Scramble to contain Portland area fires

Scramble to contain Portland area fires

Scramble to contain Portland area fires

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by KGW staff

NWCN.com

Posted on May 5, 2013 at 3:29 PM

Updated Monday, May 6 at 6:10 AM

TUALATIN, Ore. -- Captain Virgil Hall with Tualatin Valley Fire and Rescue had a feeling things were about to get busy Sunday afternoon.

"It's so dry and windy we're probably going to have problems out there," said Hall. 

Five minutes later his crews responded to a brush fire on Skyline Boulevard.  Winds knocked a power line into some trees sparking the fire. 

They closed the road while they extinguished the fire and power crews handled the downed lines.

Winds also played a factor in a rural house fire near Cornelius Saturday evening.  The remote location made it tough to get water to the fire.  The home was a total loss.

More: Log-cabin home torched in Cornelius

Getting water to wildfires is nearly always a challenge.  The Oregon Department of Forestry reports about 20 wildfires over the past few days.  Nearly all of them sparked by outdoor burn piles that got out of hand. 

A wildfire near La Pine ended up burning about 170 acres before crews were able to lift evacuation orders in a nearby subdivision.  Fire officials say it's far to early in the year to be seeing so many fires and it's bound to get worse.

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