently burnt,
and the flames spread into the trees of the surrounding bluff area. No
injuries or fatalities known. No homes burnt, but flames did begin
burning several decks on homes, according to Paul Lindman. (From
aerial live shots from JetRanger2, I could see no decks actually
singed or charred.)

The Northwest can look forward to at least another 2 months of fire
season. Private foresters BEWARE!

Posted as a courtesy by
Daniel B. Wheeler

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