Hood River County’s first wildlands fire of the season was quickly doused on Thursday afternoon on a hillside in Pine Grove, east of Hood River.
The fire, in a pine and oak stand just down an embankment from a residence, was reported by a neighbor at about 11 a.m., in the Oak Ridge development along Old Dalles Highway. Wy’east Fire District, Oregon Department of Forestry and National Scenic Area firefighters responded, and had the fire contained within about 20 minutes, to an area about 100-by-30 feet.
Wy’East Fire District Chief Greg Borton said the fire evidently came from an inadequately-doused burn pile that had been smoldering several hours. The home, about 1.5 miles east of Eastside Road, is located within the National Scenic Area.
“We ask that people make sure their burn piles are fully extinguished. Have water on hand and make sure the ground is fully soaked,” Borton said.
Hood River County is allowing burn permits until July 1, unless conditions call for an earlier ban, according to Borton. Wasco County enacted a burn ban effective June 1.
Borton said Wy’East has been issuing burn permits on a verbal basis, due to COVID-19 concerns, but is not issuing new ones.
“We will play it by ear (in Hood River County) as far as allowing burn permits to be used. When (conditions) get really bad that might change,” Borton said.
Currently, permitted burns are allowed only from 6-11 a.m.