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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