Photo from the scene courtesy ODF
In an afternoon update regarding the Cedar Butte Fire, the Oregon Department of Forestry said the wildfire had grown from an estimated 50 acres to 60 acres, calling the growth “moderate” as it burns largely within slash in the unit it started in. Crews are focusing their efforts on keeping the fire out of nearby timber.
The wildfire poses no threat to any structures, ODF said.
The department set an optimistic tone on the fire’s progress, noting that within the context of Thursday’s hot weather, progress in lining the fire had been good.
“Ground crews have continued cutting fire lines, while two Type II helicopters drawing water from the Wilson River and two Fireboss Single Engine Air Tankers drawing water from Hagg Lake provided aerial support to control hot spots,” the department said.
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Thursday afternoon winds complicated the behavior of the wildfire, and as a result, crews focused their efforts on the northeast corner of the wildfire. As of 4:27 p.m., the fire was estimated to be at 10% containment. The cause of the fire remains under investigation.
The Oregon Department of Forestry asked the public to avoid Cedar Butte Road and not to travel past the Cedar Butte junction with Muesial Creek Road.
Thursday morning update below
The Cedar Butte Fire, burning west of Highway 6 near Cedar Butte Road in the Tillamook State Forest, is now estimated to be 50 acres in size in a freshly logged unit that completed a timber harvest last month.
According to a press release from the Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF), the fire is burning entirely in the Tillamook State Forest.
Overnight, crews were able to reinforce fire lines thanks to favorable conditions at the wildfire. Thursday morning, Hagg Lake was closed at 8 a.m. to once again allow two Single Engine Air Tankers to scoop water from the lake to fight the fire. The closure of the lake could last the entire day, the Washington County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement.
In addition to the planes, two Type II helicopters are fighting the fire in Tillamook County.
Over 100 people are fighting the fire in an effort to keep the fire from spreading from the logged area into nearby standing timber.
Investigators were on the site conducting an investigation into the cause of the fire, where fire danger is currently listed at high.
Temperatures are expected to rise into triple digits today, with light westerly winds of 2 to 5 mph.
The Oregon Department of Forestry asked the public to avoid Cedar Butte Road and the popular bridge on the same road used for diving into a common swimming hole at Wilson River.
The Oregon Department of Forestry thanked the Washington County Parks Department for their aid in securing Hagg Lake to allow planes to use the lake’s water, and the Tillamook County Sheriff’s Office for providing traffic control on the Cedar Butte Road Bridge, and to the Port of Tillamook Bay for accommodating aircraft fighting the fire.