As of 6 p.m. today, the spread of the Camp Creek fire burning in the Bull Run Watershed is not currently threatening water facilities. The Camp Creek Fire is estimated at 900 acres and is 0 percent contained. The fire is approximately 1.5 miles from Reservoir 1 and approximately 3 miles from our Headworks treatment facility. The Bull Run Reservoirs provide a natural buffer between the active fire zone and our facilities.
The Portland Water Bureau (PWB) continues to monitor water quality and has yet to see any fire-related impacts.
The Portland Water Bureau has been working closely with the agencies in charge of fighting these fires since first alerted to the blaze. The U.S. Forest Service, Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF), and local fire response agencies are on the scene and have activated a ground crew, two helicopters and two planes to combat the fire. The Portland Water Bureau does not have a direct firefighting role but provides critical information about the watershed, PWB facilities and operations to support the Forest Service in their response in the area.
“We take our responsibility to preserve safe, clean drinking water seriously,” said Water Bureau Director Gabe Solmer. “We are watching this situation closely and are reviewing options to continue delivering drinking water.”
Firefighters are deploying fire retardants in limited areas to support fire suppression efforts and protect the Bull Run Watershed. Retardant is not being used in defined exclusions zones that drain into the Bull Run Reservoirs to protect water quality. At all times, water quality is rigorously monitored.
The Water Bureau will continue to make periodic updates to keep the public informed.
What You Can Do
While the fire does not immediately threaten Portland’s water supply, it is important to stay informed, be prepared for emergencies and stay clear of the area to ensure access for emergency responders.
Follow the Water Bureau on X (Twitter) and Facebook, and our website, Portland.gov/water, for the latest information about water quality and supply and updates related to this incident and other Water-related news.
Information about emergency water storage is available in multiple languages on the Regional Water Providers Consortium website.
Water Bureau will continue to rely on two water sources
On Thursday, Aug. 24, we activated our groundwater supply to augment the Bull Run during this extended hot and dry summer. At this time, the bureau will continue to rely on a blend of water from the Bull Run Watershed and our groundwater source, the Columbia South Shore Well Field.
About the Portland Water Bureau
The Portland Water Bureau serves water to almost a million people in the Portland area. Portland’s water system includes two great water sources, 53 tanks and reservoirs, and 2,200 miles of pipes. With 600 employees working on everything from water treatment to customer service, the Water Bureau is committed to serving excellent water every minute of every day.