Congressman questions response to Mount Hood fire



PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Oregon Rep. Greg Walden has asked federal firefighters to explain what residents and business people in the Columbia Gorge think was a slow response to a wildfire on Mount Hood.

The Forest Service says the Dollar Lake fire began in a wilderness area on Aug. 27, touched off by lightning, and says that shifting weather forecasts, a shortage of resources, high winds, tough terrain and multiple wildfires breaking out in the region gave firefighters problems in responding to the fire.

Walden noted in his letter that tourism in the Gorge suffered because of the wildfire and resulting smoke, especially over the Labor Day weekend. The fire has also posed a potential threat to Portland’s Bull Run water supply.