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Bull Mountain fire threatens two homes

by: SUBMITTED PHOTO - Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue's Engine 50 responded to a fire in the 1300 block of Morningstar Drive on Saturday morning. Concern about the blaze igniting a wildfire in the heavily wooded neighborhood prompted response from about 48 firefighters, who extinguished the fire within 40 minutes. A fire caused significant damage to a home in the 1300 block of Morningstar Drive on Sunday, primarily claiming an outdoor deck, some house siding and the house’s attic. A portion of a neighbor’s roof was also damaged.

Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue’s Engine 50 responded to the blaze at 10 a.m. Neighbors reported the fire was burning hedges and extending to the house’s roof.

Residents evacuated the house as the fire claimed an outdoor deck and threatened the attic. Witnesses estimated the flames reached as high as 30 feet, and that radiant heat from the fire blew out the windows of a neighboring home, where wood shingles on the roof were beginning to burn.

The highly flammable wood-shake roofing on nearby houses, as well as the neighborhood’s designation as a wild land urban interface, prompted the commanding officer on the scene to call for additional resources, according to fire officials. Houses in the area are surrounded by heavy vegetation and timber, posing a risk that a wildfire could ignite.

In total, about 48 firefighters responded to the blaze, and the fire was extinguished within 40 minutes of the original call.

Residents were advised to dampen any bark dust in their yards, and firefighting personnel used fire-retardant foam to protect the roofs and landscape of surrounding properties from embers.

The investigation into this fire continues.