Firefighters battle forest fire in north Clark County

People evacuated from bank of East Fork Lewis River

By Patty Hastings, Columbian breaking news reporter

Published:

Updated: July 23, 2013, 8:24 PM

 
photoClick to enlarge
photoFirefighters hose down a forest fire that burned through nearly 2 acres Tuesday evening in north Clark County along the East Fork Lewis River.

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About 25 local firefighters battled an almost 2-acre forest fire in north Clark County along the East Fork Lewis River on Tuesday.

Upstream winds pushed the fire, which began around 5:25 p.m. near Northeast Storedahl Pit and Bennett roads.

Clark County sheriff's deputies evacuated people recreating along the river, but no houses were in danger, said Battalion Chief Tim Dawdy, spokesman for Clark County Fire & Rescue.

The fire ran along the riverbank and became wider as it spread upstream. Firefighters had to haul in portable water pumps about half a mile because the area is inaccessible by car.

"This is definitely a wind-driven fire," Dawdy said.

Crews from CCF&R, the Vancouver Fire Department and Fire District 3 used water from the river to hose down the flames and cut down burnt trees.

Later that night, local firefighters handed the fire over to the Washington State Department of Natural Resources, which was supposed to mop up the fire overnight with two crews of 20 workers each, Dawdy said.

The state agency is investigating the cause of the fire.