Ore. brush fire signals season of fire dangers

A brush fire burned an acre to an acre and a half Wednesday, May 1, 2013, in the Oregon town of Forest Grove. This comes as authorities warn of additional fire dangers as temperatures heat up during the coming week. (Forest Grove Fire & Rescue)

FOREST GROVE, Ore. (KOIN) — The Portland/Vancouver area saw what is perhaps its first brush fire of the season Wednesday.

The fire burned an acre or more of brush in Forest Grove Wednesday, according to sources at the scene. It’s believed to have started in a burn pile.

Winds picked up Wednesday afternoon, causing flames to spread quickly.

The fire quickly burned through wild Scotch Broom plants on Northwest Parson Road near Highway 6. As of 5 p.m. crews said they had the fire under control. At that time no homes or businesses were in danger.

However, fire crews call this a timely reminder to be careful with flame — especially as Portland-area temperatures spike into the 80s later this week.

Rich Chatman with Portland Fire & Rescue said locals can protect their homes from brush-fire dangers by pruning “within at least a 30-foot space around your entire home.” And, he said, cut away all tree branches up to at least 6 feet above the ground.

Elsewhere on the West Coast, dozens of people are under evacuation in southern California as strong winds propel a wildfire in Banning.

Those flames are burning dangerously close to neighborhoods.

Much of southern California already is under “red flag warnings” for fire danger due to area winds, low humidity and heat.

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