PLEASANT HILL, Ore. - Firefighters are working to control a wildfire that burned over 30 acres in a matter of hours in the Howard Buford Recreation Area north of Pleasant Hill near Mount Pisgah.
The Oregon Department of Forestry and the Douglas Forest Protective Association are conducting "aggressive initial attack efforts" on the fire, using a trio of helicopters, 2 single engine air tankers (SEATs) and a large air tanker. On the ground, 3 water tenders are assigned to fire. About 85 firefighters were on the fire as of Thursday afternoon.
Lane County has closed Howard Buford Recreation Area and the Mount Pisgah Arboretum and is in the process of evacuating the park in response to the Pisgah Fire.
Lane County said the "fire is burning within the park only at this point. Between Trails 2 and 6, west of Trail 46."
"FIRE at Howard Buford Recreation Area (Mt. Pisgah). Avoid area," the county said in a statement at 1:06 p.m. "Do not enter the park. Lane Co. Emergency Manager evacuating the park and all visitors must leave via main entrance near Seavey Loop. Trails 7, 8 and 9 most affected (east side)."
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Highway 58 remains open. Oregon DOT asks travelers not to pull over on the side of the highway to watch or take photos.
A helicopter could be seen making repeated water drops on the fire. A second helicopter later joined the effort.
Flames were visible at times burning in the crowns of trees.
Smoke from the fire is visible over Eugene/Springfield.
No word yet on the cause of the fire.
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