Portland Fire & Rescue
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News Releases
Arson Arrest Made for Multiple Fires Set Near University of Portland (Photo) - 08/22/19

At 10:20am Wednesday, North Portland Fire & Rescue crews were dispatched to several fires in close proximity to each other on the bluff just below the University of Portland. This location was close to the intersection of N Harvard and N Willamette. Firefighters found 4 separate fires ranging in size from 10x10ft to 100x200ft. The first arriving engine navigated to a spot where they could fight the most critical fire which reached with a couple feet of vehicles in a university parking lot.The closest building was 50 feet away but crews extinguished the fire before it could cause any damage to vehicles. Which also prevented spread to the nearby building. Familiarity with the area and training on fires like these on or near the bluff are one of the main reasons firefighters were able to extinguish so quickly.  Dry brush and tree fuels, difficult sloped terrain and limited access for fire apparatus are complicating issues these crews deal with in fires located in areas like the University Bluff.

911 callers reported seeing someone walking down the trail and lighting brush and trees on fire with a butane lighter. One of the callers actually followed the person and pointed them out when the Portland Police Bureau arrived. The suspect was held for questioning by PF&R investigators. 38 year old Adrianne Esther Cook was arrested and later booked at Multnomah County Jail. She will be charged with 4 counts of Reckless Burning. 

**Important Safety Reminder**

Many weeks of dry weather have made for dangerous fire conditions in our forested  and brush areas. Recent rainfall has NOT significantly changed the issue. The moisture content in the vegetation is still low. Residents are reminded to be careful when enjoying nature, call 911 if you see someone acting recklessly with fire and pay attention to regional burn ban notifications. 

PF&R Responds to Residential Fire in SE Portland Caused by Fire in Homeless Camp (Update) - 07/29/19

On July 29, 2019 at 4:05 pm, a Portland Fire & Rescue fire engine responded to a reported homeless camp fire in the 5300 block of SE 96th Ave. Various items such as tarps, shopping carts, miscellanous items, and possibly tents were found to be burning. The camp was under a tree and also caught the tree on fire and the area burned was approximately 20' by 50'.

After extinguishing this fire, the fire crew on scene noticed that the roof of a house across the street from this camp was on fire. Embers from the initial fire that had drifted across the street landed on the roof of this house and ignited it. At 4:30 pm, the fire crew on scene called for a full residential fire response which sent additional crews to the scene.

PF&R crews extinguished the roof fire and then used chainsaws to cut off the roofing material to ensure it was fully extinguished.  Upon further investigation, fire crews found that the roof fire had not extended into the house and was limited to the roof.

There are no known injuries associated with either the homeless camp fire or the residential fire and the residents of the house were not displaced. It is unknown how many individuals were residing at this homeless camp. The Incident Commander has recalled the fire and begun to send crews back to their stations.

As the weather gets hotter and drier, PF&R reminds Portlanders to be aware of embers from BBQs and backyard fire pits.  Keep all backyard fires in fire pits at least 15 feet from a structure, have a hose available, make sure all fire are fully extinguished, and never burn garbage or anything other than firewood--no construction debris, brush, or hedge clippings.

UPDATE: Cause of homeless camp fire is undetermined at this time.