Mocks Crest Fire

On August 8, 2001, a Union Pacific freight train traveling the local spur at the base of the bluff near Mocks Crest in North Portland malfunctioned, and sprayed sparks along a two-mile stretch of the tracks. The accident sparked dozens of fires, and ignited over a mile of steep, brushy bluff face. The fire was first reported at 5:46 PM, just when residents of the neighborhood atop Mocks Crest were arriving home or having dinner.

By 6:00, residents had been evacuated from the dozens homes along bluff side of North Willamette Boulevard, and watched the fire race toward their homes from across the fire line, though many stayed to battle the fire with garden hoses alongside firefighters. The blaze was so large that firefighters welcomed the help, and even gave firehoses to residents willing to join in.

By 7:00, the worst danger had passed, and firefighters had managed to keep the fire from consuming any of the more than 100 homes that were threatened. For many days that followed, firefighters continued to monitor hot spots, and check homes for any signs of fire.

These photos include media images taken througout the event, and my own images, taken after the first wave of flames had subsided, and while firefighters were focused on containing the remaining spot fires, and battling the separate blazes along the riverfront that had been burning unchecked.

Click any thumbnail to view an image, or click here to view as a slideshow.

Local Media Coverage Click logos for more Mock Crest fire images:




Images on these pages are ©Tom Kloster, 2001, unless otherwise credited, and my not be used without permission. Send comments or questions to