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Logging equipment sparks fire in Deer Island

PHOTO COURTESY OF COLUMBIA RIVER FIRE & RESCUE - Firefighters from Columbia River Fire & Rescue extinguish flames on a delimber truck near Canaan Road and Highway 30 Monday morning. The fire caused an estimated $300,000 in damage.A logging equipment fire sparked from a delimber operation late Monday morning near Deer Island sent a plume of black smoke into the air and proved difficult to extinguish.

A Columbia River Fire & Rescue crew was dispatched to the area of Canaan Road and Highway 30 just after 11 a.m. Monday, to find a John Deere delimber fully engulfed in flames, according to a CRFR news release.

Delimbers are pieces of heavy equipment used to remove branches from trees during timber logging operations.

"Firefighters had a difficult time extinguishing the intense fire as the diesel fuel tank and hydraulic fluid tanks had ruptured spilling flaming fuel onto the machine and ground," the release states. "The 300 gallon diesel fuel tank was nearly full at the time of the fire."

A construction crew from RD Reeves Construction of Rainier was on scene performing work.

It took firefighters roughly 90 minutes to extinguish the blaze, the agency stated. Fire equipment provided by logging crews on site was used to help keep the blaze from spreading, and logging crews used their machinery to prevent fuel and hydraulic fluid from spilling into nearby drainage, according to the release.

Investigators suspect a leak in the delimber's engine compartment likely started the fire, which caused an estimated $300,000 in damage.

CRFR firefighters were also assisted at the scene by a crew from the Oregon Department of Forestry.