By Karen Widmer ~ Editor of TCW
I spoke Ron Henness and Rocky Walker of Henness Logging at the fire crew staging scene about 2 hours ago. They were just getting ready to get to the back side of the fire to cut down the hot trees along the inside of the fire ring. The goal is to get all the hot trees on the edge of the fire ring to fall back into the fire, away from the fire lane. This will prevent the trees on the inside from creating a bridge of fuel to the trees on the outside.
According to Henness the fire has travelled up toward the top of the ridge, and they were going to approach if by Niagara Road by the water wheel.
Dave Wells PIO for ODFW was on the scene ready to announce updates. The fire is now at approximately 70 acres. It is not contained, but they are working on it. Almost 100 fire firefighters are on the scene actively creating a ring free of brush and trees around the edges of the fire.
Fire crew trucks from all over the state lined to parking lot on the west side of Big Cliff Dam. Safety crews are on site directing drivers to stop to allow the firefighters to cross. A road, directly across highway 22, leads up to the fire site.
“The goal today is to knock it down with air power and get a line around it, “ said Wells.
According to Wells the fire is on the ground now, not up in the trees. As we spoke helicopters flew back and forth overhead, without pause, coming low to dip huge buckets water out of the Big Cliff reservoir and deposit it on the hot spots. Planes had been dumping fire retardant on the site earlier as well.
“Once the fire gets up in the trees, it gets up and going. Now is the time humans on the ground can and help,” said Dave Wells.
It was unknown if any damage was done to the old cabins up there, but I could see as we passed by, the gray siding still standing with charred trees beyond them.
God Speed to Ron Henness and Rocky Walker and all the crew out battling the fire right now.