PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Just a week after the Nakia Creek Fire started before quickly growing over this past weekend, investigators are now looking for people who may have been nearby when it started.

The Clark Regional Emergency Services Agency reported Monday that firefighters are making progress along the perimeter of the fire — currently at about 1,500+ acres and 5% containment.

One of the newest developments comes from the Clark County Fire Marshal’s Office, where investigators say there’s now a vehicle and four possible people of interest to the human-caused fire, though it’s still unknown if it was accidental or intentional. Cell phone video shows a white or light-colored Subaru with two men and two women near where the fire started — and taken around the same time.

“They’re going to find these people. I know for a fact, they’ll figure out who they are,” said Kellian Whidden, barn manager of Green Mountain Stables.

While evacuation zones are shrinking — going from more than 39,000 Sunday night to just under 2,500 Monday morning — many are continuing to take caution. Resources like the Clark County Fairgrounds, Clark County Saddle Club, Mounted Patrol and Clark County Executive Horse Council stepped up at a moment’s notice to take in dozens of animals.

“My phone was ringing off the hook with people panicking trying to find a place to go and I don’t blame them,” said Alice Heller, president of the Clark County Executive Horse Council.

Kellian Whidden boards and cares for 28 horses at Green Mountain Stables — a tall order of trailers and trips as level-3 evacuations came in over the weekend.

“I didn’t get any of the, ‘hey, get ready to go, hey step up.’ We went from, ‘hey, yeah, we’re out, we’re good,’ to, ‘you’re going, go, go now,’” said Whidden.

She says they were able to move all the horses within two hours with help from Mounted Patrol to get a larger mare into a special trailer, along with getting enough bales of hay and grain to keep them fed, with people across Clark County answering the call for help.

“It took a village to make this happen and I couldn’t have done it without my village,” said Whidden.

You know the saying, ”look for the helpers?” The Horse Council says for every panicked call from owners wondering what to do and where to go, there were just as many calls coming in from neighbors asking how they could help.

“That’s what horse people do,” said Heller. “They stick together.”

CRESA is expected to have updates on the firefighting efforts sometime Tuesday morning. As for the vehicle and people of interest, the Clark County Fire Marshal’s Office is asking anyone with information to come forward and call 564-397-3320.



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