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36 Pit Fire burns on, Estacada shrouded in smoke, ash

Photo Credit: KOIN 6 NEWS - The fire near Estacada had grown from 30 to approximately 1,000 acres by Sunday afternoon.The 36 Pit Fire burning in forest land continues to grow about 10 miles east of Estacada.

As of an 11:01 a.m. Monday, Sept. 15, update posted at the Northwest Interagency Control Center, the fire has reached 2,358 acres and 0 percent contained.

The posting stated that four crews, two helicopters, six engines and 117 people formed the initial response, but additional resources have arrived to battle the flames and more will arrive throughout the day.

A Type 3 Mt. Hood Incident Management Team has led the response to the 36 Pit Fire, but a Type 2 Incident Management Team will take command at 6 p.m. Monday.

The fire was believed to be caused by target shooting near Milepost 36 on Highway 224 on Saturday, Sept. 13, has spread rapidly.Photo Credit: NORTHWEST INTERAGENCY COORDINATION CENTER - This map shows the 36 Pit Fire burning more than 2,000-acres of forest land 10-miles east of Estacada.

The fire has spread through grass and timber in part due to the steep slope and dry conditions in the area.

What had been reported as a 30-acre fire on Saturday evening was around 1,000 acres by Sunday afternoon and had more than doubled in size Monday.

Authorities evacuated and closed the Ladee Flats designated off-highway vehicle area, Lazy Bend Campground, Work Center and Silver Fox RV Park and Highway 224 has been closed from North Fork Reservoir east to Ripplebrook.

The Forest Service announced that the Big Eddy, Carter Bridge and Fish Creek campground and day-use areas and the Lockaby and Armstrong campgrounds have also been closed due to the fire.

In addition, Forest Service Road 4610 has been closed from its junction with Highway 224 to its junction with Plaza Creek and Forest Service Road 45 had been closed from the western forest boundary to its intersection with Highway 224 near the Lazy Bend Campground.

Photo Credit: ESTACADA NEWS PHOTO: ISABEL GAUTSCHI - Heavy smoke was visible from the media staging area near Promontory Park on Highway 224 near Milepost 31. Forest Service Roads 4611, 4612 and 4613 and the Old Baldy, Fanton and Huxley Trails have also have been closed.

The American Red Cross set up a shelter for those displaced by the fire at the Estacada First Baptist Church.

About 21 people stayed at the shelter or in RVs in the parking lot Sunday night.

As of a 12:35 a.m. Monday press release from Estacada Rural Fire District No. 69, the fire continued to threaten the Silver Fox RV Park, and residents had not been allowed to return.

Estacada Fire Chief Bob Morrisey said a Washington County task force worked through the night to protect structures and other property at the Silver Fox RV Park.

Six homes on Hillockburn Road have been given preliminary warnings that they may need to evacuate and fire personnel continue to patrol and monitor the area for developments.

However, Estacada Fire personnel said that besides the Silver Fox RV Park, no residents have yet been forced to leave.

Photo Credit: ESTACADA NEWS PHOTO: ISABEL GAUTSCHI - Displaced Silver Fox RV residents Steve Reed, Kathy and Don Adams and Mike Rausch wait in the Estacada First Baptist Church parking lot. They had been evacuated around 9 a.m. Sunday morning and went to the Red Cross Shelter set up at the church.Connie Redmond of the Estacada Fire Corps said the preliminary warnings are meant to give residents time to make arrangements for themselves and their animals so that they may be prepared if they need to evacuate.

Morrisey said the Fire District uses a reverse 9-1-1 system to notify residents of evacuation notices or other emergencies.

He urged residents to register their cell phone numbers and addresses to receive reverse 9-1-1 calls.

Residents may sign up here: www.clackamas.us/emergency/ccens.html.

In the event of the need for evacuation, Morrisey said that fire personnel will make every attempt to give advanced, or Level 1 notification that residences may need to evacuate; warning that evacuation is imminent, or a Level 2 notification, and a Level 3 notification when it is absolutely necessary to leave.

Law enforcement personnel will contact each address during a Level 3 evacuation.

The Estacada Fire District 69 is posting updates on the 36 Pit Fire on its website and Facebook and Twitter pages.

Redmond said residents may call the Fire Department at 503-630-7712 if they are concerned about their area.

Authorities have urged residents not to call 9-1-1 if they see smoke.

9-1-1 should only be called if a fire is seen or in case of another emergency.

Photo Credit: ESTACADA NEWS PHOTO: ISABEL GAUTSCHI - The shelter had several cots set up. Red Cross workers said about 14 Silver Fox RV park residents had registererd to spend the night at the church or in RVs in the parking lot.A heavy cloud of smoke and ash continue to permeate Estacada, making the air outdoors uncomfortable to breathe.

Clackamas County Emergency Operations Center has issued a warning that wildfire smoke may increase risk for adults and children with respiratory illness or a heart condition.

The center has urged Estacada area residents to drink lots of water, reduce the amount of time spent outdoors and to avoid vigorous outdoor physical activity.

The center also recommends minimizing the use of indoor air pollutants such as burning cigarettes and candles or the use of gas, propane and wood burning stoves and furnaces, cooking and vacuuming.

Anyone experiencing health problems from the smoke should contact their health provider or seek urgent care or call 9-1-1 in the case of a medical emergency.

Estacada School District officials said that recess and PE classes are being held indoors and no aerobic activity has been scheduled for students.

After school sports activity is canceled and the school district’s athletic fields are closed to school and community teams.

In addition, the school district has masks available for students walking between buildings for classes at the Estacada Junior High School and high school.

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