Oregon City residents within a half-mile radius of a large brush fire on Redland Road were ordered to evacuate Friday afternoon.
Clackamas Fire crews were called to the scene shortly before 1 p.m., with the incident commander reporting heavy smoke and an approximately three-acre wildland fire of unknown origin in the area of Redland and South Neibur Road, northeast of Oregon City.
About a dozen homes were threatened, and Clack Fire ordered the evacuation for those in the immediate area, Captain Brandon Paxton told The Canby Current. Clackamas County widened the level 2 and 3 evacuation zones at shortly after 4:30 p.m.
Paxton says the level 3 evacuation zone (“go now”) was extended as far as Oregon City High School, where relief workers from the American Red Cross are expected to set up shortly.
Investigators were on the scene by 5 p.m., Paxton said, though the cause of the blaze remained undetermined.
“It’s really steep, difficult terrain,” Paxton told the Current. “A lot of heat, obviously, and the wind is just howling through here, combined with low relative humidity.”
Fortunately, the fire was contained shortly after 6 p.m., with crews planning to patrol the scene throughout the evening.
One firefighter sustained minor injuries while working on the fire line and was taken to an area hospital for evaluation.
No structures were lost — though as many as 17 homes were seriously threatened when the fire was at its largest — covering an estimated 38 to 40 acres.
By 7:30 p.m., the county had reduced evacuation notices in the area to level 2 (“get ready”) or below.
Numerous partnering agencies assisted Clack Fire at the scene, including the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office Canby Fire District.
Residents in the area are urged to be on alert for changing evacuation levels and to follow evacuation orders. Evacuation orders will be sent through Clackamas County Public Alerts.
A countywide ban on all outside burning remains in effect in Clackamas County, as high winds have combined with historically unusual dry and warm spring conditions to create fire dangers so extreme the Canby Fire issued a red flag warning Thursday.
In addition to following the burn ban, fire officials advise residents to limb their trees up to at least 30 feet, store combustible materials (including firewood) far away from your home, keep grass trim and watered, and keep your gutters clear and free of dried leaves, needles and debris.
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