LAKEVIEW, Ore. — Firefighters continue to work to contain the Cougar Peak Fire in Lakeview. It’s grown to over 86,000 acres.
Fire officials say within 24 hours of its start, it burned over two mines located within one mile of each other. The White King Mine, and the Lucky Lass Mine.
The Environmental Protection Agency, says the site encompasses 140 acres affected by uranium mining, which happened in the 1950s and ’60s. The former mine site is currently operated and maintained, with the US Forest Service, through an inter-agency agreement with the EPA.
Previous mining operations at the site left behind contaminated soil, surface water, and groundwater with heavy metals and radioactive elements. The EPA and fire officials say, there is no exposed radioactive material in the air, because of past site clean-ups.
“It’s been remediated and cleaned up and there’s no exposed radioactive material there, but we are aware of it,” said Tamara Schmidt, a spokesperson with the Fremont Winema National Forest.
An ongoing yearly monitor of the site is done by the forest service and EPA.
NBC5 News Reporter Jenna King is a Burbank native. She graduated from the University of Oregon with a degree in Broadcast Journalism and a minor in Sports Business. During her time at the U of O, she was part of the student-run television station, Duck TV. She also grew her passion for sports through interning with the PAC 12 Network.
When Jenna is not in the newsroom you can find her rooting for her hometown Dodgers, exploring the outdoors, or binging on the latest Netflix release.