Crews work to contain wildfire near Hood River

HOOD RIVER, Ore. — Firefighters expected to quickly contain a wildfire that broke out before dawn Wednesday on a logging operation on county forest land south of Hood River, the Oregon Department of Forestry said.

The fire was spreading to the east and south away from communities along Oregon Highway 35, said fire spokesman Stan Hinatsu. A logging road was being used as fire line on the east flank, and crews were digging line along the south flank. Winds up to 30 mph from the west were expected in the afternoon.

The fire was reported at 3:45 a.m. within an active logging operation on Hood River County Forestry lands about 10 miles south of Hood River, and quickly grew, said Rod Nichols of the Oregon Department of Forestry.

It spread rapidly through Douglas fire and ponderosa pine in the early going, but firefighters hoped to hold the fire at 200 acres, he said.

The department quickly called in five 20-person fire crews, including the Zigzag Hotshots from the nearby Hood River National Forest; three bulldozers, a helicopter and five fire engines.

Nichols said no homes or buildings were threatened. The cause remained under investigation.

With drought across much of Oregon, the department is expecting a tough fire season. Earlier this month, a fire broke out on private timberlands west of Bend and quickly burned more than 10 square miles, but no homes.

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