Investigators assign likely cause to slash burn that wasn't tended on clearcut adjacent to Highway 219 on north side of peak

A slash burn that got out of hand Saturday on Chehalem Mountain has been controlled by local firefighters.

Initial reports came in at 3:30 Saturday afternoon of a brush fire adjacent to Highway 219 about a mile beyond of the crest of the hill north of Newberg. The 9-1-1 call indicated the fire was approximately 20 by 20 feet. The fire likely spread from slash piles that were being burned as part of an effort to clear the property for the past month.PHOTO COURTESY OF TVF&R - Firefighters mop up after a brush fire that emanated in a slash burn broke out on Saturday on the north side of Chehalem Mountain adjacent to Highway 219.

Fire crews arriving on the scene confirmed the blaze wasn't threatening any structures, although the site presented some challenges due its steepness, the 100-degree temperature and strong winds. As a result, firefighters from Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue requested additional resources. That assistance came in the form of brush rigs, water tenders and additional personnel. A TVF&R report indicated that 60 fire personnel were dispatched to the scene and the agency received assistance from the Hillsboro and Dundee fire departments as well.

No injuries were reported or nor structures damaged.

Fire crews tended to the blaze for the next 29 hours, according to a TVF&R release, before demobilizing. Fire crews from TVF&R and the Oregon Department of Forestry periodically inspected the area to ensure that coals from burned trees and brush did not spread and reignite.

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