Portland Water Bureau monitoring spread of Camp Creek Fire. Portland’s drinking water remains safe.

News Article
September 5, 2023 update on the Camp Creek Fire.

The Portland Water Bureau continues to monitor the spread of the Camp Creek Fire burning in the Bull Run Watershed, the city’s main water supply. The fire is estimated to be 1,902 acres and 16 percent contained as of the morning of September 5. The fire is approximately 1.3 miles from Reservoir 1 and approximately 1.9 miles from the Water Bureau’s Headworks treatment facility.  

Yesterday’s rainfall has slowed the growth and rate of fire spread, but the fire continues to smolder and creep along moss and forest duff under the thick canopy of trees. Fire in the watershed always poses a risk to our water supply, and weather conditions can change quickly. We continue to work closely with fire agencies to monitor the threat levels to our staff and infrastructure. We’re developing multiple contingency plans, so we are prepared in the event of further risk to staff and the water supply. 

The Portland Water Bureau continues to monitor water quality and has yet to see any fire-related impacts in our drinking water. As always, we encourage the public to be prepared in case of emergencies. Information about emergency water storage is available in multiple languages on the Regional Water Providers Consortium website. Signing up for email updates from PublicAlerts at publicalerts.org/signup is one way members of the public can ensure they receive timely emergency messages from public officials.  

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.  

No water restrictions are in place currently. If we need to reduce water use, we will ask that all Portland Water Bureau users and customers stop outdoor water use, especially for watering lawns and gardens, and reduce indoor water use when possible.  

  • Register for PublicAlerts. To ensure you get emergency messages quickly from public safety officials, sign up for text, phone, or email updates from PublicAlerts at publicalerts.org/signup.  

  • Follow the Water Bureau on X (Twitter) and Facebook, and visit our website, Portland.gov/water, for the latest information about water quality and supply, updates related to this incident and other Water-related news.  

Water Bureau will continue to rely on two water sources 

On Thursday, Aug. 24, we activated our groundwater supply to augment the Bull Run supply during the 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.