Drinking water remains clean at Bull Run Watershed

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PORTLAND, Ore. – The Bull Run Watershed, which supplies much of the drinking water for the Portland metro area, sits on the edge of the protected area near the Eagle Creek Fire.

Drinking water is still safe and firefighters have not yet used fire retardant to battle the wildfire.

On Monday, the U.S. Forest Service notified the Portland Water Bureau that, if necessary, it would use fire retardant to fight the Eagle Creek Fire.

“The U.S. Forest Service will not normally make retardant drops in avoidance area," said Oregon State Fire Marshal and Portland Fire & Rescue representative Lt. Damon Simmons. "Number one on the list of avoidance areas is watersheds. Retardant is not dropped on watersheds unless there is an imminent threat to life."

The Portland Water Bureau says it’s preparing in case retardant is dropped.

If retardant does enter the water supply, officials say it would likely increase the water’s nutrient load and could potentially increase algae production.

The Portland Water Bureau says it will continue working closely with the incident command managing the fire.

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