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Another Driftwood Fire Out of Control on Oregon Coast, Threatens Homes

Published 08/05/21 at 6:52 PM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Another Driftwood Fire Out of Control on Oregon Coast, Threatens Homes

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(Oceanside, Oregon) – [UPDATE: BEACH FIRE BANS NOW ON SOUTHERN TWO THIRDS OF COASTLINE: Beach Fire Bans Official on Most of Oregon Coast, Other Restrictions)

Extreme fire dangers are taking their toll on the state and now problems with beach fires are reaching epidemic proportions on the Oregon coast. It's enough that state officials have been meeting this week, and Oregon State Parks and Recreation (OPRD) confirmed to Oregon Coast Beach Connection that more beach fire bans are coming, with two south coast counties having banned them last month. (Photos courtesy Netarts-Oceanside Fire District)

The latest issue: a wildfire erupted just north of Oceanside Wednesday night, quickly getting out of control and threatening homes in the area.

The Netarts-Oceanside Fire District released details this afternoon on social media, saying they received the call about 11 p.m. regarding a sizable brush fire that had originated at Short Beach, which is a small, cove-like area that's somewhat hidden just north of Oceanside.

“Upon arrival it was discovered a fire was burning in a very large driftwood pile and was running up the cliffs toward two homes,” the agency said. “Chief Tim Carpenter took command and prioritized structure protection and establishing a wet line to halt fire progression.”

As crews began work on the fire, it was quickly decided they would need assistance and officials called in the Tillamook Fire District and the Oregon Department of Forestry, along with law enforcement agencies in the area.

“With the extra crews in place to assist a wet line was put in place to keep the fire from growing and becoming more than was able to handle,” the department said. “At 7 a.m., hand crews from South Fork and two ODF engines arrived to take over the day shift and work towards containment/control.”

The fire began in driftwood piles, likely started by careless visitors, then caught the steep hillside on fire. Given the angle of this slope and the dry conditions this was a recipe for a major incident. You can see by the photographs provided by the fire department how serious the burn became. Above this slope sit miles of thick forestland, and had this jumped the street it would have become a dire situation.

One forested area across the road from Short Beach includes an old World War II radar building hidden in the brush.

“A big thank you is extended to all personnel who worked hard overnight and throughout the day to keep this fire small and from growing out of control,” the department said.

OPRD told Oregon Coast Beach Connection they strongly urge the public to not create any fires on the beach right now.

This incident comes on the heels of a serious fire that broke out at Crissey Field this week on the southern Oregon coast, and another driftwood fire that smoldered all night at Rockaway Beach, only to reignite and grow. Both situations required fire crews to put them out, and both threatened other areas. MORE FIRE PHOTOS BELOW

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