Additional resources are being mobilized to support the battle against the historic Riverside Fire in Clackamas County.
Covering more than 135,000 acres and still 0% contained, with a perimeter spanning more than 100 miles, the fight to tamp back the conflagration will be “a marathon, not a sprint,” officials with Colton Rural Fire Protection District said earlier this week.
The human-caused blaze has been raging since Labor Day — Sept. 8 — and had 458 personnel assigned to it as of Tuesday afternoon. It has threatened the communities of Estacada, Molalla and Colton, and darkened the skies over all of Clackamas County.
Firefighters continue to prioritize suppression actions closest to local communities. On Tuesday, ground crews continued to utilize infrared-capable drones to help identify hot spots. Firefighters on the ground are also working to eliminate any remaining heat near the perimeter before these areas can be defined as “contained.”
“We’re putting safety first,” said Incident Commander Alan Sinclair. “Over the past several days, firefighters have worked tirelessly to put in lines to stop any new fire growth towards the communities of Estacada, Colton, and Molalla.”
Firefighters will continue to strengthen and improve firelines down to the Clackamas River on the fire area located one half mile southeast of the community of Estacada, in the Faraday Lake area, incident command reported.
Crews and engines continue to actively build and connect fireline in the Mckenzie Road, greater Elwood and Dodge areas, where numerous pockets of fire are disconnected from the main fire perimeter.
Update: Additional resources arriving to support #RiversideFire. We’re putting safety first and working to curb new fire growth near Estacada, Colton, and Molalla. Full report @ https://t.co/1bBqGUKSW7
Virtual public meeting @ 6pm tonight at https://t.co/0t7zSC4qt2 pic.twitter.com/OxgJDiXEsD
— Riverside Fire Info (@fire_riverside) September 15, 2020
To the west, dozers and hand crews will continue to stitch together holding lines in rugged terrain in the Green Mountain and Goat Mountain areas approximately five miles southeast of Colton.
Firefighters are working closely with the Oregon Department of Forestry to strengthen firelines near commercial timber stands while preventing any further growth towards the community of Molalla. The fire is continuing to smolder and creep in remote and backcountry areas such as the Roaring Fork Wilderness.
Residents are reminded to refrain from using drones: If you fly, they can’t. A Temporary Flight Restriction is in effect, and all fire aircraft will be grounded if a drone is spotted.
While some evacuation levels have been reduced, there have been no changes in level 3 — “Go now” — evacuations levels. The live map is available here or call 503-655-8224
There will be an online Riverside Fire community meeting tonight at 6 p.m. tonight on the official Riverside Fire Information Facebook page for the Riverside Fire Incident.
You can ask questions on Facebook or email questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.