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  1. Vitalogy

    Investigators say the fire was sparked by people using a large gravel pit area for target practice, and it didn't take long for word to spread around town.

    "A neighbor I was talking to said he heard shooting with real heavy rifles early this morning up this direction. In fact he and I argued about if you could start a fire with a gun. I guess he was right," Hank Wheeler said.

    Wheeler lives just over the ridge. He brought his binoculars along to get a good look.

    The fire has been named the 36 Pit Fire, it started burning Sept. 13 along Highway 224 east of Estacada. The highway is closed at the North Fork Reservoir, east to Ripplebrook due to the fire and very hazardous conditions.

    He's confident crews will get a handle on it before the flames threaten his home, but he knows mother nature is in charge and won't rest easy until the last ember is out.

    "There is a lot of fuel up there and it's dried out immensely. It could easily get out of hand if the wind takes off," Wheeler said.

    Posted on September 14, 2014 - 08:29 PM #