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Storm damage recovery

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

News Article
September 7, 2023 update on the Camp Creek Fire.
Published

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 1,940 acres and 16 percent contained as of the morning of September 7. The fire is approximately 1.3 miles from Reservoir 1 and approximately 1.9 miles from the Water Bureau’s Headworks treatment facility.

This week’s rainfall 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.  

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. 

We will continue to make periodic updates to keep the public informed. Our next media release will be on Monday, September 11. 

What you can do 

We always encourage the public to be prepared in the event of emergencies. 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. 

One way you can prepare for future emergencies is to create or update your emergency water supply. Store enough water for everyone who lives with you, including pets, to have drinking water for two weeks. The Regional Water Providers Consortium has tips to help you get started on your emergency plan

  • 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.  

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.