August 2, 2002
Serving Western Deschutes County
Sisters, Oregon

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The contents of the on-line edition of The Nugget represent a selection among the stories that appear in the weekly print edition.

Chief: "Houses were involved when we got there"
By Jim Cornelius

The two homes that were lost when the Cache Mountain fire invaded Black Butte Ranch on Sunday, July 31, could not have been saved, according to Fire Chief Ed Sherrell.

"They were involved when we got there," Sherrell said.

While defensible space around nearby homes allowed fire fighters to make a stand and save those residences, Sherrell said it was too late to save Golf Homes 96 and 97.

Golf Home 96 had a wood shake roof; Golf Home 97 had its roof replaced last year. Both homes were in a vulnerable wooded section at the very border of the Ranch where it meets the National Forest.

According to Sherrell, it was not a lack of defensible space that caused the homes' destruction, "given the wall of fire that was coming down on them."

However, Sherrell emphasized that the fire could not have been stopped after it consumed the two homes if homeowners had not given firefighters the opportunity to make a stand. The defensible space that gave firefighters room was no more than 25 to 30 feet of lawn, limbed trees or gravel.

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