Fortunately winds were light on Tuesday and there was cool dampness in the air as firefighters from Cape Ferrelo, Brookings, Harbor, and Pistol River fire departments and the Coos Forest Protective Association (CFPA) battled a 3-acre fire approximately seven miles up Carpenterville Road.
The fire was reported at 1:40 p.m. as a “boat on fire in the middle of a field” and firefighters were dispatched.
The fire spread uphill and down from the boat location but was halted in its progress by members of the Cape Ferrelo Fire Department as they set up a hose line to stop the fire from spreading downhill.
Members of CFPA raced up the hill to get in front of the fire as westerly breezes pushed it inland.
The three fire engines and the firefighters on the ground were supported by tender trucks with thousands of gallons of water, as well as a helicopter out of Coquille.
According to CFPA spokesman John Flannigan the cause of the fire is still under investigation.
And, as of press time for the Pilot, the fire was “pretty well contained,” Flannigan said.
“We’ve got a trail blazed around the fire and lines run for water,” he added. “We’ll be hitting the hotspots tomorrow and put out anything that might be smoldering.”
In addition to the multiple agency response, South Coast Lumber company sent a bulldozer to blaze the trail in front of the fire to provide a fire break.
“It is extremely helpful to have all the response from local agencies,” Flannigan said. “We’ve had a 15-acre fire burning near Scottsdale since this morning and so having the rural fire departments and other agencies (at the Carpenterville Road blaze) is great because it helps us keep our front-line responses up.”
The helicopter is one that is contracted with the CFPA for the season. A second helicopter had been called for out of Medford, but was ordered to turn around after the firefighters on the ground determined it would not be needed.
The fire destroyed the boat that may have been the origin of the fire, but did not threaten any homes or other buildings as it blazed.
The ownership of the boat was not known as the Pilot went to press, nor was it known why it was parked on the hillside.