Willow Spring Fire reported ten miles south of Mosier

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At about 9 AM this morning Oregon Department of Forestry radio traffic indicated a one-acre fire on a northeast-facing slope, just south of the North Fork of Mill Creek, about a mile south of Ketchum Road, and a little over ten miles south of the City of Mosier.  The location is across Mill Creek from Hedges Grade.  Probable cause is lightning, although no determination has been made at this time.  [UPDATE Noon 7/1:  Strike maps from the 6/29 lightning do not show anything close to the location of the Willow Spring Fire, and there has been no mention of cause or point of origin on the radio.  Still too soon to speculate on a cause.  The fire will continue to smoke for a while, and it’s possible crews will start further intentional fires to eliminate fuel below the heal of the fire.  Otherwise it sounds as if fire suppression has been successful and everyone can relax for the moment.  Have a safe and happy Fourth of July!]
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A light-brown plume of smoke was visible from some parts of Mosier.
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As of 9:35, one helicopter and engines were arriving.  Initial reports suggest fairly good access, creeping fire behavior, and that this fire should pose no threat in another hour or two.

This area burned in the Goverment Flats Fire, which is good in many ways:  fuels are minimal, crews have direct experience on the same ground, and a lot of folks are interested in seeing whether or not frequent burning affects overall ecology and fire hazards.

This site will not update unless things go north …

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LIGHTNING FIRES IN MOSIER
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Mosier Fire responded to two lighting-caused fires on June 29, both near homes high on Hood River Road, about a mile east of the microwave towers.  In both cases large Ponderosa pines were struck.  One of the trees was apparently doused by the heavy rain which followed the strike, and the other fire was called in early enough that it was stopped at about 50 x 100 feet, high on a steep north slope above Interstate 84.  Oregon Department of Forestry and Mosier Fire will continue to monitor for latent fires which may still be out there.
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