No structures damaged in 166 acre brush fire in West Vancouver


The fire near Fruit Valley Road was the largest of dozens area fire crews battled on Tuesday

VANCOUVER — High winds and dry conditions kept fire crews in Clark County busy on Tuesday, responding to numerous grass and brush fires.

A Dept. of Natural Resources helicopter drops water on a grass fire east of Fruit Valley Road in Vancouver on Tuesday. Photo by Mike Schultz
A Dept. of Natural Resources helicopter drops water on a grass fire east of Fruit Valley Road in Vancouver on Tuesday. Photo by Mike Schultz

The largest was a 166 acre blaze that started just after 2:30 p.m. in brush behind the Frito Lay plant on NW Fruit Valley Road near La Frembois Road.

At the time the fire was dispatched, Vancouver Fire crews were already working to contain a fire along the Burnt Bridge Creek Trail, as well as several other incidents. They arrived at the Fruit Valley Road fire within six minutes.

A Vancouver Fire official watches over a grass fire Tuesday along Fruit Valley Road in West Vancouver. Photo by Mike Schultz
A Vancouver Fire official watches over a grass fire Tuesday along Fruit Valley Road in West Vancouver. Photo by Mike Schultz

Vancouver Police shut down access from Fourth Plain Blvd to Vancouver Lake Regional Park and Frenchman’s Bar Park, and assisted with evacuating people who were in the parks at the time of the fire.

Other crews with Clark County Fire District 6, Camas Washougal Fire Department, Clark County Fire and Rescue, and the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) also responded to assist, including the use of a helicopter to drop water on hot spots.

A Vancouver Fire water tender fights a grass fire along Fruit Valley Road on Tuesday. Photo by Mike Schultz
A Vancouver Fire water tender fights a grass fire along Fruit Valley Road on Tuesday. Photo by Mike Schultz

No one was injured, and no buildings were lost or damaged in the fire.

A total of 16 units and 34 personnel were able to get the blaze 95 percent contained by 8 p.m. on Tuesday evening, and DNR has taken over management of the fire. 

Flames burn through brush west of Fruit Valley Road in Vancouver on Tuesday. Photo by Mike Schultz
Flames burn through brush west of Fruit Valley Road in Vancouver on Tuesday. Photo by Mike Schultz

Other fires keep crews busy

Dozens of other fires around the area have kept crews busy, including a wildland fire along Washougal River Road near the Skamania County line that has had up to 60 people on a Level 1 standby for evacuation. That fire was reported to be 10 acres in size and 20 percent contained on Tuesday morning, according to DNR officials.


Brief evacuations sparked by a fire near Fargher Lake along Wiehl Road in North Clark County were lifted early Tuesday morning after the six acre fire was declared mostly contained.

Another brief fire drew plenty of attention Tuesday evening along SR-14 east of I-205, but Vancouver Fire crews were able to quickly get the flames under control by 6:30 p.m.

A red flag warning for extreme fire danger was posted by the National Weather Service in Portland through 9 p.m. on Wednesday with hot and breezy conditions expected to continue. The winds are forecast to taper off Wednesday afternoon, but hot and dry conditions will remain at least through the weekend.

Clark County, Battle Ground, and the city of Vancouver have each declared emergency burn bans for all recreational fires, including campfires and open cooking pits. Propane or charcoal grills for barbecuing are still allowed, but people are urged to use extreme caution.

Air quality a concern

With winds shifting to the Northeast, smoke from massive fires east of Salem were expected to roll back over the metro area overnight. Air quality was good in most of Clark County, outside of the northern areas of Amboy, La Center, and Woodland, where smoke from a fire near Swift Reservoir continued to blow into the area.

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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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