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Mt. Hood Residents Critical Of Fire Response


People living on Mt. Hood are wondering why it took more than a day for fire fighters to start putting out the Dollar Lake Fire.

Kristian Foden-Vencil / OPB

The Forest Service flew over the Mount Hood Wilderness on Friday, August 26, after hundreds of lightning hits. But they didn’t see any smoke.

The first 911 calls on the Dollar Lake Fire came in about 9 o’clock the next morning. Forest Service spokesman, Rick Acosta, says a crew of smoke jumpers was ordered but then held, because of concerns over safety.

He says just after noon on that Saturday, a crew of 20 started walking into the area, but it’s a seven hour hike and it started to get dark, so they returned.

Acosta says that by 10:30 Sunday morning August 28, an observer had reached the fire and by a quarter past one, a helicopter was dropping water on it.

“You know when you have a 40,000 acre area, you can’t go willy nilly and try to find an acre fire. You need to know exactly where it is so you can approach it in a safe manner and understand what it’s burning in,” Acosta said.

About 800 people are now working the fire. It’s about two miles away from the Bull Run water shed.

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