An electrical problem with a travel trailer sparked a fire in Sisters, Oregon, on Saturday and the wind-fanned wildfire destroyed two Cloverdale-area homes and six outbuildings and closed U.S. Highway 20 for hours, Fire Chief Thad Olsen said.
Crews from numerous agencies remained on site Sunday to help mop up the 74-acre Cloverdale Fire, which broke out around 4 p.m. Saturday and quickly grew to four acres even before the first firefighters arrived on scene.
“We were fortunate that it did not jump Highway 20,” Olsen told NewsChannel 21 on Sunday. “We had a lot of winds coming out of the northwest at the time, with gusts of 20 miles an hour,” he said. “And to get ahead of a fire like that is very dangerous for firefighters. With continued fuels, narrow driveways, so there is no escape path for firefighters.
“And what basically turned the tide for us was we put in a call for retardant air tankers,” Olsen said.
A few hours before the Cloverdale fire was spotted, a La Pine fire destroyed a vacant home and led to a one-acre brush fire. It also prompted the closure of Burgess Road, west of Highway 97, for several hours.
Firefighters also responded to a fire nine miles east of Clarno and the John Day River. The Porcupine II fire is about 25% contained, at a little more than 500 acres; investigators believe it was human caused.