Barn burns off Burkhalter Road near Hillsboro
A structure fire off Southwest Burkhalter Road in rural Hillsboro destroyed a barn and at least one RV, a regional fire agency reported Friday afternoon, June 26.
Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue responded to the blaze at about 3 p.m. Friday afternoon. Before 4 p.m., the barn had largely collapsed, a nearby RV had caught fire and a compressed gas tank had exploded.
"There was a tank nearby that had fuel in it … that actually exploded and went flying 50 feet. Thankfully, it didn't hit anyone," said Kim Haughn, a TVF&R spokesperson.
No injuries were reported.
Burkhalter Road is in a rural area south of Hillsboro, connecting Highway 219 to Southwest Rood Bridge Road.
Water tenders were used to supply firefighting crews.
"There's no fire hydrants in the area, so they have to shuttle water to the scene," Haughn explained.
Hillsboro Fire & Rescue also responded to the scene, as did the Washington County Sheriff's Office and other agencies.
After the fuel tank exploded, Haughn said, firefighters withdrew to a safer distance. She described the firefighting operation as "defensive," focused on keeping the fire contained instead of saving the structure, which mostly contained farm and recreational equipment, TVF&R said.
"It's definitely destroyed this barn," Haughn said.
No other structures in the area were threatened, Haughn said. Firefighters did have to work around a downed power line, according to a statement from TVF&R released later Friday afternoon.
No people or animals were inside the barn when it caught fire.
The cause of the fire is under investigation.
Burkhalter Road was closed at the scene while firefighters responded.
About 43 firefighters battled the fire.
"Extremely warm temperatures necessitated regular cycling of firefighters to ensure they were hydrated," TVF&R stated.
Editor's note: This story has been updated with more information on the Burkhalter Road fire provided by Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue.
By Mark Miller
Washington County Editor
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