Monday, August 16, 2010

When Fires Burn

By now, many of us who live in or near Clark County have seen the column of smoke that has been emanating from the Hilltop Fire between Hockinson and Yacolt. 

And, if you've been away or live elsewhere, you can read the article that was in the Columbian regarding the blaze.

The common questions that we have been receiving here at CRESA are:
  1. Why haven't you posted any information about the fire?  And,
  2. How can we help?   
Because the Hilltop Fire is on land owned by the Department of Natural Resources (DNR), local first responder agencies within Clark County are not serving as the direct incident commanders for this response.  

This means that DNR is the lead agency for this response and all public information related to this fire.  The best source of easily accessible information from DNR can be found on their Fire Twitter Feed at:  DNR is using the #Hilltop hashtag to identify information specific to this local fire.

If there are needs that surface from this fire response, you will hear of these requests through the news media.  Fire Incident Management Teams are very adept at obtaining the resources they need because fighting fires is an annual occurence throughout the United States. 

It is important to remember that, unless the need has been specified, unsolicited donations can create their own problems.  Most emergency responders have their own stories to tell about well-meaning donations that resulted in much more work to clean up or remove from the incident site.   

If you see a forest fire as you are out and about this summer, please report them to 1-800-562-6010 or call 9-1-1.

Other great resources for tracking fire responses throughout the United States include:
  • Northwest Wildfire Coordination Center at which has a great fire map that shows various fires burning and provides status reports. 
  • National Incident Web at which tracks fires throughout the United States. 
Unfortunately, due to the DNR jurisdiction of the Hilltop blaze, our local fire is not listed on either of these sites.   However, if you are interested in other Washington/Oregon fires, both of these websites provide great tracking information.

In other news, it continues to be hot today and tomorrow with temperatures still in the mid-90s.  Remember to stay hydrated and check in on others who may not have access to air conditioning.

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