Dry conditions leading to fire danger

Dry conditions leading to fire danger

PORTLAND, Ore. -- A brush fire burning hot and fast. Viewers caught pictures and video of the red glow from Highway 217 Tuesday night.

The first thing Bruce Bieri noticed was the smoke.

“We were inside watching TV and we were like do you smell that? So we went out on the deck, looked around, looked this way and were like oh my goodness,” said Bieri.

He saw the fire creeping over the hill just across his street. Dry bushes were exploding into flames. Bruce did the only thing he could think of. He wet down his property and his wife called 911.

“I had the hose out, hosing the place down. Ashes were falling.”

Tualatin valley Fire and Rescue responded to several spots burning between the Walker and Canyon exits.

“It could be spread over a long distance geographically simply because someone was dragging something behind them,” said Spokesperson Brandon Pratt. “Like a chain, muffler anything that could be hanging from a trailer.”

Pratt says firefighters need different equipment and different tactics to fight brush fires. They have lighter rigs for off-roading, and need to move fast for changing conditions.

“The temperature outside, the humidity, the wind, all of that effects the tactics you will use,” said Pratt. “Some people describe a house fire as a sprint, and some people describe a brush fire as a marathon.”

Pratt says people need to be careful in dry conditions. Make sure nothing is dragging behind your vehicle and discard of cigarettes safely.

“Don't throw things out your window, it could happen in two minutes,” said Bieri.

A small mistake could lead to a big fire.

The weather has an impact of firefighters. Tuesday a Portland firefighter responded to a different brush fire and suffered a medical issue likely due to dehydration.

© 2017 KGW-TV


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