Firefighters mop up at Hilltop Fire north of Camas

ECFR Fern Prairie station becomes command post

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After dealing with gusty, erratic winds and high humidity for most of last week, fire crews battling the Hilltop Fire north of Camas welcomed more cooperative weather over the weekend.

“Cooler temperatures and higher humidity’s throughout the night have greatly helped our mop up efforts,” said Kent Stanford, operations chief. “Long range weather forecasts seem to be going our way.”

Helicopter flights equipped with an infared camera flew over the fire on Wednesday night and found that there were still multiple hot spots around the west interior of the burn. Fire crews worked on those spots using burnout techniques on Thursday.

As of Sunday, many of the crews had been released from duty, but some still remain on scene for mop up and to continue to identify and extinguish areas of concern.

The fire, which burned a total of 60 acres on Larch Mountain, is believed to have started on Saturday, Aug. 14.

The cause has not been officially determined.

Resources that battled the fire include numerous strike teams, water tenders and brush rigs and nine engines.

In addition, two Department of Natural Resources helicopters were used for water drops and one air tanker made fire retardant drops.

Throughout the incident, Grove Field Airport in the Fern Prairie area of Camas served as a critical takeoff and landing point. On Wednesday, officials moved the incident command post from Hockinson High School to East County Fire and Rescue’s Fern Prairie station on Northeast 267th Avenue.

Throughout the response, more than 200 fire personnel, including crews from Larch Mountain Corrections, were assigned to the fire.

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.