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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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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