East winds and smoke moved into the coast range Monday afternoon, Sept. 7, causing extreme fire conditions. Late Monday and into Tuesday morning, Sept. 8, two fires started and grew quickly.
The first fire was on Stimson ownership east of the Blimp Base. Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) responded with employees from Stimson and a contract dozer and held the fire to 7 acres. The fire was controlled and is in mop-up phase.
The larger of the two, Pike Road Fire, has grown to over 40 acres in size. ODF personnel responded to this fire along with Tillamook Fire, Nestucca Rural, Bay City, and Garibaldi Fire departments, Tillamook County Sheriff’s Office and South Fork Inmate crews and heavy equipment operators. The Pike Road fire resulted in evacuations and extreme fire activity. A shelter has been established at the county fairgrounds, 4-H dorms for evacuees.
The fire continues to be active and plans are being made for day shift with continued dozer work, engines and three hand crews. The cause of the fire remains under investigation.
All emergency responders ask the public to not enter the area of the fire for your safety and that of the firefighters. The weather pattern of east winds and low humidity will continue through Sept. 8 and into Wednesday, Sept. 9, and then followed by hot and dry conditions, keeping the risk of fire high across the area. ODF is asking for the public’s continued efforts to limit risk and follow the county-wide burn ban put in place on Sept. 7.
ODF would like to Thank Fred Meyer for donating all the food for the firefighters this morning.
The Tillamook County Incident Command Team would like to advise everyone that the evacuation order for the Pike Fire has not been lifted. They are working on it and will advise as soon as it is safe to go in. In the meanwhile, they ask that people not call 911 or the nonemergency line for Tillamook 911 to inquire about being able to return to the area. Dispatch is being inundated with these calls while trying to assist with emergency callers.