By News-Register staff • 

Fire chars trees along Highway 18


Sheridan/Southwestern Polk/West Valley fire districts responded shortly after 4 p.m. Thursday to a wildland fire west of Grand Ronde in the area of Murphy Hill.

Trees reportedly were on fire in addition to vegetation adjacent to Highway 18. The blaze moved farther into timberland before it was brought under control in about an hour with assistance from the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde Fire Department and the Oregon Department of Forestry.

It was caused by a mechanical failure of a passing vehicle.

West Valley resident Lisa Hargitt-Cain posted a Facebook message releated to the incident. It read in part:

“As I lay here awake this morning, I’d like to express how thankful I am for my community, family and friends! Yesterday afternoon, due to a car malfunction, a brush fire was started and quickly moved into the trees. There was a heavy coastal breeze blowing toward the east, and the fire was only 2.5 miles from our home.

“As emergency vehicle after emergency vehicle passed us on our way home from work we began receiving texts, calls and private messages with care checks and offers of help. We got to Grand Ronde Road and the highway was closed. The fear heightened into almost pure terror.

"I’m very happy to say we are OK, our property is OK, all due to the rapid response and quick work getting around the fire and getting it contained by our awesome fire and police crews.”


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