Fire, ODF, Tillamook State Forest

Cedar Butte Fire is burning in the Tillamook State Forest 18 miles east of Tillamook

Photo from the scene courtesy ODF

Update, 3:40 p.m.: The fire is now estimated to be at around 40 acres in size, and the Hagg Lake closure has been extended until 8:30 p.m. Wednesday to allow Single Engine Air Tankers to scoop water from the lake. The park surrounding the lake remains open.

Original Story below

A new wildfire called the Cedar Butte Fire, estimated at 25-30 acres, is burning in the Tillamook State Forest 18 miles east of Tillamook and north of Highway 6. 

“The fire was called in about 3 a.m. to Tillamook County 911,” said Oregon Department of Forestry Tillamook District Forester Kate Skinner in an email to this publication.

Skinner said the helicopter in use at the fire was staging out of the Smith Homestead meadow. No one has been evacuated due to the fire, Oregon Department of Forestry spokesperson Jason Cox said in an email to this publication. 

The fire appears to be burning in a mix of a previously logged area and some standing timber in the NW2 zone, which is currently under “High Fire Danger” status and in Industrial Fire Protection Level 2.

Smoke from the wildfire is visible from the Wilson River Highway and as far west as Tillamook, Cox said. 

Four engines, private contract crews and inmate crews from South Fork Forest Camp, two bulldozers, and a type 2 helicopter are fighting the blaze, with scooper planes expected to join the fight, with the Tillamook Bay likely to be used for their water source. 

Hagg Lake was briefly closed to allow the planes to scoop water from the lake, but plans were changed at the last moment, according to Washington County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Deputy Brian van Kleef.

He added later that Hagg Lake would close again from 1 to 5 p.m. Wednesday.

This is a developing story. 

Chas Hundley is the editor of the Banks Post and sister news publications the Gales Creek Journal and the Salmonberry Magazine. He grew up in Gales Creek and has a cat.

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