News Release from: Clackamas Co. Sheriff's Office
Posted: July 15, 2015, 4:13 p.m.
At about 1:35 p.m. on Tuesday, July 14, 2015, two of our seasonal Marine Patrol personnel -- Marine Service Officer Sarah Roberts and Deputy Rick Hilton -- were patrolling boat-ramps on Timothy Lake when a citizen passerby alerted them to a fire.
Roberts and Hilton investigated. The fire was located in an undeveloped campsite known as a "dispersed site" near the north arm of Timothy Lake, just off Road 4280. The fire measured approximately 40 feet in diameter. Several large trees were ablaze. Flames were approximately a foot high and spreading fast.
Roberts and Hilton sought help from a seasonal PGE employee named Marty Williamson. Marty is living at the lodge at Timothy Lake for the summer and does various maintenance and construction projects in the Timothy Lake camp area on PGE's behalf. Fortuitously, Marty had also previously worked as a firefighter in Michigan for 16 years.
Together, Marty and Marine Unit personnel hooked up a 500-gallon water tank to a PGE truck. The deputies and the PGE employee then drove the trailer to the fire -- and, using a hose and a shovel, began fighting the fire themselves.
"If we hadn't gotten there, that fire was probably going to go," said MSO Roberts. "You could see the smoke from the southern end of the lake, well over a mile away."
"The ground was so hot it surprised us," said Deputy Hilton.
The trio fought the blaze for about 45 minutes before contract firefighters with the U.S. Forest Service arrived. The blaze was largely extinguished by the time firefighters arrived.
"They were impressed we had the fire out," recalled Hilton. "The woman from the Forest Service was giving us high-fives."
The cause of the fire is unknown, but a primitive fire ring was found in the blaze site.
A photo of Roberts and Hilton, victorious at the blaze site, is linked above.
MSO Roberts is available for interviews. Contact PIO Sgt. Nate Thompson for details.
Sergeant Nathan Thompson
Office of Public Information
Clackamas County Sheriff's Office