As of this morning, fire crews battling the Hilltop Fire north of Camas and 10 miles east of Hockinson have the blaze 46 percent contained.
“Our crews did a fantastic job of flanking the fire and establishing a fire line today,” said Incident Commander Andy Aschenbrenner. “We are very optimistic about the progress we have made on this fire.”
According to a press release, additional crews arrived at Larch Mountain last night to assist with suppression efforts. Today, they will initiate a controlled “burn out” of interior pockets of viable fuel still within the fire perimeter.
The fire, which has burned 60 acres so far, is believed to have started on Saturday. The cause is currently unknown.
Resources battling the fire include numerous strike teams, water tenders and brush rigs. In addition, two Department of Natural Resources helicopters have been used for water drops and one air tanker has been making fire retardant drops. The Grove Field Airport in the Fern Prairie area of Camas has served as a critical takeoff and landing point.
The official incident command post has been set up at Hockinson High School.
Crews from Larch Mountain Corrections Center and Cedar Creek Honor Camp, working alongside DNR firefighters, have played an important role in fighting the fire. There are more than 200 fire personnel who have been assigned to the fire.
According to a statement from the DNR, the fire is being aggressively managed during day and night shifts. Officials have asked the public to remain away from the immediate fire closure area.
Citizens can call a public information line with daily updated recordings at (360) 448-6494.