Crews fight wildfire near Dougan Falls

Blaze is not threatening any structures

The Gold Rush Fire, located on Department of Natural Resources land, is being tackled using tools ranging from helicopters dumping water to bulldozers moving earth.

A wildfire on Department of Natural Resources land in western Skamania County has burned approximately 60 acres with zero containment.

The blaze, now named the Gold Rush Fire, is located on Forest Road 2000, about 7.5 miles past Dougan Falls, according to DNR Public Information Officer Mary McDonald. Initial reports placed the fire 3.5 miles from Dougan Falls.

It is being battled with the help of two helicopters dumping water on the blaze, two bulldozers and a mechanical harvester, in addition to crews on the ground.

They include two timber fallers.

“They go in and cut the trees left behind, so firefighters can go in there to fight the fire,” McDonald said.

There are currently 90 firefighters at the scene. McDonald expects crews to continue fighting the fire throughout this week. No structures are in danger.

She urged people to avoid the area, which is located about 12 miles northeast of Washougal.

“This area is very busy, because it’s a popular place for people to visit,” McDonald said. “If for the next week or so people could stay away, that would help a lot.”

East County Fire and Rescue Capt. Wes Long said Tuesday morning that ECFR was called out Monday to assist in fighting the fire through a mutual aid agreement.

In addition to manpower, ECFR brought a brush rig, as well as a water tender to the scene due to the rural nature of the fire.

“It’s very steep terrain,” said Long, who was at the scene Monday. “It had the potential of getting crazy on us.”

McDonald said it appears the fire was human caused.

“It is under investigation.”

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