Fire at Vancouver transient camp tricky for firefighters

By Emily Gillespie, Columbian Breaking News Reporter



Firefighters had a tough time reaching a fire at a transient camp next to Interstate 5 north of Burnt Bridge Creek on Thursday night.

Motorists on Highway 99 and Interstate 5 called 911 after seeing the blaze about 9:30 p.m.

Crews from Clark County Fire District 6 responded to the area, a grove of trees between the two highways and south of the Chelatchie Prairie Railroad.

Battalion Chief Todd Iremonger said that the fire covered a heavily wooded area 20 feet in diameter.

Firefighters had to drop hose line from the nearest roadway, Northeast Sixth Avenue, to firefighters in the ravine below. The road’s dead end was the closest fire engines could get to the flames, about 600 feet away, Iremonger said.

“They were working on trails, it was steep, it was dark,” he said.

It took about 90 minutes for crews to clear the fire, which Iremonger said was likely started as a warming fire. No people were there when firefighters arrived, and no one was reported injured.

Vancouver Fire Department assisted at the scene.