Alder Creek Fire 75% contained
A wildfire burning northwest of Scappoose is 75% contained as of Monday afternoon, Sept. 13, according to the Oregon Department of Forestry.
Scappoose Fire District crews first responded to the Alder Creek Fire on the afternoon of Saturday, Sept. 11. The fire, in a forested area roughly 4 miles northwest of Alder Creek Road, was approximately 30 acres at the time.
Firefighters had dug a perimeter around the fire and circled it with fire hoses as of 11 a.m. on Monday, Sept. 13, the Department of Forestry reported on Facebook.
"Four hand crews, and crews with three water tenders and three fire engines will continue improving control lines today," the department stated. "The fire is burning remote private forests with trees that are about 10 years old along with thick scotch broom and blackberries."
Responders also used helicopters over the weekend, and a helicopter is ready at the Scappoose Industrial Airpark if needed.
The fire is now at 50 acres. The Department of Forestry's Columbia City office said there is a perimeter around 100% of the fire, but it is still considered just 75% contained.
All areas of a fire "must be smoke and heat free for a few days before a statement of full containment and control can be used," a Scappoose Fire District spokesperson explained in a Facebook post on Sunday, Sept. 12. "It is normal to see and smell light smoke well after the initial attack phase of a fire of this magnitude. Mop-up is a process that is time consuming and laborious."
No evacuation orders have been in effect. There are no threats to any residences or other structures.
To ensure that residents receive notification in the event of an evacuation order, the Scappoose Fire District is encouraging residents to register with the Columbia 9-1-1 alert network.
The cause of the fire is still unknown.
The Scappoose Fire District initially responded to the fire on Saturday with assistance from state firefighters, as well as the neighboring Vernonia Fire District and Columbia River Fire & Rescue.
The fire is on state-managed lands, which Scappoose Fire Chief Jeff Pricher said limited his department's ability to give updates.
Scappoose initially tasked its public information officer with the fire updates because the local fire district was the primary responder, Pricher said, but the Department of Forestry, which manages the land where the wildfire is burning, took over Saturday night.
The Department of Forestry had only published one update on the fire as of Monday afternoon. Scappoose Fire shared four updates over the weekend.
"Our information will be brief as this fire was not within the Scappoose Fire District boundary. Because of this, we are not able to officially comment on the suppression actions being taken by Oregon Department of Forestry," a Scappoose Fire District spokesperson explained Sunday afternoon. "We have a fantastic relationship with ODF and we are strong partners in suppression efforts and can say with certainty, they are taking appropriate actions at this time."
As of Monday afternoon, there were at least 13 fires larger than 1,000 acres across the state, according to an Oregon Department of Forestry map.
You count on us to stay informed and we depend on you to fund our efforts. Quality local journalism takes time and money. Please support us to protect the future of community journalism.