August 12, 2012
Portland Firefighters responded to a brush fire at 3:11 this afternoon that started along railroad tracks next to the Heron Lakes Golf Course in North Portland. The initial crews that arrived called for additional resources after discovering that the fire was making some rapid gains to the south in dry grass and brush.
There was concern that the fire was going to extend into some exposure fuels that would have caused it to increase behavior and make significant runs. With the warm, dry, unstable air in the region this afternoon, there was also concern that gusty winds would cause the fire to dramatically increase in size.
Access into the area was limited and difficult prompting the incident commander to request all five Portland Fire & Rescue brush units to respond. Although these smaller fire engines carry much less water and fire hose than our more popular larger engines, their ability to get into areas and operate smaller hose lines is often the key to keeping these types of fires smaller in nature.
Crews were able to contain the blaze to an area about an acre in size within an hour of arrival. They were assisted by maintenance personnel from the golf course and a firefighting train from the Burlington Northern Railroad. The fire is believed to be caused by a passing train. There were no injuries reported and no significant losses.