Just before noon today, 911 callers reported a column of smoke coming from a field along SW Shaeffer Road near the W Road intersection in West Linn. Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue firefighters arrived to find active fire covering more than three acres with potential to spread into nearby trees.
Firefighters were able to quickly extinguish the blaze before it reached the trees and burned nearly four acres. In addition to hot temperatures, firefighters had to contend with an active yellow jacket nest in the area.
The homeowner explained that he had ignited a mixture of gasoline and oil to eradicate a yellow jacket nest and, shortly after ignition, winds quickly spread the fire and he was unable to contain it.
TVF&R Fire Marshal Steve Forster said, "Because of the nature of our work, we uniquely, understand the incredible speed at which fire can spread, but I believe most people are unaware of the potential destruction fire can cause. When dry vegetation, low humidity, and hot temperatures are added to the mix, we have conditions for extreme fire behavior. This can cause a small spark to become a big problem."
Wildfire can happen here. This is a week in which extreme caution should be exercised to ensure fires don't start in the first place.
Clackamas Fire District #1 also responded and assisted in fire suppression operations.