Crews corral blazes on Mount Hood

By SUE RYAN

News staff writer

August 26, 2006

Work by firefighters to hold a containment line along the southern edge of the Mount Hood fire held during Thursday.

Officials said the fire is contained at 50 percent at a total of 1,859 acres. The team managing the incident has estimated the fire will be fully contained by Sept. 4.

Crews that were on the mountain began coming off yesterday as they began pulling out of the smaller “spike” camps located away from the incident command at Mt. Hood Meadows.

Highway 35 remains open with restrictions of pilot cars from White River Sno-Park to Cooper Spur Road. Campground and trail closures remain in effect.

The Type II team that has been managing the fire will turn duties over to a Type III team at 6 a.m. on Sunday. Fire officials estimate that because of a quantity of unburned fuel in the fire area that patrols of the burn will have to continue until fall rain and snow return.

Firefighters are currently doing “mop-up” along the fire’s entire perimeter — extinguishing burning material within 200 to 300 feet of the line — but the fire will continue to burn within the interior of the fire line.

Additional planned work includes rehabilitation to reduce erosion, installation of water bars and fixing any roadways, pump sites and other places disturbed during suppression operations.

As of Thursday evening, a total of 635 personnel were assigned to the fire. The cost to date is $7.7 million.

A Burned Area Response Team will also continue work in the weeks ahead to assess the fire’s impact. These teams include people from the fire agencies as well as technical specialists dealing with environmental effects of the Mount Hood fire.

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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 www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge



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