Clatsop County, News, wildfire

Wildfire burning near Fishhawk Lake is 80 acres

Saturday, Oct. 15 12:30 p.m. update

The Mist-Birkenfeld Rural Fire Protection district said that the wildfire continues to grow, but did not supply an updated size estimate.

Up to three helicopters are expected to join the fight, drafting water from Fishhawk Lake, where residents have been asked to keep boats away from the dam side of the lake.

No evacuation orders are expected to be issued, the district said.

A small brush fire discovered Friday evening near the Clatsop County community of Fishhawk Lake grew to 80 acres overnight, the Mist-Birkenfeld Rural Fire Protection District said.

“Despite the extremely close proximity, there is currently no threat to the Fishhawk Lake community or any structures elsewhere at this time,” the Mist-Birkenfeld RFPD said in a statement.

The Fishhawk Lake area straddles the Columbia and Clatsop County line, and is located about a 30 minute drive from Vernonia. 

View Larger Map

The fire was first reported as a brush fire off Greasy Spoon Road northwest of Fishhawk Lake in the Clatsop State Forest. 

At 8:12 p.m., Mist-Birkenfeld RFPD said it had grown to two acres on steep terrain, and that numerous surrounding fire agencies were sending resources to aid them. 

Around 9:30 a.m., the district said the fire, about one mile northwest of Fishhawk Lake, said the fire had slowed significantly. By 11:15, many of the agencies that had responded were clearing the scene and Mist-Birkenfeld and ODF crews planned to stay overnight to watch the fire, with moire ODF crews expected in the morning.

“The terrain is too steep and dangerous to get on all sides of it at this time in the dark but we will continue to monitor to make sure it does not pose a threat to our district members,” the district said. 

By 12:30 a.m. Saturday, the fire spread into surrounding standing timber and grew to 15 acres, then 35, and then 80 acres by 8:15 a.m. Saturday. 

“Mist-Birkenfeld Fire Chief Kaczenski and two of our water tenders remain on scene with ODF. ODF is currently assembling a Type 3 team with more resources coming,” Mist-Birkenfeld said. 

Other agencies who have assisted include the Vernonia Rural Fire Protection District, Clatskanie Rural Fire Protection District, Scappoose Fire District, Columbia River Fire & Rescue, and Westport Fire & Rescue.

This is a developing story.

+ posts

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.

Sign up for Banks area news in your inbox ↓

The groceries your family needs!