Burn ban lifted after rainfallFirefighters in Hamlet as well as Cannon Beach and Gearhart responded to brush fires Friday, but the return of rainfall today prompted a burn ban to be lifted.

"With the forecast, it's warranted," said Chris Dugan, Seaside Fire Department marshal. Debris burning is again allowed during daylight hours.

Fire chiefs in southern Clatsop County had reinstated a ban on debris burning Thursday, when dry conditions and high winds contributed to three fires in the Seaside area.

The fire activity continued Friday.

At approximately 3 p.m., Hamlet Fire Chief Bill Boone spotted smoke from a fire near U.S. Highway 26, roughly seven miles east of the junction with U.S. Highway 101. Debris of a controlled burn of brush a week ago apparently was still smouldering, and a strong east wind fanned it into a blaze, Boone said.

That fire was only 20 feet from a workshop and 30 feet from a house, but firefighters arrived in time to confine damage to six stumps and one tree, he said.

Hamlet had responded with three firefighters on two engines, assisted by one engine with a two-member crew from the Oregon Department of Forestry.

In Cannon Beach at 3:50 p.m. Friday, a fire was reported in a wooded area near the gate of Elk Creek Road, according to a report by Chief Cleve Rooper. The fire was burning in the trees and understory of state forest property.

Cannon Beach responded with 12 firefighters on two engines, assisted by three state firefighters using a wildfire engine. The crews dug a break around the fire and extinguished it with 2,000 gallons of water, clearing the area after an hour and 15 minutes.

The fire burned approximately 250 square feet and apparently was "human-caused," Rooper said. Personal items were found in the area but no one was identified as the owner.

A brush fire also was reported at 4:16 p.m. Friday in Gearhart, near 89269 Del Moor Loop Road.

"It burned probably a quarter of an acre of grass, small trees, brush and stumps," Chief Bill Eddy said. No structures were involved.

Apparently a small burn pile got out of control, Eddy said. Gearhart brought 17 firefighters who arrived with an engine, two brush trucks and a water tender, and were joined by two state forestry firefighters on a brush truck.

The fire was extinguished within 15 minutes, Eddy said. "We had a lot of people there."

The property owners were not cited.

The state forestry department had declared the end of fire season Oct. 28, but until today fire chiefs from Seaside, Gearhart, Cannon Beach and Hamlet had decided to prohibit all burning within their respective towns.

Cold temperatures had depleted moisture and intensified fire danger, Eddy said.

Boone said people should remain cautious about potential fire hazards, but concerns have eased with the change in weather.


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