Aug 21, 2023

Firefighters make progress 7K Fire, Springfield brush fire out

This story was updated at 1:50 p.m. Monday

Oregon Department of Forestry and local fire crews fighting the the 7K Fire, estimated at 300 acres about 10 miles southwest of Veneta, have reached 75% containment, according to the Oregon Department of Forestry.

The cause of the 7K Fire, named for a landmark in the area, remains under investigation. According to ODF, the fire was first reported at 1 p.m. Friday on private industrial timberland and Bureau of Land Management land.

More than 300 people working the fire Memorial Day hope to complete all fire lines and plumbing the entire main body of the fire with hose, which will allow for easier water access, Natalie Webber, a spokesperson for ODF, said in press release.

A dozen 20-person hand crews, eight engines, two bulldozers, three helicopters, five water tenders and one tree faller were working the blaze.

Firefighters were focused on completing the line, but the weather will likely make their work hard, Webber said. The forecast calls for temperatures in the high 70's and wind, an unhelpful combination for combating fires.

Water tenders were trucking water in for firefighters to begin extinguishing the fire once all lines are connected and holding strong, Webber said.

The extinguishing process, called mop-up operations, will focus on extinguishing smoking or smoldering vegetation that still holds heat once the active fire is out. The work is tedious but necessary, according to ODF, to ensure hotspots do not reignite in the present warm and windy conditions.

Perkins Peninsula County Park is in use for firefighting resources and remained closed to the public on Memorial Day for safety.

Firefighters found a new, small spot fire overnight near the east side of the fire. It was estimated at one acre, and firefighters were working Monday to keep it as small as possible.

A second spot fire, estimated to be about 20-acres, was detected Saturday night.

"All lines on this spot fire are holding strong and firefighters have mopped up 65 feet deep into its perimeter," ODF said in a Monday update.

Eugene Springfield Fire Chief Mike Caven said Monday that a 5-acre brush fire near 26th and South F in Springfield extinguished following more than three dozen 320-gallon air drops and a bulldozer. Crews returned Monday morning to ensure all hot spots were out.

Oregon Department of Forestry supported the operation with a helicopter. The fire was burning up a hill beyond the old quarry where crews had difficulty locating direct access.

The cause of the fire under investigation. No residential or commercial structures were threatened and no evacuations were necessary.

Contact reporter Tatiana Parafiniuk-Talesnick at [email protected] or 541-521-7512, and follow her on Twitter @TatianaSophiaPT