Residents seek cause of Hugo Road Fire


Investigators looking into the Hugo Road fire now say the investigation has revealed the cause of the 199 acre fire was a result of a tree falling into a power line.

The information was contained in the news release from the Oregon Department of Forestry's 5pm, Wednesday update.

The fire over the Labor Day weekend destroyed two homes, 13 outbuildings, and is 75-percent contained.

Longtime Hugo resident Steve Sunseri, who lives on Oxyoke Road, said he saw the fire when it started, and saw it grow to the size of a VW Beattle before leaving to evacuate.

"According to everybody, it was a power line: a tree fell into the power line, the power line sparked out the fire," Sunseri said. "The power line supposedly fell across Oxyoke Road in my neighbor's home."

News 10 reached out to Pacific Power and spokesperson Tom Gauntt said they are cooperating with the investigation, but declined to comment.

The power outage was reported at 7:02 p.m. Sunday night with a 911 report of a wire down, according to Gauntt. According to the outage page on the Pacific Power website during the incident, the cause of the outage was reported as a tree.

At its height, 344 customers lost power.

Hugo Road is now open to residents, but fire officials ask non-essential traffic to avoid the road in order to prevent congestion.

Due to progress made by firefighters on the fire, all current evacuation levels are being downgraded to a Level 1 “BE READY” notice. Level 1’s will remain in effect until the end of the fire season.

ODF said firefighters will continue to focus on expanding mop up operations around the perimeter, homes, and roadways. They advise motorists to use caution if traveling through the area.

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