Firefighters worked together over the weekend to contain the Harper Creek Fire, south of Mt. Vernon.

Mt. Vernon Deputy Chief Todd McKinley said the fire was caused by an illegal burn barrel on July 25.

He said that the fire burned 9.4 acres of land and was heavily fueled by juniper and pine trees along with grass and brush.

A structure near the fire was initially in danger, but the fire moved away from it.

“There were other structures that the fire could have eventually gotten to if it had not been contained as quickly,” McKinley said.

Mt. Vernon rural fire department sent four engines, a water tender and a command vehicle on the initial day, and John Day rural fire sent a brush engine, command structure and a water tender. McKinley said ODF sent four engines, a helicopter and command structure.

A neighboring landowner provided a bulldozer and erected a line around the fire.

The fire was contained at 1:25 p.m. July 26. The area will be monitored for several days for any hot spots or flareups, according to McKinley.

There were no injuries and no loss of livestock reported, he said.

McKinley said people should know the restrictions before burning. He said there is currently an active burn ban.

“It takes many volunteers out of the community to make things like this have a good outcome, and I appreciate everybody’s involvement,” McKinley said.


Rudy Diaz is a reporter for the Blue Mountain Eagle. Contact him at or 541-575-0710.

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