Big Hollow fire tops 22,000 acres, now 15 percent contained


A total of 367 people are battling the wildfire southeast of Cougar

The Big Hollow wildfire burning seven miles southeast of the town of Cougar continues to grow, reaching 22,153 acres according to the most recent estimates provided Wednesday morning by the U.S. Forest Service incident management team in the area.

Fire crews install sprinkles to protect buildings at Government Mineral Springs from the Big Hollow wildfire. Photo courtesy U.S. Forest Service
Fire crews install sprinkles to protect buildings at Government Mineral Springs from the Big Hollow wildfire. Photo courtesy U.S. Forest Service

There are now 367 personnel working the fire, which started Sept. 8 as a strong east wind system pushed through the region. The cause of the fire remains unknown.

Containment was listed at 15 percent as of Wednesday morning.

A map showing where the Big Hollow fire is burning, and closures for DNR lands and the Gifford Pinchot National Forest. Photo courtesy Northwest Incident Management Team 12
A map showing where the Big Hollow fire is burning, and closures for DNR lands and the Gifford Pinchot National Forest. Photo courtesy Northwest Incident Management Team 12
An update on the Big Hollow fire which has burned more than 22,000 acres southeast of Cougar. Image courtesy U.S. Forest Service
An update on the Big Hollow fire which has burned more than 22,000 acres southeast of Cougar. Image courtesy U.S. Forest Service

Firefighters suppressed a new start in the Trapper Creek Wilderness on Tuesday, which could have threatened containment lines that have been built along forest service roads in the area.

Evacuation warning levels for the fire remain at level 1 in northeast Clark County, including Chelatchie, Amboy, and part of Yacolt. Level 1 means to be alert. A level 3 “go now” evacuation was issued for the Government Mineral Springs area, though to date no structures have been lost. Crews have been setting up sprinklers to help protect buildings in the area.

Fire crews with the Northwest Incident Management Team 12 work to install sprinklers to protect buildings at Government Mineral Springs. Photo courtesy U.S. Forest Service
Fire crews with the Northwest Incident Management Team 12 work to install sprinklers to protect buildings at Government Mineral Springs. Photo courtesy U.S. Forest Service

During a Facebook Live community meeting on Tuesday evening, it was noted that fire conditions have been largely quiet, with cooler temperatures and light winds. Rain in the forecast for Thursday night through Saturday should also help to buy time for crews.

To date, no air support has been available to help suppress the fire, due to heavy smoke conditions and a lack of visibility.

For the latest updates on the Big Hollow fire, click here.

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About The Author

Chris Brown comes to Clark County Today with 15 years of local news experience as a reporter, editor, and anchor at KXL News Radio and KOIN-6 TV in Portland. In 2016, he won an Oregon Association of Broadcaster's award for Best Investigative Reporting for a series on America's Violent Youth. He has also been awarded by the Associated Press for Best Breaking News coverage as editor of Portland's Morning News following the 2015 school shooting at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon. The second oldest of eight home-schooled children, Brown graduated from high school two years early. After several odd jobs, he earned an internship at KXL Radio, eventually working his way into a full-time job. Brown has lived in Clark County his entire life, and is very excited at the opportunity to now focus full-time on the significant stories happening in his own back yard, rather than across “the river.’’ After a few years in Vancouver, he recently moved back to Battle Ground with his wife and two young daughters. When he's not working to report what's happening in Clark County, Brown enjoys spending time with his family, playing music, taking pictures, or working in the yard. He also actually does enjoy long walks on the beach, and sunsets.

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