Fire on Courtney Creek

Sean C. Morgan

Area firefighters were able to quickly control a wildland fire around the 37000 block of Courtney Creek Drive Saturday afternoon.

The blaze burned just 1.6 acres, a small fire – “but a lot of potential,” said Chad Calder-wood, forest protection supervisor with the Oregon Department of Forestry Sweet Home Unit.

The fire started just off the north side of the road, climbed uphill and spotted to the south side of the road, Calderwood said. Firefighters and equipment arrived from Brownsville, Halsey, Harrisburg, Cascade Timber Consulting, Lebanon, Sweet Home and the ODF Sweet Home Unit. Weyerhaeuser provided a helicopter.

The blaze moved through grass, brush, reprod and timber on property managed by CTC, Calderwood said. About a half-acre of reprod was scorched. A 100-acre unit of reprod was threatened on the south side of the road, but there the fire moved around mostly in brush and blackberries.

It took about two hours to get it under control, he said.

The potential for a larger fire was large, but the wind cooperated, and the relationships among local firefighting agencies were key in coordinating an aggressive initial attack and keeping the fire small, Calderwood said.

The cause of the fire is under investigation by the Sweet Home Unit and Linn County Sheriff’s Office.

LCSO closed access to Courtney Creek Drive at Highway 228 in Crawfordsville during the fire. The road was the general access point for the Willamette Country Music Festival, which was in progress a couple of miles away, near the west intersection of Courtney Creek Drive and Highway 228.