Firefighters contain brush fire in Laurel area
A fire from burn piles outside a home in rural Hillsboro grew out of control midday Wednesday, May 30, leading to a multi-agency fire response to stop it before it spread to the building, according to Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue.
A homeowner in the 15000 block of Southwest Holly Hill Road, south of Laurel, was burning debris Wednesday morning, according to Kim Haughn, a TVF&R spokeswoman. The burn ignited a brush fire that the homeowner attempted unsuccessfully to extinguish with his own water supply, Haughn said, and when that was exhausted, he called 911.
Firefighters from TVF&R's Midway fire station arrived on the scene shortly after 11 a.m. and found about 12 to 15 acres "actively on fire," with the blaze having spread from the burn piles along a nearby ravine, Haughn told the Hillsboro Tribune.
"They immediately began protecting the home," Haughn said. "That was their top priority."
The brush fire spread to within 50 yards of the house, but firefighters were able to knock down the flames. Haughn said TVF&R expects that work to fully extinguish the fire will continue into the night, with areas still smoldering as of 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, she said.
"The ground is pretty warm still," said Haughn.
The house is not considered to be under active threat from the fire, according to Haughn, although she said firefighters are concerned that if the fire were to "re-ignite," it could potentially spread to large trees next to the building. They are continuing to work on it.
A statement from TVF&R described conditions at the scene as not "favorable for complete extinguishment." Haughn said the steep topography of the rural area, the wind and very dry conditions are among the challenges that firefighters are facing.
Haughn reported there has been no structure damage.
"We were able to contain it to just the vegetation and the brush area," she said.
Units from the Hillsboro and Cornelius fire departments and the Gaston Rural Fire District also responded to the brush fire.
By Mark Miller
Editor, Forest Grove News-Times
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