Saturday, October 24, 2020
Oct. 24, 2020

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Big Hollow Fire sees much-needed rainfall

By , Columbian Assistant Metro Editor

The Big Hollow Fire burning in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest received more than 2 inches of rain Wednesday, but larger logs and stumps continue to burn in place.

The wildfire, northwest of Carson and southeast of Cougar, showed minimal growth and remained at approximately 24,995 acres, or 39 square miles, according to the U.S. Forest Service.

A Thursday morning update showed the fire was still only 15 percent contained. However, at a community briefing Thursday evening, operations officials said there’s a lag in reporting containment. That number will increase this morning, officials said, but the fire is not deemed 100 percent contained.

There may be some flare-ups next week when warmer weather is expected, and it’s likely larger fuels will continue smoking until snow arrives in the area, officials said. Still, they said they are not expecting to see much more movement or growth.

The cause of the fire remains unknown.

Crews have been patrolling and clearing fire debris along roadways and containment lines. Firefighters will continue to work on containment around the perimeter of the fire and look for any hazardous trees or debris, the Forest Service said.

Moderate precipitation with southwest winds of 5 to 10 mph were forecasted in the area throughout Thursday.

A Level 3 “Go” evacuation order remains in effect for the cabins at Government Mineral Springs near the Trapper Creek Wilderness. The closure will likely be reassessed this weekend.

Sunset Falls Campground is open, along with the Pacific Crest Trail. The Department of Natural Resources has lifted the closure order for Merrill Lake Conservation Area. The Siouxon Block remains closed. PacifiCorp has also reopened its camping, day use and boat launch sites along the Lewis River reservoirs.