Fire, Hillside, News

Fire crews extinguish barn fire on Shearer Hill Road

Firefighters from Forest Grove Fire & Rescue battled a barn fire Monday afternoon, successfully keeping the flames confined to the rood of the wood barn in the Hillside community.

According to a press release from FGF&R, Forest Grove firefighters were dispatched to a barn fire on NW Shearer Hill Road between Strohmayer and Clapshaw Hill Roads and in the Hillside community at 1:55 p.m. Monday, May 27.

Initial reports described a barn with a fire on the roof that had not yet spread to the interior.

“Firefighters arrived minutes later to find one third of the roof on fire,” FGF&R said in a press release.

“Crews were able to deploy hose lines and quickly extinguish the flames, preventing the fire from damaging the interior of the barn,” the agency added.

With no nearby fire hydrants on hand to aid firefighters thanks to the rural location, firefighters relied on water tenders, generally able to carry 3,000 gallons of water each to extinguish the flames and hotspots.

Ultimately, about 10,000 gallons of water—about half the volume of an average residential pool—were used Monday.

FGF&R said the fire appeared to have started when embers from a nearby unattended burn pile. Reportedly, wind picked up embers from the burn pile and lit the igniting the wood shake roofing of the barn. The occupant was working elsewhere on the property at the time.

“Forest Grove Fire & Rescue can’t stress the importance of never leaving a burn pile unoccupied,” FGF&R said. “Monitoring a burn pile with a shovel and hose can allow you to catch the burn from growing out of control or changes in the weather that may cause it to spread.”

Also on scene were the Cornelius Fire Department, Banks Fire District, AMR and the Washington County Sheriff’s Office. 

This story has been updated with further information and photos from Forest Grove Fire & Rescue

Chas Hundley is the editor of the Gales Creek Journal and sister news publications the Banks Post and the Salmonberry Magazine. He grew up in Gales Creek and has a cat.

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