Beaver Bark fire is third in a year to damage equipment at business

by: PHOTO COURTESY OF SCAPPOOSE RURAL FIRE DISTRICT - A fire at Beaver Bark in Scappoose caused between $150,000 to $200,000 in damage to a front-end loader. A front-end loader caught fire Monday at Beaver Bark, a Scappoose landscaping company located on West Lane Road. Scappoose Rural Fire District Division Chief Jeff Pricher said the fire was caused by an unknown mechanical malfunction.

The fire was called in at 3:30 p.m. Monday and crews had the flames extinguished by 4:18 p.m. The incident caused no injuries.

Cheryl Engstrom, a spokeswoman for the Scappoose Rural Fire District, said the front-end loader is worth a couple hundred thousand dollars, adding the fire caused between $150,000 and $200,000 worth of damage.

The Monday fire marks the third time within one year that a fire at Beaver Bark has damaged an apparatus, Engstrom said.

“Something needs to change out there,” she said. “There needs to be some sort of maintenance or safety measure. Their business has common fires, so it needs to be prevented.”

Bark dust fires are highly combustable, Engstrom said, noting at times bark fires have travelled to heavy equipment, causing severe damage.

Last September, the Scappoose Rural Fire District responded to a hemlock wood-chip fire at Beaver Bark which spread to other bark piles and eventually to a piece of rock and dirt separating equipment valued at $150,000.

A Beaver Bark spokesperson did not return a call for comment before press time.

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