Fire acreage, containment, increase

September 14, 2011

The Dollar Lake Fire grew by nearly 2,000 acres over the weekend, but containment of the fire also increased to 40 percent by Tuesday morning.

Additional resources were brought to the area to work the now 6,169-acre fire on the north side of Mount Hood, and with efforts focusing on the north and west sides of the fire, crews worked to secure lines, create contingency breaks, extinguish spot fires and create a network of water and hose systems.

To hold the fire at its western front along Cathedral Ridge, more than 30,000 feet of hose has been laid and a large tank filled by helicopter is being used as a water source. With the help of nine helicopters, including three National Guard Blackhawks, firefighters made notable progress in keeping the blaze at bay during last week's hot weather.

Cooler weather this week is expected to help efforts further. However, as west winds return to the fire, islands of unburnt fuel within the perimeter are expected to burn and dense smoke will funnel into the upper Hood River Valley, creating air quality and visibility hazards.

Lost Lake Campground -- closed for nearly two weeks -- has been reopened. The lake itself, however, will remained closed as helicopters use the lake as a source for dipping buckets and siphoning water.

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