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The City of Portland, Oregon

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Always Ready, Always There

Phone: 503-823-3700

Fax: 503-823-3710

55 SW Ash Street, Portland, OR 97204

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NEWS RELEASE 08/15/12: Portland Fire & Rescue Responds to Residential Fire at 4536 SE Woodward St.

August 15, 2012

4:00 PM

Portland Fire & Rescue was dispatched to reports of a house on fire at 4536 SE Woodward St. at 2:20 pm. Upon arrival, firefighters from Portland Fire Station 9 (Hawthorne) found the house fully involved in fire. Firefighters advanced inside the home, launched a primary search for any occupants and began an aggressive fire attack. Fire was discovered on the first and second stories of the home and in the basement.

Of concern for firefighters' safety was the fact that the staircase from the basement to the first floor burned through while firefighters were attacking the blaze in the basement. Firefighters remain on scene working to extinguish fire on the first and second floors. No one was injured in this fire.

The cause of the fire is currently under investigation. There is no information on the cause or damage estimates at this time. The family who lives at the house (2 adults and 2 children) will be assisted with housing by the Red Cross.

Portland Fire Swears in New Recruits

On August 15th, Portland Fire & Rescue (PF&R) held a graduation ceremony for Truck 2 graduates at our Training Academy. This class included ten new firefighters who successfully completed PF&R’sTraining Academy, worked under the close supervision of officers and firefighters at Station 2, and are now full-fledged firefighters.

In addition to receiving their badges, the graduating class received their own turnouts and traded in their black helmets (worn by trainees) for yellow helmets (worn by firefighters).

Station 2 Training Captain Budge, Training & Safety Deputy Chief Kaiel, and Fire Chief Janssens delivered the commencement address, acknowledging the fact that passing PF&R’sTraining Academy is difficult for both firefighters and their families.  As such, both thanked the graduates for their dedication and commitment, and their family members who supported them throughout the past year.  The ceremony was followed by cookies, coffee, and photos with the new firefighters.

A big congratulations to Firefighters Brent Chopp, Arik Tronnes, Stephen Kuhl, Rian Fitzpatrick, Brian Fosmark, Wilson Stark, Todd Thawley, Austin Van Avery, Kyle Uhrig, and Aina Kohler!

NEWS RELEASE 08/16/12: Portland Fire & Rescue Staffs Brush Units after Red Flag Fire Warning is Issued

The National Weather Service is forecasting very dry, unstable air moving into the region which caused them to issue a Red Flag warning for the Portland Metro Area from Thursday through Friday. This warning has been issued because of the high temperatures, low humidity (15-25%), and east wind conditions. These are unusual conditions for the area, only averaging four days a year in the metro region. A link to the alert can be found at:  Red Flag Warning.

As a result of the Red Flag conditions, PF&R has brought in additional staff and mobilized four brush units during the peak threat hours of 8:00 am to 8:00 pm on Thursday and Friday of this week. Each Brush Unit will be staffed with two members of Portland Fire & Rescue's Wildland Team.

Resources have been shifted to areas where PF&R chief officers believe the highest potential exists for wildland fires in Portland. This plan enables PF&R to be prepared for increased danger due to wildland fires, while still providing our regular complement of fire and emergency medical services throughout the city.

As home and business owners, you can take special precautions to protect your homes and properties. One way to do this is to create a defensible space around your home by modifying, reducing, or clearing potential wildfire fuel materials or vegetation to create a barrier that will slow the spread of wildfire toward your home. A defensible space also allows room for firefighters to fight the fire safely.

Three critical steps in creating a defensible space include:

1. Using fire resistant building materials

2. Landscaping with fire resistant plants

3. Reducing combustible and flammable materials or fuels, such as invasive trees and shrubs, plant trimmings, firewood, fiberglass boats, and recreational vehicles around the home

You can find more information about protecting your property from wildfire at:


NEWS RELEASE 8/17/2012: Portland Fire & Rescue Responds To Early Morning Brush Fire

Portland Fire was dispatched to "smoke in the area" at 3:56 am in the vicinity of 97Th and Powell, on the east side of Highway 205. Engine 7(Mill Park) arrived to a brush fire (approximately 100' x 300') and quickly called for reinforcements. Fire Station 29 (Gilbert) houses an Engine and a Brush Unit assisted in suppressing the fire. The location of the fire and the lack of a nearby fire hydrant made if difficult to reach, fire crews had to shuttle back and forth to maintain an adequate water supply.

Fire Investigators say that the fire was most likely started by a transient warming/cooking fire. No one was around when fire crews arrived.

The National Weather Service is forecasting very dry, unstable air moving into the region which caused them to issue a Fire Weather Watch yesterday morning. In preparations for these conditions, Portland Fire & Rescue is planning to up-staff four brush units during peak hours (8am to 8pm) today.

In addition, all outdoor burning including recreational fires are prohibited within the city of Portland beginning as of August 16Th. This ban is based on weather conditions and community fire safety needs and will remain in effect until weather and fire danger conditions improve. Cooking outdoors in approved propane or charcoal barbecues is allowed during this total burning ban.


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With several large wildfires burning in the state and fire danger reaching extreme levels, the Oregon Office of State Fire Marshal, Department of Forestry and the U.S. Forest Service urge Oregonians to take extra precautions to protect homes near forests and to avoid starting fires.

"Forecasts are not only calling for hotter and drier conditions throughout the state, but also thunderstorms," warns Oregon State Fire Marshal Mark Wallace. "We are again urging homeowners to take preventive actions to help defend against possible wildfires. The most critical factor is for homeowners to remove or reduce flammable fuels within a 100-foot safety zone around their home."

Oregon State Forester Doug Decker underscored Wallace's assessment of the fire situation and appealed in particular to forest recreationists and to those who may visit or drive through forestlands in the coming days.

"The predicted weather, coupled with the bone-dry condition of forest fuels, means any fire start in the forest could grow rapidly," he said. "This is a time to be extra-cautious with fire or power-driven equipment in any kind of wildland setting."

Nora Rasure, Deputy Regional Forester for the Forest Service's Pacific Northwest Region, stressed the importance of maintaining perspective at this time of escalating wildfire activity.

"As always, our highest priority remains public and firefighter safety. No structure or natural or cultural resource is worth the loss of human life. We will work together as a firefighting community to utilize effective risk management tools to assess every fire, and apply the right resources at the right place at the right time."

Wildland fire agencies are already fighting large fires in Oregon and across the region. As a result, fire engines, aircraft, hand crews and fire managers are in short supply. It is crucial that recreationists and forest workers take extra care to avoid starting new fires when resources are already stretched thin.

A variety of restrictions related to commercial forestry operations, smoking, campfires and other activities are already in effect across the state. Forest visitors should check with forestry agencies locally before heading out.

Fire prevention and safety tips can be found on the Oregon StateFire Marshal website, the Keep Oregon Green website, and at