Helicopters called in as Game Hog Creek Fire grows
Firefighters battling the Game Hog Creek Fire in the Tillamook State Forest are getting more air support Friday, July 16, and Saturday, July 17.
The Oregon Department of Forestry announced Friday morning that, while one helicopter has already been assisting with air drops of water onto the wildfire about 22 miles northwest of Forest Grove, an additional helicopter will help out Friday and Saturday.
"The water they drop will help cool hot spots so that embers in the interior of the fire have less chance of being blown across control lines," said the state agency, which is responsible for fire management in state forests like Tillamook.
While Thursday, July 15, the Department of Forestry said fire lines were holding, the department said Friday morning that the fire "pushed through those lines" and burned 3 more acres. It is burning on more than 130 acres of timber and slash land in the Tillamook State Forest. No evacuations have been ordered at this point, as the fire is well away from populated areas.
The department says steep terrain is making it hard for the 80 or so firefighters on the ground to deepen their control lines and hold the wildfire at bay.
The fire started last week — its cause is not known — and appeared to be contained before growing out of control earlier this week.
Firefighters will be working Friday to extend control lines to Elk Creek, hemming the wildfire in to limit further growth.
While no rain is in the immediate forecast, the weather is giving firefighters a bit of a boost. Cooler marine air moved into the area Friday, the Department of Forestry said.
The Tillamook State Forest remains open to visitors with the exception of Drift Creek and Idiot Creek forest roads, the Fear and Loaming mountain bike trail, and the Rogers Camp trailhead, which firefighters are using as a staging point.
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