All evacuation orders for Powerline Fire lifted Sunday evening
The Powerline Fire burning near Henry Hagg Lake since Tuesday, Sept. 8, has been contained, and all of the remaining evacuation orders in place will be lifted, Forest Grove Fire & Rescue and the Oregon Department of Forestry announced late Sunday afternoon, Sept. 13.
"Owing to the hard work and quick reactions of firefighters with Gaston Rural Fire District, Forest Grove Fire & Rescue, the Oregon Department of Forestry, and many other cooperating agencies, the Powerline Fire is well secured," the fire agencies announced in what they said will likely be their final update on the wildfire.
The fire prompted close to 600 people to evacuate their homes south from Hagg Lake to the Cherry Grove community last Tuesday.
Evacuation orders began to be lifted Friday, and on Saturday, the fire agencies cleared the last remaining evacuees to return to their homes along Southwest Dundee, Hering and Lee roads and Cascara Drive.
Those areas have remained on Level 1 or Level 2 evacuation status — meaning residents should be ready to leave again if needed — but as of 7 p.m., those orders will be lifted altogether.
Although temperatures have dropped and the winds have died down after a Labor Day windstorm whipped up wildfires last week, conditions remain dry and fire risk is still elevated.
"While this fire has been contained, fire managers would like to ask everyone to continue to practice vigilance in ensuring that no new fire starts occur," the fire agencies stated at 4:30 p.m. Sunday. "Extremely limited resources nationwide, combined with extreme fire danger will make it challenging to control any new fire starts."
The Oregon Department of Forestry, which assumed control of the wildfire response, confirmed it will turn the scene back over to the Gaston Rural Fire District.
Although the Powerline Fire is considered to be contained and "mop-up" work is expected to conclude Sunday, there will be daily patrols of the area until the fire is completely out, something that the fire agencies say is unlikely to happen until the fall rains arrive.
A small amount of smoke may continue to rise from the scene of the fire for a time, the fire agencies said.
The Powerline Fire is estimated to have burned some 126 acres south of Hagg Lake. No structures were destroyed in the fire.
Scoggins Valley Park will remain closed until further notice.
By Mark Miller
Washington County Editor
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