Five human caused fires on Mt. Hood

Firefighters caught five human caused fires in the Mt. Hood National Forest last weekend, three of which burned in the Hood River Ranger District.

Of the trio, there was one at Forest Road 44 near Lookout Mountain, one near Frog Lake, and one outside the camping the area at Laurence Lake.

The Forest Service continues to see two to four human caused fires per day, often caused by abandoned campfires, according to Laura Pramuk, public information officer for the Mt. Hood National Forest Service.

None of the fires ate up much forest land — all the illegal burns found in the Hood River Ranger District were smaller than a 10th of an acre.

These tiny blazes near recreational areas remain common. At about 6:32 p.m. Thursday, a pilot flying over Lost Lake called Hood River County’s 911 dispatch, reporting two small fires east of the lake. Police notified the U.S. Forest Service and Oregon Department of Forestry.

So far, none of the fires over the last two weeks have caused a large, multi-agency response.

“We’ve been kind of quiet,” said Jim Trammell, West Side Fire Marshall.

However, Trammell classified the fire danger as “high to extreme.”

Pramuk urged campers to stay within legal, designated areas for fires, and to take care in making sure fires are put out before leaving them.

“We’re lucky here so far — knock on wood — we’re just hoping our luck carries on during this heat,” said Pramuk.

“Firefighting resources are stretched thin in the West,” she said, referring to the predicament of Washington and California, which have both suffered massive forest fires this summer. “It’d be a really bad time for a fire on Mt. Hood.”

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