Crews took advantage of cooperative mild weather this week to make progress on the 90-acre Bruler Fire, first spotted early Monday afternoon roughly 30 miles northeast of Sweet Home, near the boundary between the Detroit and Sweet Home ranger districts in east Linn County.
The blaze burns near the jurisdiction of Forest Roads 11 (Straight Creek and Quartzville roads) and 1133 approximately 8 miles south of Detroit Lake.
Air quality around Detroit and Sweet Home continues to be listed as “good,” the U.S. Forest Service reported, and light winds from the north and west kept smoke from this and surrounding fires to the south and east.
According to a Forest Service news release, a Type 2 helicopter continued dropping water to cool the blaze’s interior while ground crews attacked the fire directly. A pair of dozers worked to keep it within a small footprint. An additional 20-person hand crew and engines have arrived, and the Northwest Incident Management Team 13, a Type 2 team, assumed command Wednesday.
A total of 47 personnel are fighting the fire, whose cause remains under investigation. Containment remained at zero percent, Bruler Fire information officer Eric Waters said Wednesday morning.
“We’re grateful for everyone who answered the call for the Bruler Fire,” Sweet Home District ranger and agency administrator Nikki Swanson said. “I want to especially thank our partners and cooperators who have produced resources and support.”
Tensions, however, from this recent conflagration remain high, as the 400,000-plus-acre Santiam Fire, one of the state's most historic infernos, devastated the small city of Detroit last September. Some 264 homes were destroyed.
An area closure currently in development will encompass considerable portions of U.S. Forest Service lands south of Detroit Lake, west of Highway 22 and north of Highway 20. The Middle Santiam Wilderness, Daly Lake, Tule Lake and the Old Cascade Crest trail system will also be closed. Visitors are also asked to avoid Bureau of Land Management lands along the Quartzville Scenic Byway and Quartzville Road, including Yellowbottom Campground and Old Miner’s Meadow Group site.
Visit InciWeb for more information about closures at inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/7663/. For other updates, please consult the Willamette National Forest's Bruler Fire Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/brulerfire2021) or the agency’s Twitter account at @WillametteNF.