Firefighters mopping up wildfire in Washington County; residents told they can go home



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PORTLAND, Oregon — Residents near two wildfires in the Portland region have been told they can go home.

About 40 miles west of the city near the reservoir Hagg Lake, as many as 60 residences were under evacuation notices as a result of the timber fire that began Friday.

By Sunday night, fire bosses said residents could return home, and authorities reported on Monday morning that crews were beginning mop-up phase of the wildfire, putting out hot spots just inside the perimeter of the burn area.

The fire area was listed as 211 acres — about a third of a square mile — on Stimson Lumber Co. land. Firefighters said the fire was contained before it spread to an area where the company gets its annual donation for the state Capitol holiday tree.

Firefighters haven't said whether they've pinpointed a cause, calling it under investigation. There was no indication of lightning, leaving human activity as the likely source.

About 40 miles southeast of Portland, most evacuation alerts were downgraded or lifted Monday and firefighters said they were hoping for rain Tuesday to quench a week-old fire, The Oregonian (http://bit.ly/XPno5P) reported.

Whipped by winds of up to 40 mph, the fire on the Mount Hood National Forest south of Estacada grew over the weekend and jumped the south fork of the Clackamas River on Saturday, climbing up the steep river canyon.

But firefighters say they've established fire lines in the area and removed brush and lower tree limbs to slow the blaze. The fire area totals about 8.5 square miles, or 5,434 acres. Cooler temperatures and rain are expected Tuesday.

A campground, work center, park and off-road vehicle area remain closed.

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