Columbia County fire agencies have sent in 13 firefighters and a commander to assist in the wildfire battle at the Mosier Creek blaze that was approaching 1,000 acres on Friday, August, 14.
Columbia County Fire & Rescue interim Fire Chief Eric Smythe said the local crews are working 15 hour a day shifts.
“They are supporting line construction, improving defense positions and conducting patrols,” he said. “Because of the fire conditions they will be there at least through the weekend.”
Smythe described the terrain at the fire scene as dangerous.
“There are hills with stands of ponderous pine and oak with lots of dry fuels, grasses and other vegetation” he said. “Fire can make a very fast uphill run. Sometimes they can’t see the main fire and there is the potential that the fire could run over them, so they have to be very vigilant.”
Symthe said the local crews are specially trained for such wildfire activity.
The Columbia County firefighters were dispatched to the wildfire on Thursday morning.
The Mosier Creek wildfire is believed to be human caused. It broke out Wednesday afternoon and has forced the evacuation of 900 people and destroyed four structures near the town of Mosier in the Columbia River Gorge.