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Two brush fires doused in a week

Firefighters successfully beat back two brushfires in Estacada during the last week, and warn people to be careful when doing yard work or other outdoor activities in the current dry conditions.

About 2 p.m. Monday, Aug. 24, firefighters rushed to Estacada’s industrial park and doused a brushfire, confining the burn to about an acre.

It was sparked by “a tractor mowing a field. It hit a rock and started a fire, which then spread to some blackberry bushes,” said Jason Crowe, Estacada fire incident commander. The industrial park is off Highway 224 at Northwest Park Avenue.

Crews with Estacada Rural Fire District No. #69 were assisted by one truck from the Clackamas fire department at the industrial park fire.

On Wednesday, Aug. 19, fire crews sped to the site of a much bigger brush fire in the Viola area and successfully put out that blaze, also before it spread out of control.

“We had a lot of very skilled firefighters, and they got a good stop on the fire before it went up the canyon,” said Estacada Rural Fire District #69 Chief Richard Anderson of the Viola blaze.

Estacada Fire was dispatched to a vehicle and grass fire on South Redland Road in the Viola area and discovered two fires were started by a backfiring pickup truck. The fires were at Southeast Fellows Road at the intersection of South Redland Road.

That fire was quickly upgraded to a four alarm fire. Thirty-two units and more than 50 firefighters from Estacada, Clackamas, Colton, Sandy, Hoodland and the Oregon Department of Forestry were called to the scene. The fire was approximately 12-15 acres in size.

A tree faller was brought in to cut down four trees approximately 150 feet tall that were burning.

An ambulance also was called to the scene to treat a homeowner with a chain saw injury to the leg.

Several homes were threatened but the fire was stopped before reaching any buildings. One home was evacuated and some livestock were released.

No buildings were lost, but the truck and a utility trailer were destroyed.

“We have extremely dry conditions,” Anderson said. “We advise everyone to be very careful.”