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Estacada 36 Pit Fire declared officially out July 9

Officials from USFS, BLM and ODF express caution in ongoing fire season


Estacada residents can breathe a sigh of relief to know they no longer have to worry about ongoing fire concerns on the site of last year's 36 Pit Fire.

On Thursday, July 9, after infrared flights did not detect any heat around the site, fire officials from the Bureau of Land Management, the Oregon Department of Forestry and the U.S. Forest Service agreed to declare the 36 Pit Fire, that began on Sept. 13, 2014, officially out.

The fire was caused by target shooting during unusually hot, dry and windy conditions in the Clackamas River Ranger District of the Mt. Hood National Forest. The fire quickly spread to cover 900 acres over the first night and burned a total of approximately 5,500 acres of USFS, BLM and ODF protected lands over its lifetime.FILE PHOTO - Estacadas 36 Pit Fire, which burned strong in last summer and early fall of 2014, was declared officially out on July 9.

Last week, night flights by representatives from the three agencies did not detect any hot spots or signs of smoldering material related to fire.

“It’s a relief to finally be able to declare this fire officially out now that we are in yet another hot and dry fire season,” said Clackamas District Ranger Jackie Groce. “Our community showed wonderful perseverance and really pulled together to insure that our firefighters and citizens in need received the support they needed during the evacuations and firefighting operations. Let’s hope that we all will be super vigilant regarding fire prevention this summer since it is turning out to be as hot and dry as it was last summer.”

The 36 Pit Fire was managed under unified command of the BLM, USFS and ODF. The forest brought in a Type 2 Incident Management Team, Washington Team II, which helped ensure the fire was officially controlled by Oct. 29. Additional support came from Estacada Rural Fire District and the Clackamas County Office of Emergency Management.

“All the agencies fighting this fire were very engaged with and supportive of Washington Team II’s efforts to control this fire,” noted BLM Field Manager John Huston. “I’m glad it’s out but I caution us to not let our guard down, as we have another potentially daunting fire season ahead of us.”


kwray@sandypost.com

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