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Firefighters work on fire line (photo/US Forest Service/Beachie Creek Fire)
U.S. Forest Service, Riverside Fire Wildfire
Published: 15 September 2020

beachie creek fire fire line dozerDozer works on fire line (photo/US Forest Service/Beachie Creek Fire)What is ‘containment’? Why has containment remained at zero percent? Does containment equal success? If you’ve asked these questions you’re not alone. Our intent with this special update is to help folks understand what’s what and increase your understanding of what these terms mean out on the ground.

‘Fireline’ is the hand or dozer line that firefighters put in down to bare mineral soil to hold the fire and keep it from growing. Over the past several days, crews have worked tirelessly to put in hand-cut and dozer lines to help protect the communities of Estacada, Molalla, and Colton. Combined with favorable weather, these lines have been successful at limiting new fire growth towards populated areas.

But fireline by itself doesn’t equal containment. We only call a section of line ‘contained’ if there are no more ‘hotspots’ or heat near the fireline.

We’re not going to call an area of line contained if there is any chance it could ‘come back to life’ and allow the fire to grow past the constructed line. In fact, crews monitor all constructed fireline areas for several days- putting out burning stumps, cooling ash-pits, and walking the ground over and over to ‘cold trail’ by hand. Your life and safety is our number one concern. Every day, every fire, every time.

We appreciate your understanding as we continue to limit new fire growth, protect communities, and safely engage the fire with our partners Clackamas Fire, Clackamas County Sheriff's Office, Oregon Office of State Fire Marshal and many more.

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