Evacuation levels reduced near Big Hollow wildfire southeast of Cougar

The fire had reached nearly 21,000 acres over the weekend

COUGAR — The Big Hollow fire, burning seven miles southeast of Cougar, reached approximately 21,000 acres over the weekend, with 10 percent containment.

The Big Hollow fire southeast of Cougar reached nearly 21,000 acres over the weekend. Image courtesy U.S. Forest Service
The Big Hollow fire southeast of Cougar reached nearly 21,000 acres over the weekend. Image courtesy U.S. Forest Service

The fire is expected to continue slowly growing through the rest of this week, though work continues to build containment lines along the edges of the fire.

On Sunday evening, the Department of Natural Resources reduced the evacuation alert levels for areas in Clark County to a Level 1 “be alert” advisory. Cabins at Government Mineral Springs are currently at a Level 3 “go now” evacuation order.

Crews have been installing sprinkler systems around the cabins to help reduce the potential for buildings to be lost should the fire reach the area.

Evacuation notices for northeast Clark County were reduced to Level 1 as of Sunday evening. Image courtesy Department of Natural Resources/CRESA
Evacuation notices for northeast Clark County were reduced to Level 1 as of Sunday evening. Image courtesy Department of Natural Resources/CRESA

While a thick layer of smoke remains in the lower elevations in and around the fire, things have thinned out somewhat at higher elevations. That has allowed temperatures to rise, and fire activity to increase in the hills, however cooler weather and some potential rainfall is expected in the next 24 hours.

The U.S. Forest Service says 262 personnel are working the fire, mostly along the west side. Crews were also working to implement a direct control line along the southern edge of the fire, creating containment lines and clearing fuels along the 1000 and 6000 roads in the Siouxon block.

The Forest Service has issued area closures in the SW portion of the Gifford Pinchot National Forest that include most developed campgrounds, dispersed camping, and most forest roads and trails. The Department of Natural Resources has issued closures for the Siouxon Block and Merrill Lake Natural Conservation Area. The Pacific Crest Trail is open.
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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