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Thursday, September 21, 2023
Sept. 21, 2023

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Kalama Fire, southeast of Kalama Horse Camp, reaches 112 acres in size

By , Columbian staff reporter

The Kalama Fire was burning at 112 acres in size Tuesday, southeast of the Kalama Horse Camp, in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest on the south side of Mount St. Helens.

Officials continued to create containment lines around the fire, and the U.S. Forest Service said the fire could continue to grow. Authorities hosted a community meeting Monday night.

Crews expected light rain and slight wind, with high humidity to help their efforts Tuesday, according to the Forest Service update.

A Level 2 “Get Set” evacuation order was in place Tuesday from the headwaters of the South Fork of the Toutle River, south to Forest Road 7550 and from the Skamania County and Cowlitz County border, 5 miles west into Cowlitz County. A Level 1 “Get Ready” evacuation order is effective from Forest Road 7550 to south of Merrill Lake, and also from the county border, 5 miles west into Cowlitz County.

The city of Kalama and the residential areas along Kalama River Road were not under any evacuation warnings as of Tuesday.

An evacuation map can be found at fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/fseprd1060104.pdf.

Trails and forest roads in the area remain closed.

The fire was located on a cliff face and is now on extremely steep ground. Fire behavior has been smoldering and creeping. The cause of the fire is still under investigation, the Forest Service said.