Gold Rush Fire is 20 percent contained

Firefighters work to establish fire line

A helicopter is used to help put out the Gold Rush fire.

Firefighters work to put out the Gold Rush fire.

Firefighters have achieved 20 percent containment of a wildfire located on Department of Natural Resources land in western Skamania County.

The Gold Rush Fire, reported on Monday, is along Forest Road 2000, about 7.5 miles past Dougan Falls.

According to DNR Public Information Officer Mary McDonald, a total of 90 people are fighting the fire, including four 10-person crews from Larch Corrections Center in Yacolt.

A fire line has been established around 20 percent of the fire’s perimeter using machinery and by hand.

“Much of the area is too steep for equipment,” McDonald said Wednesday afternoon. “This is usually over 40 percent slope, so the fire line is having to be built by hand with shovels.”

Approximately 60 acres has burned, a number that has held steady since Tuesday. No structures are threatened due to the fire.

It has been battled with the help of helicopters dumping water on the blaze, bulldozers and a mechanical harvester.

McDonald expects crews to continue fighting the fire throughout this week.

Forest Road 2000 is closed to recreational traffic at the Three Corner Rock trail head, but the Dougan Falls and Naked Falls areas on the Washougal River are open.

“Please be aware that fire engines and fire crew will be using the road, [so there will be] heavy traffic,” she said.

According to McDonald it appears the fire, located 12.5 miles northeast of Washougal, was human caused.

“It is under investigation.”

In June the Department of Natural Resources, which regulates outdoor burning on all forest lands where DNR provides wildfire protection, issued a statewide burn ban. It continues through Sept. 30.

“Please spread the word campfires are rarely out even if you think they are out, this time of year,” McDonald said. “No campfires please.”