Smoke from the Powerline Fire rises near Hagg Lake on Tuesday, September 8. Photo: Chas Hundley
The final update, barring an unforeseen change in conditions, from the Oregon Department of Forestry on the 126 acre Powerline Fire near Cherry Grove was issued Sunday afternoon.
According to the update, “the Powerline Fire is well secured.”
All evacuation orders in the area will be lifted at 7 p.m. today, Sunday, September 13. According to ODF, those returning to the area should expect smoke to continue to rise from the area of the fire. While the evacuation will be lifted, the park and lake will remain closed for continued firefighting operations.
Command of the fire will be handed back to the Gaston Fire District this evening.
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“Over the last several days, crews have been able to cool hot spots around the perimeter of the fire to build a wide band of fuel-free area ensuring the fire will not grow. Fire managers expect that the mop up work will be complete today,” the update from ODF said.
Fire crews will enter a phase of cleaning up equipment from fighting the fire and preparing it for the next call, with daily patrols of the area to watch for flare ups until the fire is fully extinguished by hoped-for fall rains.
The Oregon Department of Forestry asked that the public maintain vigilance to ensure that no new fires start.
“Extremely limited resources nationwide, combined with extreme fire danger will make it challenging to control any new fire starts,” the update read.
ODF said a number of agencies, companies, and people were to be thanked for their efforts in fighting the fires and supporting the efforts of firefighters, including “Gaston Rural Fire District, Forest Grove Fire & Rescue, Cornelius Fire Department, Yamhill Fire Protection District, Hillsboro Fire and Rescue, Vernonia Rural Fire Protection District, Clatsop County Structural Task Force, Washington County Parks (Henry Hagg Lake), Washington County Sheriff’s Office, Yamhill County Sheriff’s Office, Metro West Ambulance, TJ Forestry, Scott Land & Timber, Stimson Lumber Company, John Ragsdale Logging, Hampton Lumber, Weyerhaeuser Company (Mount St. Helens Hand Crew), Bighorn Logging, Bernards Contracting, Bridger Aerospace, LLC (scooper planes), Forest Grove District Staff, Oregon Department of Forestry, Tillamook Forest Center Staff, Oregon Department of Forestry, Dave Johnson, ODF Retired, Dan Thorpe, ODF Retired, Primetime Restaurant & Sports Bar, and many, many others who generously stepped up to support. We truly appreciate you.