Weekend full of blazes for Washington Co. firefighters

Crews answer calls in city boundaries and remote areas, too
by: Photo courtesy of Ken Bilderback Gaston firefighters fought a two-alarm fire in a remote part of the fire district Monday.

Firefighters across western Washington County were busy over Labor Day weekend, with Gaston firefighters leading the battle of a two-alarm house fire and firefighters from agencies across the county working a burn in the Tillamook State Forest.

'It was a pretty busy weekend for us,' said Ken Bilderback, spokesman for Gaston Rural Fire District. 'Besides the fact that it's a holiday weekend and a lot of people are out recreating, it's also the height of fire season.'

Early Saturday morning, a fire in the Tillamook State Forest led firefighters from Washington County, including crews from Forest Grove, Cornelius and Tualatin Valley Fire and Rescue, to Tillamook County to aid the Oregon Department of Forestry in fighting a three-acre burn in the Idiot Creek area.

Later Saturday morning, Gaston firefighters responded to a rollover accident on Albertson Road, where two people were injured.

Saturday afternoon, Gaston firefighters quelled a quarter-acre burn triggered by sparks from a tractor that struck a rock on Spring Hill Road near its intersection with Lasalle Road.

Early Monday afternoon, Forest Grove firefighters took care of a quarter-acre brush fire on Old Highway 47 near the Lake Stop Store.

Then, around 5:57 p.m. Monday, firefighters from Gaston led the firefighting effort at a two-alarm house fire in the 26700 block of Williams Canyon Road, about six miles west of downtown Gaston.

'It's about as remote as you can get in the Gaston Fire District,' Bilderback said.

The fire started in the kitchen of the home, but soon engulfed the structure, including an apartment that was attached. During the fire a power line fell.

'It was an obstacle to firefighters for a while until PGE could make it out there,' said Bilderback. 'It took them a long time to get there because of the remote location.'

One of the four occupants of the structure suffered non-life-threatening injuries and was transported by ambulance to an area hospital. Early inspections indicate the structure is a total loss.