'Human-related' wildfire battled

In a reminder that the fire season is still very much a reality, a brush fire believed to have been "human-related" sent flames roaring 20-30 feet up into a stand of conifers on Monday.

The blaze began about 4 p.m. on Redwood Lane, three miles south of Hood River, and firefighters were paged out from the Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF), Odell Fire District, Pine Grove Fire Department and the U.S. Forest Service.

For six hours crews fought the conflagration that engulfed two acres of grass, brush and timber lands. On Tuesday morning they returned to the scene to check for any live coals that could re-ignite.

"It burned very hot, very intense," said David Jacobs, ODF forest protection supervisor from The Dalles office.

He said the exact cause is under investigation but it is believed to have been started by human activity. He warned hunters and other recreationists accessing forest and grasslands during the drier fall months to be especially cautious about extinguishing tobacco products and matches.

"Even though the temperature has been moderate we're still in the peak fire season and can expect pretty intense fire behavior until we get fall rains," said Jacobs.

He said campfires and off-road vehicles are currently banned during this time of year from all public and private lands.

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