Bull Complex, Wildfire Raging in Neighboring Marion County, Grows to 10,300 Acres

Canby Fire District and other area fire officials are closely monitoring the conditions surrounding the Bull Complex wildfire, which has burned more than 10,000 acres at least 20 miles south of the Molalla area — and is only 3% contained.

The complex started as four smaller fires, all sparked by a lightning storm on Aug. 2. The fires expanded over the course of a couple of weeks, eventually joining to comprise the Janus Complex, which was later renamed Bull Complex.

Though the fire threat to the Canby and Molalla areas is low, smoke from the blaze has settle over the valley this week.

“People will continue to see the large column of smoke from the fire, and maybe more so starting this Wednesday and continuing through the weekend,” Canby Fire Chief Jim Davis said. “At this time, there is very little east wind in the forecast that would cause the fire to move toward the Clackamas/Molalla area.

“If there is any change, or a significant east wind event like the one that happened in 2020, we will get the word out.”

The complex did grow by almost 1,000 acres Monday — spurred by warmer temperatures reaching up to the mid-80s and low relative humidity.

Incident commanders say it is blazing rapidly through the footprint of the 2011 Mother Lode Fire area, consuming the large dead and down material which is much drier than the live timber stands.

A fire camp is located at the Timber Lake Job Corps Center at Ripplebrook to support the firefighters with food, water, supplies, and basic care items.

The fire is nearing the border of the Willamette National Forest.

There are no evacuation warnings or orders at this time, though fire managers are in regular contact with Marion County officials to ensure safe and timely evacuations should they become necessary.

For the safety of wildland firefighters and the public, the U.S. Forest Service has closed areas in the vicinity of the Bull Complex where uncontrolled fire and fire suppression activities are occurring.

All Forest lands south and west of Forest Road 46, as is the road itself, and east of the Riverside Fire perimeter are closed. Lands within the 2020 Lionshead and Beachie Creek Fire areas are also closed.

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