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Fire up the Clackamas
Rob Williams
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09/13/2014 - 7:42 pm
Member Since: 09/20/2009
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If anyone is thinking of going up the Clackamas River Canyon, please be aware that there is an active fire (started sometime today) at around milepost 36 near an old quarry. We got stuck on the way home from a hike at Olallie Lake - they were flying a helicopter over to do water drops and they wouldn't let any traffic go under it. The fire looked pretty significant unfortunately. Hopefully they can get it under control soon. There was lots of help there. It had to have started sometime today because there was no sign of smoke when we went down.

ClackamasRiverCanyonFire.jpg

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Donald Presley
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09/13/2014 - 10:22 pm
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Rob, isn't that fire near the Moore Creek quarry where we pulled off the road last Monday after hiking to use your cell phone? I can smell the smoke in Oregon City.

Rob Williams
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09/14/2014 - 1:58 am
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That is exactly where it is.  I saw on a news website that they think it was caused by target shooters.

Donald Presley
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09/14/2014 - 11:49 am
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It was probably caused by a ricocheted bullet or a misplaced cigarette. Maybe now the FS will put the quarry off limits to shooting as it should have long ago. I hope they can stop the fire soon.

Rob Williams
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09/14/2014 - 3:05 pm
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I was thinking it might have been one of those incendiary targets or something.  When I saw where it was, my first thought was it was caused by target shooters.  I'm hearing reports now of 224 being closed and the fire ballooning to over 1000 acres.  Ugh

Donald Presley
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09/14/2014 - 4:33 pm
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Well that pretty much puts to rest any possibility of locating the Moore Creek trail. I had located the bottom and top segments, but the logging in the middle area had kept me from locating much of any tread. After locating a marijuana grow area next to Moore Creek a few years back and the unrelenting shooting from the quarry below, I hadn't been back.

kirk
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09/14/2014 - 4:58 pm
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The sunlight this morning in Oregon City was very orange and there was some ash on our cars.  It must be an intense fire to be throwing ash that high.

Here's a news flash from the Sheriff's office:

CLACKAMAS COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE ASSISTS WITH 36 PIT FIRE NEAR ESTACADA

News Release from Clackamas Co. Sheriff's Office
Posted on FlashAlert: September 14th, 2014 4:29 PM

The Clackamas County Sheriff's Office Sheriff's Office in conjunction with the United States Forestry Service, Estacada Fire Department, and the United States Forestry Service Law Enforcement division dealt with the 36 Pit fire burning about 10 east of Estacada, Oregon.

The fire is currently spreading and is over 1000 acres in size. Hwy 224 is now closed from North Fork Reservoir, east to Ripplebrook due to the fire and very hazardous conditions.

The Clackamas County Sheriff's Office is asking that the public avoid the area so fire crews can have clear roads for travel to fight the fire.

Please do not call 911 if you see smoke, however if you do see a fire or any other emergency, you are asked to call 911.

Bryon Boyce
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09/14/2014 - 5:36 pm
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They've evacuated the Silver Fox RV Camp, and some of the folks saw the blaze crest the mountain and got out of there before the evacuation order was issued.

Substantial smoke in the Portland area - I can smell smoke but being down on the river I can't really see it like in some of the news photos. Rob's photos are better than the ones in the news.

The road is closed indefinitely. You don't want water dropping on your car from a few hundred feet!

They are upgrading the response to Type II tonight or first thing tomorrow.

The detour is either up the rough road from Salem or over Mount Hood and down past Little Crater Lake and Timothy. The route past Clackamas Lake puts you on the scenic route to Olallie.

Here is the Inciweb site for this fire:  inciweb.nwcg.gov

Rob Williams
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09/14/2014 - 5:39 pm
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They had stopped all traffic on 224 yesterday while the helicopter was doing its drops.  We watched it make 3 or 4 passes.  Once it was done (had to go refuel?) they let traffic thru again.

This is really disheartening.....crying_face_gif

BrianEdwards
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09/15/2014 - 8:50 am
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Lots of ash in Oregon City / Carus area this morning.

Did the fire burn all the way from Moore Creek to North Fork reservoir? The wind was blowing that direction. There's facilities with electricity at Lazybend on the north side of the highway that could be in the fires path. Not good

Rob Williams
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09/15/2014 - 9:08 am
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Since 224 is closed now, I'm not sure we will know how far it burned until the inciweb site gets a map on it.  Since 224 is closed at MP 31 (I think that is past North Fork), I think that stuff is safe for the time being, but I could be way wrong.

I was waiting for an update on the inciweb page, but haven't seen one yet.  Last update was from yesterday afternoon.  Since it got upgraded to a level 2 response, I would expect updates would be coming at least daily for a while.

kirk
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09/15/2014 - 9:55 am
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Here's the current fire map:

fire-9-15-14.JPG

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Rob Williams
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09/15/2014 - 10:22 am
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Where did you find that map?  That is scary - it jumped the river.  That area is going to look very different when we can get back in there.

kirk
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09/15/2014 - 10:33 am
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Rob Williams said
Where did you find that map?  That is scary - it jumped the river.  That area is going to look very different when we can get back in there.

It's at this website:

http://geomac.usgs.gov/viewer/viewer.htm

They just updated the map this morning with the "36 Pit" fire perimeter.  I think they use infrared satellite imagery to generate the fire perimeter overlay.

Donald Presley
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09/15/2014 - 10:42 am
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Bryon previously posted the link to fire on the inciweb.nwcg.gov. that requires goggle earth but allows you to see it a little clearer.

Don

Rob Williams
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09/15/2014 - 10:48 am
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I've been watching the inciweb site for updates, but nothing as of yet, and I don't see any maps posted to that site.  I did find an update on a news site that said the fire is now 2300 acres and growing:

http://www.kptv.com/story/2652.....r-estacada

I guess it crossed the river last night.  This is going to be really bad....It has engulfed part of the 45 road and is getting close to all the stuff at North Fork/Promontory.  It is going to be a surreal scene whenever we can get back up there.

BrianEdwards
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09/15/2014 - 12:03 pm
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Looks like it got the weigh station and the beginning of FR45. Wow!

The confluence of the South Fork had some big old growth, gonna be very surreal rounding that bend and seeing it all burnt.

Rob Williams
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09/15/2014 - 12:07 pm
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I have a feeling we haven't seen the beginning of this one.  I think it is going to get a lot worse before it gets better.  I sincerely hope I'm wrong, but it seems to be completely out of control right now.

It is going to be very surreal once we can get back in there - but I think that might not happen for a while.

Bryon Boyce
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09/15/2014 - 2:05 pm
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Agreed that this has the potential to be really bad but all we city folks can do is watch.

There are three weather issues that could or will change fire behavior.

There is a some chance of dry lightning tonight. The further east the more likely but any new fires will be a major issue if they occur.

There is a 20-40% chance of light rain starting Wednesday. It may be spotty and too light to do more than slow the fire. Back to dry and sunny by the weekend.

Wind will shift to S-SW, encouraging fire spread in a broad and uncertain arc from perhaps the Nudist Camp to Salmon-Huck Wilderness and Roaring River. There are some roads that direction to fight the fire from. Winds diverted by topography to follow the Clackamas could encourage spread upstream. Spread towards Hillockburn and Estacada will be limited by this compared to previous spread by east winds.

They've closed Roads 45 & 46. They are sending campers stuck upstream out 57 or 42 to Hwy. 26.

Some news photos show ground fire under large firs (KPTV) and hopefully this will be the case in the remnant old growth along the river. Pray the big old ones survive.

It just took be half an hour to get the inciweb site for this fire. Its getting overloaded thats for sure, but there is a nice new report and a map. Be sure to remember these outline maps include sometimes large unburned areas.

kirk
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09/15/2014 - 7:34 pm
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Here's an interesting map I found. It shows different levels of heat in the fire area. It's kind of grainy, but I guess it takes up less memory that way. I found it at: http://www.nwccinfo.blogspot.com/

20140915_36Pit_IR_Map_11x17land.jpg

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