Mt. Hood Complex Fire Update

News staff writer

August 14, 2006

Highway 35 remains closed to traffic from Parkdale to the White River Sno-Park as the Mt. Hood fire complex continues to grow. The fire has reached 660 acres in size and fire officials said Monday morning it is 10 percent contained. the number of personnel fighting the fire has increased from 380 people on Friday to 597 people as of Monday.

The firefighters have made progress in establishing some containment lines on the Bluegrass fire. The main body and the north spot fire grew together Sunday afternoon with additional growth on all of the fire's perimeter. The fire was active Sunday night with observed torching at 4:30 a.m. on Monday.

Fire officials said Monday morning they planned to continue constructing and improving containment lines to prepare for a future burnout operation. They also plan to continue to use air resources to support suppression and support a spike camp. Crews will continue work on Gumjuwac Fire and other Branch 2 fires, which include additional smaller fires throughout the Badger Creek Wilderness.

The complex includes in both the Mt. Hood Wilderness and Badger Creek Wilderness and includes 13 lightning-caused fires. The two largest include the Bluegrass fire, burning on a ridge above the Sherwood and Nottingham camgrounds on the west side of Highway 35 and the Gumjuwac fire on the east side of Highway 35. A fire map on the agency's website shows some of the Badger Creek Wilderness fires located near High Prairie, Oval Lake, Fret Creek, Gunsight Butte and near the Badger Creek cutoff.

Campgrounds throughout the area remain closed, along with all trails between the Timberline Trail 600 and Highway 35 Badger Creek Wilderness. Closures will be updated daily; for details visit the fire team web site:

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Latest video:

Lawnmower torches Arbor Vitae on Portland Drive

The riding lawn mower driven by Norma Cannon overheated and made contact with dry arbor vitae owned by Lee and Norma Curtis, sending more than a dozen of the tightly-packed trees up in flames. The mower, visible at far right, was totaled. No one was injured; neighbors first kept the fire at bay with garden hoses and Westside and Hood River Fire Departments responded and doused the fire before it reached any structures. Westside Fire chief Jim Trammell, in blue shirt, directs firefighters. The video was taken by Capt. Dave Smith of Hood River Fire Department. Enlarge

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