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 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.
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.