Mother Nature Fights Back

Mother Nature Fights Back

On the Southwest flank of Mt. Adams in southern Washington, not far from Trout Lake, a new wildfire got started by lightning following the thunderstorm that rocked the area during the night of September 2, 2009. On Sept. 3, the fire was spotted, and in the afternoon a Burns Helicopter crew arrived to help... the crew was dropped off at Trout Lake's small airstrip at the Woodruff's, and the bright yellow helicopter hooked up the bucket and headed off to fight the fire. By that evening at sunset, only a small trail of smoke from the 2-3 acre fire trailed off to the South-SOuthwest. That evening the on ground crews (that included 4 crew members that had rappelled down a ladder from a helicopter hovering over the fire) had created a fire line around the entire tiny fire. The four rappellers hiked down the ridge and out that night.
The next morning it was discovered burning snags had fallen over the fire line and flared up anew. The wind had shifted nearly 180 degrees, and the fire was now traveling up the ridge, finally topping out on Crofton Butte in late afternoon, and beginning to travel down the ridge to the North and West with massive flare ups as pitch soaked trees burst into flames like torches.
During the day 2 crews of 20 firefighters each worked on the ground along the ridge on Crofton Butte, while a light duty and a medium duty helicopter carried water in turns from nearby Looking Glass Lake. An Air Tanker few in a few loads of Fire Retardant, but the distance to pick up retardant made for few trips.. I am not sure if they were able to pick up retardant in Troutdale, Oregon as is often the case, or from further away.
In late afternoon the Fire personnel present at the viewpoint heard on the radio that according to the G.P.S. coordinates the fire had grown from 5 to 20 acres, about 2000 feet long and 300 feet wide. About 1/2 hour later it was already 25 acres... small in comparison to many other fires happening in other areas, but noticeably large on the slopes of the Mt. Adams Wilderness. .
In the evening a heavy duty helicopter also showed up and immediately loaded up with water at nearby Trout Lake (the lake) and headed up to pitch in and help. On September 5th more helicopters and perhaps crews will be showing up, and it is also hoped that the forecast rains for the weekend will help calm things down.
There is a great deal of debate as to whether a fire such as this should be allowed to burn or not... it is currently not endangering any towns or structures, but it is in Wilderness.

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Paul says ... on Wednesday, Sep 9 at 11:20 AM

Nah, I'm just a guy from Iowa that for no particular reason likes reading oregon news.

Starlisa says ... on Wednesday, Sep 9 at 12:55 AM

hey anonymous, if I knew who you were I would go check out your facebook page! thanks bro :)) hmmm, is this Paul the one I think it is, with Thomas and Leannan? regardless... yes, several of us saw that cloud form up and the fist was what we saw

Paul says ... on Tuesday, Sep 8 at 12:30 PM

That middle cloud looks like a fist.... which really fits your "Fights Back" title.

Dennis says ... on Sunday, Sep 6 at 6:30 PM

Good work sis

Anonymous says ... on Saturday, Sep 5 at 10:51 PM

Superb article, Darlisa. I put it on my facebook page.

Starlisa says ... on Saturday, Sep 5 at 10:14 PM

thanks, Connie! I have thought of that...

connie says ... on Saturday, Sep 5 at 3:08 PM

great article you should write for the paper

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