ODF: Wildfire burning south of Hood River should be contained Thursday

ODF: Wildfire burning south of Hood River should be contained Thursday »Play Video
(KATU photo)

HOOD RIVER, Ore. – A wildfire that started in a logging operation is burning 12 miles south of Hood River.

The Oregon Department of Forestry said the "Owens Fire" had burned 50 acres of Hood River County land. By 3:15 p.m. today, crews said they had the fire 50 percent contained.

ODF estimated the fire to be 12 acres in size late Wednesday. Crews expect to have the fire fully contained by Thursday evening.

The fire started in an active timber harvest operation, according to the ODF.

The fire was first reported around 3:45 a.m. Wednesday. It spread rapidly through Douglas fir and ponderosa pine in the early going, but then moderated.

ODF says firefighters have almost completed a fire line on the south flank of the fire. They are also constructing a line on its north flank. A road on the east flank is providing a fire break there. Crews say they expect to have a fire line around the entire fire by the end of the day.

ODF says one helicopter, six hand crews, three bulldozers and six fire engines are at the scene fighting the fire.

The cause of the fire is unclear and it is under investigation. No structures are threatened.

"We haven’t had any lightning in the area, so it’s likely that it’s human-caused, but we don’t know of the exact cause of it at this point,” said U.S. Forest Service spokesman Stan Hinatsu.

The Oregon Department of Transportation closed Pinemont Road east of Highway 35.

Conditions are extremely dry for this time of year, ODF said. ODF said crews expect 20-30 mph winds Wednesday.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.