Cache Creek Fire fighters aggressively fight fire to protect homes and property

Cache Creek Fire fighters aggressively fight fire to protect homes and property »Play Video
Heavy smoke from the Cache Creek fire.
ROGERSBURG, WA - Fire crews are in full force battling a blaze that started near Cache Creek Monday around 4:30 in the afternoon.

The crews from the Type Two Management team have gained some control of the blaze, but are still attacking the fire aggressively in an effort to protect nearby structures.

"It's unnerving," said homeowner Diane Magden. "That would be a very mild way of putting it."

Rogersburg homeowner Diane Magden has good reason to be worried. According to the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest Public Affairs Department lightning sparked the fire near her home in the Hells Canyon National Recreation Area along the Snake River on the Oregon/ Washington border.

Although the Forest Service immediately called in air support and began knocking down the flames with air tankers, it wasn't enough to gain control of the wildfire. So far the flames have spread as far south as Jim Creek Ranch and up north past Anaconda Creek and over the ridge towards Rogersburg.

"We've been through fires before and I know how fast they spread and how dangerous they are," said Magden. "We have our livelihood here, it's burning our property and threatening our homes."

Currently, nearly 190 people are working to gain control of the blaze as crews continue to construct lines to suppress the fire as quickly as possible.

"Right now the fire is still high up on the hill, but it's been moving down off the hill," said Cache Creek Fire Task Force Leader Scott English. "We're getting ready so we can be ahead of the game and burn off and be ready if the fire makes it down to the road."

"You have to wait for it to come to you," said Magden. "It's too steep, too dangerous, completely too dangerous to be out there fighting it on the hillside."

The Central Oregon Incident Type Two Management Team has taken over the battle with the blaze as crews forge ahead, removing vegetation circling the fire. Fortunately the Snake River continues to hold the fire from moving east across the river into Idaho. There are currently 50 structures within the management area of the fire. However, no homes are threatened at this moment and no evacuations have been made.

"We're looking good but we need to get things going so we're all ready to go in case the fire makes it down close to the road," said English.

English said that although there has been 0% containment, there's still time to ward the fire away from homes.

According to one homeowner in Rogersburg, residents were warned that they might have to evacuate. However that has not been necessary yet.