PF&R Responds to Two Significant Brush Fires Within a Two-Hour Period

Portland Fire and Rescue
Portland Fire and Rescue

July 28, 2023 00:50


PF&R crews responded to two significant brush fires last night within a period of two hours. The first fire was initially dispatched at approximately 9 pm to NE Marine Drive and 112th Ave. Upon their arrival, crews found a large brush fire along an approximately 3/4 mile stretch of NE Marine Drive, to the east and to the west of I205. The fire was impinging on a PDX Airport red parking lot and there was concern that trees could start igniting if the fire was not expeditiously knocked down.

The incident commander shut down NE Marine Drive at NE 33rd and NE 122nd Avenues for the safety of crews working on NE Marine Drive and--working in concert with the Port of Portland Fire Department—five engine crews were deployed along NE Marine Drive to extinguish this sizable fire. To assist with extinguishing hot spots along this long stretch of NE Marine Drive, the Port of Portland FD crash truck was deployed along the length of Marine Drive in a “pump and roll” operation, in which the crash truck slowly drove the length of the fire area along Marine Drive, spraying water from its turret onto the fire as it drove. This tactic was extremely effective in quickly extinguishing hot spots over this long distance.

Due to these coordinated efforts, this fire was largely knocked down in approximately 30 minutes, with crews remaining on scene for another 45 minutes to ensure the fire was fully extinguished. The fire was stopped before it could extend to vehicles in the PDX Airport red lot, there were no structures involved, there were no injuries, and the cause is under investigation.

The second fire was dispatched at approximately 10:30 pm in the area of eastbound I84 at the 102nd Avenue off-ramp. Upon their arrival, crews were met with a large wall of fire spread out over an approximate 200’x200’ area on both sides of the I84E sound barrier at this location. This fire had fully ignited several 50’ tall trees and was endangering the homes up the hillside above the freeway. 

The incident commander shut down the 102nd Avenue off-ramp and directed four PF&R engine crews and two ladder truck crews to attack the fire—using multiple hose lines and many hundreds of feet of hose--both from the freeway side and also above the fire from the 10400 block of NE Fargo Street to protect the structures uphill from the fire. With these coordinated efforts, the fire was largely knocked down by 11:15 pm, with crews remaining on scene until after midnight extinguishing hot spots. The fire extended to a conex storage container which was extinguished, and crews also noted that a houseless camp extending approximately 40 feet along the freeway side of the I84E sound barrier was mostly incinerated. There were no known injuries at this fire and the cause is under investigation.