According to the Western Lane District of the Oregon Department of Forestry, a wildfire is currently burning about 10 miles southwest of Veneta, Oregon, in an area that recently received an east wind event.
75% of the fire, which is still believed to be 300 acres as of Monday(29 May 2023) am, has been contained thanks to the efforts of the firefighting crews.
“We have 75% of the fire line where we have physically dug a line in the dirt and created just a barrier between the fire and other vegetation where it can spread. The goal in that is to keep it at the size that it’s at,” said Natalie Weber, with the Oregon Department of Forestry.
The Oregon Department of Forestry posted the following via Twitter:
7K Fire Update (10 miles SW of Veneta): Crews reached 40% lined & completely lined the 20-acre spot fire & plumbed it with hose. The fire remains an estimated 300 acres. Cooler weather will help efforts. Follow ODF Western Lane’s Facebook page for updates: https://t.co/DEcXXnCDvS pic.twitter.com/VayAJSHLxa
— Oregon Forestry (@ORDeptForestry) May 28, 2023
Saturday night’s high humidity and drop in temperature allowed firefighters to make significant headway toward extinguishing the fire.
Eight engines, five water tenders, two bulldozers, and one faller, along with twelve to twenty-person crews, worked throughout Monday to extinguish the blaze.
A wildfire has burned 300 acres in the southwestern part of Veneta, as shown in the video embedded below.
“The aircraft lineup on the fire remains the same as Saturday, including three Type 1, one Type 2, and two Type 3 helicopters. These air resources are extremely helpful on the steep terrain of the fire, especially in areas that are proving nearly impossible to get firefighters into safely,” the Department of Forestry said.
Crews will remain working to protect nearby neighborhoods from the blaze, hold current containment lines, and stop the fire from spreading.
Oregon Department of Forestry spokeswoman Natalie Webber told KEZI 9 News that “continuous strong winds” contributed to the rapid spread of the fire across nearby mountain ranges.
The steep terrain, small roads, dense brush, and potential for falling trees and debris have all presented challenges for the firefighting teams. Crews have been unable to get a direct line of attack to the fire’s perimeter in some areas due to the steep terrain.
Webber explained that the blaze “really just brought it from that hill over to this one up through these trees down this area all the way up here and then around this side of the cliff,” which is where the spot fires had broken out.
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Webber stated, “That’s such a top priority for us, we want to keep it as small as possible, and the first step is getting that line around it to keep it at this size where we are right now.”
There is a temporary closure of Perkins Peninsula County Park. The public is asked to respect the closure ordered by fire officials. It has yet to be determined what sparked this blaze. At this moment, there are no plans to evacuate.