Ore. homeowner ignites 3-acre blaze trying to kill yellow jackets with fire

Firefighters were able to keep the blaze from spreading to nearby trees, while dodging the yellow jackets the homeowner was unable to kill


By Hannah Boufford
The Oregonian, Portland, Ore.

WEST LINN, Ore. — A West Linn homeowner trying to destroy a yellowjacket nest by setting a fire with oil and gasoline ended up burning more than 3 acres Thursday.

Winds spread the fire shortly after ignition, and the homeowner was unable to control the flames, according to a news release. Just before noon, 911 callers reported smoke coming from a field near the intersection of SW Shaeffer and W roads.

"Because of the nature of our work, we uniquely understand the incredible speed at which fire can spread, but I believe most people are unaware of the potential destruction fire can cause," Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue Fire Marshal Steve Forster said in the release. "When dry vegetation, low humidity, and hot temperatures are added to the mix, we have conditions for extreme fire behavior. This can cause a small spark to become a big problem."

Firefighters were able to keep the blaze from spreading to nearby trees, which Stefan Myers, a spokesperson with TVF&R, said would have created a larger problem. Firefighters also had to dodge yellowjackets the homeowner was unable to kill.

People should be cautious going about some of their usual activities like mowing their lawns during dry and hot periods, Myers said.

"All those things have much larger and more intense consequences with the addition of dry fuels all around us and throughout the community," Myers said.

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(c)2018 The Oregonian (Portland, Ore.)

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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