SHFAD, ODF Tackle Twin Fires Near Residences

Benny Westcott

On Monday, July 24 at 8:02 p.m., Sweet Home Fire & ambulance District units were dispatched to a report of two fires in the northern area of the old mill site at 2210 Tamarack St. First arriving crews found active fire in two separate areas, both with flame lengths upwards of 15 feet. The fires were burning within approximately 200 feet of homes on Willow and Vine streets. Seeing these conditions, SHFAD’s chief officer requested a first alarm for additional units to respond and for the Oregon Department of Forestry to respond to assist. Both fires were knocked down and brought under control around 8:50 p.m., and crews then began checking for hot spots. By 9:40 p.m. ODF’s fire dozer arrived to put a fire line around the burned areas. Sweet Home fire crews cleared out around 10:20 p.m., while ODF remained on scene to finish the dozer line.

During the time on scene a Lebanon Fire District medic unit came to assist and ran one medical call. When another medical call was dispatched, a medic crew from Sweet Home was released from the fire scene to respond. Sweet Home responded with six apparatus, 14 firefighters, the fire chief and two support personnel, in addition to four units from ODF. The Sweet Home Police Department is handling the investigation into the cause of the fire.

A news release from the SHFAD stated that “Although we weren’t in a red flag warning, this fire proves how fast these incredibly dry fuels will burn regardless of heat, wind and humidity. Please use extreme caution this summer.”