Multiple agencies respond to wildland fire
SHERIDAN — Six agencies, headed by the Sheridan Fire District, responded Saturday afternoon to a 40-acre wildland fire on Bureau of Land Management property off Gooseneck Road in Polk County. The blaze burned through timberland and a clear-cut.
Sheridan firefighters were dispatched about 1:30 p.m., and found a relatively small fire burning. However, winds gusting to 25 mph caused the flames to spread quickly.
The Amity Fire District, McMinnville Fire Department, West Valley Fire District based in Willamina, Southwest Polk County and the Oregon Department of Forestry also responded. Units were assisted by a bulldozer digging a fire line and a helicopter providing water drops.
Fifteen pieces of equipment and 45 firefighters brought the blaze under control about 5:30 p.m. Crews were still on scene at 7:30 and were expected to be released by about 9:30 or 10.
The fire was reported by the caller to have started while they were target shooting. A specific cause has not been determined.
"This incident highlights the increased fire conditions we currently are facing," Sheridan fire spokesman Wesley Rolfson said. "This summer is predicted to be an extraordinarily dry year due to the low amount of rainfall and snowpack."
He urged individuals to be keenly aware of fire conditions and the dangers involved.