Riverside Fire Update, September 16, 2020

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Firefighters Making Progress; Riverside Fire Now 3% Contained

Tune in tonight at 6 pm for our Riverside Fire virtual community meeting on Fb.com/RiversideFireInfo. No account is required to view the video.

Firefighters continue to work from the North Fork Reservoir near the community of Estacada to the Dickie Prairie area along the southwest edge of the fire, a stretch of more than 28 miles. This work includes continued efforts in the Goat Mountain area to build line in rugged terrain as well as beginning the process of ‘cold-trailing’ areas where fireline has been in place for several days. Cold trailing is when firefighters take off their gloves and use their bare hand to feel for heat. If they feel heat, firefighters will continue to break up the heat source until it’s out and cold to the touch. If needed, they may also trench, or dig a small ditch below the fire on a hillside to catch any rolling debris that may hold heat.

“We currently have over 500 personnel assigned to the Riverside Fire including handcrews, engines, and bulldozers,” said Deputy Incident Commander, Dave Bales. “Their tireless work has helped us reach 3% containment as we continue to focus on protecting local communities.”

Yesterday a ‘slopover’ occurred on the west side of the fire when the fire crossed a control line. This morning firefighters plan to conduct a ‘burn-out’ operation in the Engstrom Rd area to help limit the fire’s spread to the west. This burn-out is a strategy to continue to starve the fire of fuel, burning out vegetation between the slopover and the main body of fire to help reduce the threat of fire spread in this area.  An increase in smoke or fire may be visible from the areas of Elwood and Old Colton during this operation.

Despite forecasted rain in other parts of Oregon, the fire area will continue to remain dry with no measurable precipitation anticipated for several days. The weather, combined with record dry forest conditions, will continue to allow the fire to slowly creep in remote and backcountry areas such as the Roaring Fork Wilderness.

If you fly, we can’t. A Temporary Flight Restriction is in effect. All fire aircraft will all be grounded if a drone is spotted.

For current evacuation information, an interactive map is available at www.clackamas.us/wildfires or call 503-655-8224.

An air quality advisory remains in effect for all of Oregon through Thursday September 17, 2020 with air quality near the fire area ranging from ‘very unhealthy’ to ‘hazardous’. More at oregonsmoke.blogspot.com

Visit TripCheck.com for numerous road closures in the area. The Mt. Hood National Forest, State Forests in Oregon, and large portions of Bureau of Land Management lands are closed: inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/closures/7174/

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