The massive Riverside Fire in Clackamas County is now more than half contained. The positive news came from incident command of the 138,000-acre conflagration on Monday, Oct. 5.
A high-pressure system moving inland from the coast will bring warm and dry conditions to the fire area for the next couple of days. The high-pressure ridge will begin to weaken Wednesday, bringing cooler conditions and increasing clouds in the latter part of the week.
With the warmer and drier weather, there could be a slight increase in fire behavior. Rain is in the forecast for Friday and is expected to linger through the weekend.
Firefighters responded to two 911 reports of smoke on the north end of the fire Sunday. Handheld infrared work showed minimal heat sources along the fire line this weekend, but crews are continuing to work along the northern border to identify and extinguish hot spots.
Good progress is being made with suppression repair work and will continue along contingency lines, according to incident command. These efforts include pulling back berms, installing water bars and clearing roadside ditches and culverts.
No information has yet been released on the cause of the Riverside Fire, which is under investigation. Human activity is believed to be responsible — mainly because no natural cause of fire (such as lightning or volcanic activity) were reported in the area the night the Riverside Fire began.
There is, however, a wide variety of human sources of fire — most of which are accidental.
All evacuation orders have been lifted for Clackamas County, as has the countywide curfew that was in place during the first week of the wildfire crisis. Current evacuation information for Marion County is available online or by calling 503-588-5032.
The Willamette National Forest has lifted restrictions on campfires, but the Sept. 25 closure order is still in effect for many areas. A list of recreation areas within the fire zone that remain closed can be found at go.usa.gov/xGpeV.
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