Firefighting costs

The Oregon Dept. of Forestry's gross large-fire costs in the 2014 fire season were about $75.6 million, and the net costs about $47.6 million.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Daily fire update - Aug. 31, 2011

This is the Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) fire update for Wednesday Aug. 31, 2011.

FIRES ON ODF-PROTECTED LANDS:
The 325-acre Elephant Rock Fire burning in the Northeast Oregon District-Pendleton Unit was fully contained Aug. 30.

FIRES ON OTHER LANDS:
The 59,000-acre Hancock Complex reported Aug. 24 burning northeast of Clarno along the John Day River is 80 percent contained. The Bureau of Land Management is leading the suppression effort on this lightning-caused fire.

The 1,500-acre Webster Fire reported Aug. 24 burning four miles northeast of Warm Springs is 30 percent contained. The Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs is the lead agency on the lightning-caused fire.
The 193-acre Jim White Ridge Complex reported Aug. 3 burning 10 miles east of Cove is uncontained. The U.S. Forest Service is leading the suppression effort on the lightning-caused complex of fires.

The 2,117-acre Desert Meadows Fire reported Aug. 25 burning 15 miles south of Frenchglen is 75 percent contained. The Bureau of Land Management is leading the suppression effort on the lightning-caused fire.

The 76,169-acre High Cascades Fire complex reported Aug. 24 burning along the Deschutes River is 15 percent contained. The Bureau of Indian Affairs is leading the suppression effort on the lightning-caused fire.

The 1,931-acre Smyth Creek Fire reported Aug. 25 burning 15 miles south of Diamond is 95 percent contained. The Bureau of Land Management is leading the suppression effort on the lightning-caused fire.

The 550-acre Incident 615 fire reported Aug. 25 burning three miles southeast of Twickingham is 80 percent contained. The Bureau of Land Management is leading the suppression effort on the lightning-caused fire.

The 611-acre Lauserica Fire reported Aug. 26 burning 20 miles northwest of Fields is 90 percent contained. The Bureau of Land Management is leading the suppression effort on the lightning-caused fire.

The 1,310-acre Dead Dog Fire reported Aug. 25 burning 13 miles north of Mitchell is 80 percent contained. The Bureau of Land Management is leading the suppression effort on the lightning-caused fire.

The 1,600-acre Dollar Lake Fire reported Aug. 27 burning 16 miles south of the town of Hood River is uncontained. The U.S. Forest Service is leading the suppression effort on the lightning-caused fire.

The 350-acre Shadow Lake Fire reported Aug. 28 burning 15 miles west of Sisters is uncontained. The U.S. Forest Service is leading the suppression effort on the lightning-caused fire.

OTHER FIRE INFORMATION:
For information on wildfires in all jurisdictions within Oregon, go to the Northwest Interagency Coordination Center website, www.nwccweb.us/, or to the national Incident Information System website, www.inciweb.org/state/38.

ABOUT THIS UPDATE:
The Oregon Department of Forestry is responsible for fire protection on private and state-owned forestland, and on a limited amount of other forestlands, including those owned by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management in western Oregon. However, because fires starting on one ownership type may spread to others, and because of the need to share firefighting resources, agencies commonly work closely together.

This update focuses primarily on firefighting activity on Oregon Department of Forestry-protected land, and on the department's role as a partner in fighting major fires that start on land protected by other agencies.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Daily fire update - Aug. 24, 2011


Fires on Oregon Dept. of Forestry-protected lands:
The 14-acre Cummins Creek Fire burning in the Central Oregon District-John Day Unit was fully bulldozer-lined last evening. Today seven fire engines, two hand crews and a water tender remain at the fire to conduct mop-up.

The 325-acre Elephant Rock Fire burning in the Northeast Oregon District-Pendleton Unit is 80 percent contained with full containment expected later today.

Fires on other lands:
The 53,000-acre Hancock Complex reported Aug. 24 burning northeast of Clarno along the John Day River is 70 percent contained. The Bureau of Land Management is leading the suppression effort on this lightning-caused fire.

The 1,500-acre Webster Fire reported Aug. 24 burning four miles northeast of Warm Springs is 30 percent contained. The Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs is the lead agency on the lightning-caused fire.

The 128-acre Jim White Ridge Complex reported Aug. 3 burning 10 miles east of Cove is uncontained. The U.S. Forest Service is leading the suppression effort on the lightning-caused complex of fires.

The 2,006-acre Desert Meadows Fire reported Aug. 25 burning 15 miles south of Frenchglen is 55 percent contained. The Bureau of Land Management is leading the suppression effort on the lightning-caused fire.

The 61,841-acre High Cascades Fire complex reported Aug. 24 burning along the Deschutes River is 10 percent contained. The Bureau of Indian Affairs is leading the suppression effort on the lightning-caused fire.

The 1,605-acre Smyth Creek Fire reported Aug. 25 burning 15 miles south of Diamond is 70 percent contained. The Bureau of Land Management is leading the suppression effort on the lightning-caused fire.

The 550-acre Incident 615 fire reported Aug. 25 burning three miles southeast of Twickingham is 40 percent contained. The Bureau of Land Management is leading the suppression effort on the lightning-caused fire.

The 499-acre Lauserica Fire reported Aug. 26 burning 20 miles northwest of Fields is 60 percent contained. The Bureau of Land Management is leading the suppression effort on the lightning-caused fire.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Inciweb Site now available for the High Cascades Complex

The High Cascades Complex (Lead Agency: Warm Springs Agency/Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs Reservation), under Unified Command of the ORCA Type II Interagency Incident ManagementTeam and the Red Incident Management Team from the Oregon State Fire Marshal's Office, now has an Inciweb website specific to this complex up and running at:
http://www.inciweb.org/incident/2546/

Contact information for this incident is:
Tom Lavagnino

Phone: 530-598-9303

**********************
Jeri Chase, ODF Incident Information Officer
Fire Duty Officer Pager #503-370-0403
 

COIDC Media Release: Central Oregon Fires - Evening Update; August 29, 2011; 9 p.m.


Central Oregon Interagency Dispatch Center

4550 SW Airport Way
Prineville, OR 97754

FIRE NEWS--Central Oregon Interagency Dispatch Center
For Immediate Release: August 29, 2011 – 9:00 p.m.
Contact: Media Desk, 541/416-6811 www.fs.fed.us/r6/centraloregon/fire

Central Oregon Fires - Evening Update

Central Oregon – Firefighters continue to work on several wildfires burning in Central Oregon and are watching for any lightning holdover fires from the past week’s storms. Firefighters successfully held firelines through the heat of the day and afternoon winds today. Daytime temperatures are expected to be a little cooler for the next several days before returning to normal or above normal over Labor Day weekend.

Firefighters worked overnight on a fire burning within the Mt. Washington Wilderness located 15 miles west of Sisters. The Shadow Lake Fire is currently 300 acres and forward progress to the east has stopped. The fire is continuing to move to the west. There are approximately 110 firefighters taking suppression actions and two engine crews will remain on site overnight. Firefighters also responded to a new fire burning in the Trout Creek Butte area south of Highway 242. The fire is 15 acres this evening.

Firefighters continue to work on the Hancock Fire Complex burning in the Clarno area in the north-central part of the state. The Complex added one new fire out of the recent lightning storm yesterday, and this fire burned more than 1,000 acres today. The Complex had moderate fire behavior with a few flare-ups and the overall acreage for the Complex grew to 53,000 acres. Firefighters will remain challenged by steep slopes, inaccessible and rugged terrain, and light, flashy fuels that ignite and burn quickly. On part of the 30-mile Creek part of the fireline, several local landowners helped contain hotspots, keeping the fire from reaching wheat fields.

The Central Oregon Type II Incident Management Team (Mark Rapp) remains in command of the fire and is now providing information about this fire on a wildfire incident website at http://www.inciweb.org/. The phone line for information for this incident is (541) 787-4322.

Firefighters continued to work on three fires burning east of Twickenham and north of Mitchell. Incident #615 is holding at 550 acres. The Dead Dog Fire (Incident #614) was mapped at 1,310 acres today and is now 60 percent contained. The fire had minimal growth today, with full containment expected 9/1/11. Approximately 48 firefighters with support personnel continue to work on this fire and will remain challenged by very limited access, high winds and steep slopes. Incident #656 is approximately 270 acres and did not grow today. Approximately 65 firefighters are assigned to this incident and made good progress today. All of the fires are burning in a mix of grass and shrub.

The ORCA Type II Incident Management Team (Brett Fillis) took over the fires in the High Cascades Complex on the Warm Springs Reservation including the Powerline, West Hills and Razorback fires.

The Razorback fire is still estimated at 20,239 acres and continues to burn on both sides of the Deschutes River. This afternoon fire officials determined the river to be unsafe for public use. As of 12:01, August 30, 2011 Segment 1 of the Lower Deschutes River will be closed to all public use including camping, day use or launching and rafting until further notice. Segment 1 extends from the Warm Springs launch site at River Mile (RM) 97.5 north to Harpham Flat (RM 56).

Rafters with boater passes for Segment 1 during the closure will be able to use alternate launch sites in Segment 2. No refunds will be offered.

Highways 197 and 97 are open again; however, travelers should continue check www.tripcheck.com for the latest road information before driving through.

For more information regarding the High Cascades Complex fires please call (530 598-9303.

-end-

************************************
Posted by: Jeri Chase, ODF Incident Information Officer
Fire Duty Officer Pager #503-370-0403

Released by the Central Oregon Interagency Dispatch Center: Razorback Fire Information; August 29, 2011 @ 7 p.m.


The following information was released by the Central Oregon Interagency Dispatch Center regarding the Razorback Fire (part of the High Cascades Complex) and the Lower Deschutes River

***********************************

The Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs Reservation of Oregon

Prineville District, Bureau of Land Management

RAZORBACK FIRE –

LOWER DESCHUTES RIVER TALKING POINTS
August 29, 2011 @ 7 p.m.

BACKGROUND
On August 24, 2011 a lightning storm passed through much of Central and Eastern Oregon, putting down more than 8,000 lightning strikes. More than 200 fires were reported on lands protected by the Prineville District, Bureau of Land Management, the Deschutes and Ochoco National Forests and the Oregon Department of Forestry. The Warm Springs Indian Reservation also had more than 35 new wildfires reported. Four of these fires on the Reservation have grown larger. One of these fires moved east off of the Reservation and jumped the river at Redside.

RAZORBACK FIRE
On the evening of August 26th, the Razorback Fire jumped the Deschutes River near the community of Dant, and moved onto BLM-administered lands and private land along the east side of the river.

A Type II Incident Management Team (ORCA – Oregon and California) assumed command of the Razorback fire on August 27th at 1800 (6 p.m.).
  • The fire jumped the river at Redside in Segment 1 of the Lower Deschutes River and has moved north and east, covering more than 15 river miles. Fire activity has remained high both along the river and on private and public lands east of the river.
  • By late afternoon August 29th, the area was determined to be unsafe for both the public and firefighters. As of 12:01, August 30, 2011 Segment 1 of the Lower Deschutes River is closed to all use including camping, day use or launching and rafting until further notice. Segment 1 extends from the Warm Springs launch site at River Mile (RM) 97.5 north to Harpham Flat (RM 56).
  • Rafters with boater passes for Segment 1 during the closure will be able to use alternate launch sites in Segment 2. No refunds will be offered.
  • Resources fighting the fire will include a combination of ground and aerial support including helicopters that will be dipping buckets into the river to put water on the fire edge.
  • Highway 26 through Warm Springs and Highway 97 between Hwy 197/97 and Shaniko is closed as of 7 p.m. on August 29, 2011. These closures change frequently so people should monitor ODOT/Tripcheck (http://www.tripcheck.com/) for more information.
How did the fire start?
The fire started on the Warm Springs Indian Reservation on the northeast side of the Reservation from a lightning strike. The fire was minimally staffed for the first two days because Warm Springs Fire Management prioritized suppression efforts on other fires threatening lives and property.

If the fire is on BLM, why is Warm Springs Fire Management in charge?
The “ownership” of fire belongs to the agency or landowner/fire department where the fire started. This fire began on Warm Springs, giving the tribes lead suppression responsibility. The Prineville BLM is helping provide firefighting resources and is also providing a liaison to the Incident Management Team and a resource advisor.

Why can’t we float when helicopters are dipping?
The helicopters carry buckets used for dipping water, which can then be dumped out on hot spots or along the fireline. The larger helicopters carry between 1,000 and 2,600 gallons of water, weighing between 8,000 and 20,000 pounds. If the helicopter has to release the load, the weight of the water falling on a raft can injure or kill anyone getting hit by the water.

What happens to our permit if the river is closed to floating?
If you have a permit for Segment 1 during the closure, you will be allowed to pick an alternate launch site in Segment 2. Information about the closure will be posted on the Boater Pass Website. Boaters and Guides & Outfitters can also call the Maupin Visitor Center at (541) 395-2778 or Central Oregon Interagency Dispatch Center at (541) 416-6811 to find out when the closure is lifted. No refunds will be offered for permits that are not used due to the fire closure.

Why did the river get closed?
Fire behavior along both sides of the river is creating dangerous conditions for both firefighters and the public. Campsites have been burned over, leaving the potential for stump holes, hot spots and other hazards. Recently burned slopes have rolling rocks, falling trees and other dangers. Aerial resources may also be dipping in the river to help with suppression activities, creating additional hazards for boaters. The primary concern for fire officials is the safety of everyone traveling, rafting or working in the river corridor.

-end-

**************************************
Posted by: Jeri Chase, ODF Incident Information Officer
Fire Duty Officer Pager #503-370-0403

COIDC Media Release: Shadow Lake Fire; August 29, 2011 @ 7:p.m.

Central Oregon Interagency Dispatch Center

4550 SW Airport Way
Prineville, OR 97754

FIRE NEWS--Central Oregon Interagency Dispatch Center
For Immediate Release: August 29, 2011 – 7:00 p.m.
Contact: Media Desk, 541-416-6811 www.fs.fed.us/r6/centraloregon/fire

Shadow Lake Fire Update

Sisters Oregon – Firefighters had a successful day working on the Shadow Lake Fire that was located yesterday after noon around 2:30 pm by Black Butte Lookout. As determined by a mapping flight earlier today, the fire is burning entirely within the Mt. Washington Wilderness, located 15 miles west of Sisters. The cause of the fire is still under investigation. There is no estimate of containment

The fire was mapped this morning at 242 acres and subsequently had moderate growth this afternoon. The total acreage this evening is 300 acres. The fire burned east into the 2006 George Washington Fire scar where fire intensity dropped, allowing firefighters to stop its progress. The fire was primarily active on the east flank as it moved toward the fire scar, and is also actively backing to the west farther into the wilderness. Additional old fire scars around the fire are helping decrease fire behavior and assist in suppression efforts; however, there are still several pockets of unburned fuel between the fire scars and the fire itself. As these pockets burn, smoke will be expected to be visible from the Greater Sisters area for several days.

Plans for this evening are to keep two engines on night shift to patrol the fire area for spots outside the containment line on the east flank.

An Incident Management Team from Central Oregon (Travis Moyer) assumed command of the fire yesterday at 3:00 p.m. At this time there are six hand crews, several engines, two dozers, and three water tenders and 27 miscellaneous overhead.

A closure area of the Shadow Lake Fire is pending at this time and expected to be in place tomorrow morning. The closure is not expected to affect the Pacific Crest Trail.

A new fire broke out five miles south of Highway 242 this afternoon in the Trout Creek Butte area. The Twin Meadow Fire grew to 15 acres this afternoon, and was staffed with three engines and one hand crew. The helicopters from the Shadow Lake Fire bumped over to assist with this incident.

-end-

**************************************
Posted by: Jeri Chase, ODF Incident Information Officer
Fire Duty Officer Pager #503-370-0403

Oregon Department of Forestry Wildfire Update for the AFTERNOON of August 29, 2011


This is an Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) Wildfire Update for the AFTERNOON of Monday, August 29, 2011:
FIRES ON ODF PROTECTED LANDS

Central Oregon District, John Day Unit: The Cummings Creek Fire, reported at 3 p.m. on Monday afternoon, August 29, 2011, is burning in steep creek drainage that is making engine access difficult, near Cummings Creek in grass and juniper. Two structures are threatened by this fire and the Mt. Vernon Rural Fire Department is a cooperator on this fire, with the U.S. Forest Service providing assistance. The fire is actively burning and has been initially estimated at 15-20 acres. Resources on this fire include four five-person crews, seven engines, two air tankers, two helicopters, and two dozers.

Klamath-Lake District, Klamath Unit: The Paygr Fire was reported on Monday, August 29, 2011, burning in grass, brush, and juniper, four miles northwest of Malin. The fire was contained at 12 acres and is now in mop-up status. Unless the situation changes, this will be the only report on this fire.

*********************************
Jeri Chase, ODF Incident Information Officer
Fire Duty Officer Pager #503-370-0403

Media Release from the State Fire Marshal's Office: OSFM ACTIVATES FOUR MORE TASK FORCES FOR THE HIGH CASCADES COMPLEX; August 29, 2011 @ 2:57 p.m.


News Release from: Oregon State Fire Marshal
OSFM ACTIVATES FOUR MORE TASK FORCES FOR THE HIGH CASCADES COMPLEX

August 29th, 2011 2:57 PM


Due to increased fire activity, the Office of State Fire Marshal has deployed four more structural protection task forces to assist local resources battling the High Cascades Complex fire burning on the Warm Springs Reservation. This brings the total number of task forces activated by the OSFM to eight. The task forces come from the following counties: Clackamas, Columbia, Hood River/Wasco, Lane, Line, Marion, Washington, and Yamhill.

There has been increased fire activity on the complex which consists of three fires, the Razorback, Powerline, and West Hills. Estimated combined size of the three fires has increased to more than 54,000 acres. Approximately 190 homes are threatened.

Currently, no structures have been lost and no injuries have been reported.

Also on scene to assist with management of the structural protection task forces are nine members of the OSFM's Red Incident Management.

More information on Conflagration and Emergency Mobilization is available at OSFM website:
http://www.oregon.gov/OSP/SFM/Conflagration_Information_2007.shtml.

Additional resources on surviving wildfires may be accessed at:
* Wildfire…Evacuation Readiness http://egov.oregon.gov/OSP/SFM/docs/Comm_Ed/WUI/wildfire_evac.doc
* After the Wildfire… http://egov.oregon.gov/OSP/SFM/docs/Comm_Ed/WUI/After_a_wildfire.doc


###
*****************************
Jeri Chase, ODF Incident Information Officer
Fire Duty Officer Pager #503-370-0403

Oregon Department of Forestry Wildfire Update for Monday, August 29, 2011

This is the Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) fire update for Monday, August 29, 2011.


Lightning storms have continued across portions of Oregon; over the past 24 hours (midnight to midnight), there were over 2400 lightning strikes – mainly in the central and northeastern portions of the state.

These lighting storms throughout the state during this past week have ranged from being accompanied by some to no precipitation and have resulted in many fire starts. The majority of these starts have been contained, with a few fires resulting in extended attack. Crews from all fire protection agencies in Oregon, including the Oregon Department of Forestry, continue to work actively and cooperatively in suppressing new fire starts, on extended attack on those fires that necessitate it, and at patrol, reconnaissance, and detection to locate any new holdover fires from earlier lightning, as well as on new fire starts as they occur, in addition to monitoring those fires that have been contained and are in patrol status.

FIRES ON ODF-PROTECTED LANDS:
Northeast Oregon District, Pendleton Unit: The Elephant Rock Fire, reported at 3:30 a.m. on August 28 burning in steep terrain on ODF-protected lands seven miles southeast of Weston, in timber, brush, and grass, is 100 percent lined this morning. The fire received a fair amount of rain last evening, which aided firefighters in their activities. Mapping on this fire has defined the acreage estimate to be approximately 375 acres. Resources on this fire, including the ODF Type 3 Team (which took command of this fire at 3 p.m. yesterday, August 28), are approximately 120 personnel and ten engines. Cause on this fire remains under investigation.

Central Oregon District, Prineville Unit: The Johnson Creek 2 Fire, which burned seven miles northeast of Prineville, was reported as lined and in heavy mop-up by late yesterday morning (August 28), and crews and engines were being released. Unless the situation changes, this will be the last report on this fire.

Western Lane District (Veneta): The Porter Creek Fire was reported on Saturday, August 27, burning in steep terrain near Porter Creek. By late morning on Sunday, August 28, the fire was contained at approximately 15 acres, and in mop-up. Cause of this fire is under investigation. Unless the situation changes, this will be the only report on this fire.

OTHER INFORMATION:
Conditions on many of Oregon’s forests are classified as EXTREME. Regulated Use Restrictions are in place and increasing throughout most locations in the state. Please check with your local ODF office before heading out to recreate or engage in other forest activities, so that you are aware of these restrictions and what they mean to you and your use of Oregon’s forests.
INCIDENT MANAGEMENT TEAMS:
References are made throughout ODF wildfire updates and many other fire agencies' media releases to “Types” of Incident Management Teams. The Central Oregon Interagency Dispatch Center recently released the following very useful general information on Incident Management Teams – the system that is so critical in Oregon (and across the United States) for management of wildfires and other incidents:

“. . . Incident management teams operate at the local, State and National Level and respond to all types of disasters including wildfires. Other incidents handled by Incident Management Teams include helping manage the Columbia Space Shuttle disaster, working 9/11 incidents in New York and working with the Federal Emergency Management Agency with the Hurricane Katrina response.

“Wildfire Teams are range from Type III to Type I, with Type I teams managing the most complex incidents. Complexity is based on the number of issues that firefighters and the team may face when suppressing a fire. These issues range from private land and homes near the fire, special status species or other critical resource problems, multiple fires burning in an area, the overall size of an incident, and the number of people involved. Type III Teams generally respond locally in Central Oregon, Type II Teams typically respond within a Region or State, and Type I Teams are available to respond anywhere in the nation.

“Teams are put together in advance and members usually commit to being on a team for three year. The personnel on a team include an incident commander, as well as staff to manage safety, public information, operations, planning, logistics, and finance. With several hundred to more than a thousand personnel working a fire, all of these team positions are critical to establishing safe and effective operations to suppress a wildfire and building the fire camp that feeds, sleeps, and cares for everyone working on the incident.”

FIRES ON OTHER LANDS:
In the past week, several large fires have broken out in Oregon. Many of the fires were caused by lightning, and most of the fires are east of the Cascade Range. Two of these fires have large-fire interagency Incident Management Teams assigned.

More information on many of these large fires is available on the on the Northwest Interagency Coordination Center’s website at:
http://www.nwccweb.us/.

Information on fires burning in Central Oregon is also always available on the Central Oregon Interagency Dispatch Center’s website at:
http://www.fs.fed.us/r6/centraloregon/fire/, PH: 541/416-6811.

The Hancock Fire Complex (Incident #511), a group of fires burning near Clarno, is reported this morning at 45,000 acres. The Type 2 Central Oregon Interagency Incident Management Team (COIMT) assumed command of this complex on August 26th, and the team’s Inciweb site is now up and running at:
http://www.inciweb.org/incident/2535/ . The general information phone number for the team is: 541-787-4322.

Several fires on the Warm Springs Reservation are part of the High Cascades Complex. The Oregon-California Interagency Incident Management Team (ORCA), a Type II Team, assumed command of this complex. Information for these fires is available at 530-598-9303.

OTHER FIRE INFORMATION:
For information on wildfires in all jurisdictions within Oregon, go to the Northwest Interagency Coordination Center website, www.nwccweb.us/ , or to the national Incident Information System website, www.inciweb.org/state/38 .

ABOUT THIS UPDATE:
The Oregon Department of Forestry is responsible for fire protection on private and state-owned forestland, and on a limited amount of other forestlands, including those owned by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management in western Oregon. However, because fires starting on one ownership type may spread to others, and because of the need to share firefighting resources, agencies commonly work closely together.

This update focuses primarily on firefighting activity on Oregon Department of Forestry-protected land, and on the department's role as a partner in fighting major fires that start on land protected by other agencies.


***********************************
Jeri Chase, ODF Incident Information Officer
Fire Duty Officer Pager #503-370-0403





COIDC Media Release: Central Oregon Fires Update; August 29, 2011 @ 9:30 a.m.


Central Oregon Interagency Dispatch Center

4550 SW Airport Way
Prineville, OR 97754

FIRE NEWS--Central Oregon Interagency Dispatch Center
For Immediate Release: August 28, 2011 – 9:30 a.m.
Contact: Media Desk, 541/416-6811 www.fs.fed.us/r6/centraloregon/fire

Central Oregon Fires - Morning Update

Central Oregon – Firefighters continue to work on several wildfires burning in Central Oregon and are watching for any lightning holdover fires from the past week’s storms. Another storm passed through yesterday, putting down 740 lightning strikes in Central Oregon. Additional concerns include a potential increase in wind that could challenge firefighters throughout the area; however, daytime temperatures are expected to be a little cooler for the next several days.

Firefighters worked overnight on a new fire burning within the Mt. Washington Wilderness located 15 miles west of Sisters. The Shadow Lake Fire is currently 350 acres and forward progress to the east has stopped. There are approximately 110 firefighters taking suppression actions and will remain on site overnight.

Firefighters continue to work on the Hancock Fire Complex burning in the Clarno area in the north-central part of the state. One of the fires in the 30-mile Creek area continues to have higher fire activity and the overall acreage for the Complex grew to 45,000 acres yesterday. The fires in this complex have burned on both sides of Highway 218 and on both sides of the John Day River. Firefighters will remain challenged by steep slopes, inaccessible and rugged terrain, and light, flashy fuels that ignite and burn quickly.

The Central Oregon Type II Incident Management Team (Mark Rapp) is in command of the fire and is now providing information about this fire on a wildfire incident website at http://www.inciweb.org/ . The phone line for information for this incident is (541) 787-4322.

Firefighters will continue to work on three fires burning east of Twickenham and north of Mitchell. Incident #615 is holding as of yesterday evening at 550 acres. The Dead Dog Fire (Incident #614) remains 2,500 acres this evening and is 40 percent contained, with full containment expected 9/1/11. Approximately 40 firefighters with support personnel continue to work on this fire and are challenged by very limited access, high winds and steep slopes. Incident #656 is approximately 270 acres. Approximately 65 firefighters are assigned to this incident and made good progress today. All of the fires are burning in a mix of grass and shrub, and are terrain and wind driven.

The ORCA Type II Incident Management Team (Brett Fillis) took over the fires in the High Cascades Complex on the Warm Springs Reservation including the Powerline, West Hills and Razorback fires.

The Razorback fire is estimated at 20,239 acres and continues to burn on both sides of the Deschutes River. The Lower Deschutes River is not closed to rafting at this time; however, fire officials and the Jefferson County Sheriff Department did a pre-cautionary evacuation of South Junction and Trout Creek Campgrounds last night. The Campgrounds remain closed to camping. Rafters can access the river through Warm Springs and Trout Creek launch sites; however, fire officials want to warn boaters the fire is not contained and vehicles left in the launch areas may be at risk if the fire activity increases. In addition, rafters should understand there is a 15 mile section between South Junction and Dant that has burned on both sides of the river. This has limited the campsites available for camping and rafters should use caution when floating through and should not stop along this section or interfere with suppression operations. Rafters may be asked to temporarily hold up their float to allow helicopters to dip their buckets into the river.

Highway 197 is open again today; however, travelers should check www.tripcheck.com for the latest road information before driving through.

For more information regarding the High Cascades Complex fires please call (530 598-9303.

-end-

**************************************
Jeri Chase, ODF Incident Information Officer
Fire Duty Officer Pager #503-370-0403

COIDC Media Release: Shadow Fire Update; August 29, 2011 @ 9 a.m.


Central Oregon Interagency Dispatch Center

4550 SW Airport Way
Prineville, OR 97754

FIRE NEWS--Central Oregon Interagency Dispatch Center
For Immediate Release: August 29, 2011 – 9:00 a.m.
Contact: Media Desk, 541-416-6811 www.fs.fed.us/r6/centraloregon/fire

Shadow Lake Fire Update


Sisters, Ore – Firefighters responded to a new fire yesterday burning 15 miles west of Sisters. The Shadow Lake Fire was reported by Black Butte Lookout yesterday afternoon around 2:30 p.m. The fire is primarily burning inside the Mt. Washington Wilderness, with 20 percent of the fire is burning outside of the wilderness boundary on the Sisters Ranger District. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

The Shadow Lake Fire is currently 350 acres and forward progress to the east has slowed as the fire burned into the 2006 George Washington fire scar. The fire is surrounded by old fire scars that are assisting in suppression efforts; however there are still several pockets of unburned fuel between the fire scars and the fire itself. With the unburned fuel there is potential for the fire to put out smoke for several days.

A Type III Incident Management Team (Travis Moyer) from Central Oregon assumed command of the fire yesterday at 3:00 p.m. At this time there are 3 hand crews, 7 engines, 1 dozer, and 2 water tenders and miscellaneous overhead.

Weather for today is predicted to be a little cooler with a high temperature of 72 degrees and winds out of the northwest at 10-20 mph. With the increased wind, the focus of today’s work for firefighters is to continue to secure the eastern and northern portions of the fire.

There is an area closure pending and all roads and trails in the fire area are marked at this time. As soon the closure is released we will update the public. In addition, with many fires newly contained in the Sisters area and the potential for others to start, hunters heading out for bow season should use caution when heading out to their units. They should avoid camping in or hiking through areas with active fire, watch for increased fire traffic on forest roads and should watch for dangerous burned out stump-holes and snags in recently burned areas. Check in with local agencies before you head out to see if there are any additional fire restrictions or campground closures.

-end-

**********************************
Jeri Chase, ODF Incident Information Officer
Fire Duty Officer Pager #503-370-0403

Sunday, August 28, 2011

COIDC Media Release - Central Oregon Fire Update: Sunday, August 28, 2011 @ 9 p.m.

FIRE NEWS--Central Oregon Interagency Dispatch Center

For Immediate Release: August 28, 2011 – 9:00 pm
Contact: Media Desk, 541/416-6811 www.fs.fed.us/r6/centraloregon/fire


Central Oregon Fire Update


Central Oregon – Firefighters continue to work on several wildfires burning in Central Oregon and are watching for any lightning holdover fires from the past week’s storms. Another storm passed through today, putting down 740 lightning strikes in Central Oregon. The Red Flag Warning is in place through this evening. While the storms passed through the area, some areas received heavy precipitation.

A new fire was located today burning within the Mt. Washington Wilderness located 15 miles west of Sisters. The Shadow Lake Fire is currently 350 acres and forward progress to the east has stopped. The fire is surrounded by numerous fire scars that will assist the firefighters contain the fire; however, there are still several pockets of unburned fuel between the fire scars and the fire itself. There are approximately 110 firefighters taking suppression actions and will remain on site overnight.

Firefighters continue to work on the Hancock Fire Complex burning in the Clarno area in the north-central part of the state. While two of the fires within the Complex are now considered contained, another fire in the 30-mile Creek area continued to have higher fire activity today. The Complex remains 33,000 acres this evening. The fires in this complex have burned on both sides of Highway 218 and on both sides of the John Day River. Firefighters will remain challenged by steep slopes, inaccessible and rugged terrain, and light, flashy fuels that ignite and burn quickly.

The Central Oregon Type II Incident Management Team (Mark Rapp) is in command of the fire and is now providing information about this fire on a wildfire incident website at http://www.inciweb.org/ . The phone line for information for this incident is (541) 787-4322.

Firefighters will continue to work on three fires burning east of Twickenham and north of Mitchell. Incident #615 is holding as of yesterday evening at 550 acres. The Dead Dog Fire (Incident #614) remains 2,500 acres this evening and is 40 percent contained, with full containment expected 9/1/11. Approximately 40 firefighters with support personnel continue to work on this fire and are challenged by very limited access, high winds and steep slopes. Incident #656 is approximately 270 acres. Approximately 65 firefighters are assigned to this incident and made good progress today. All of the fires are burning in a mix of grass and shrub, and are terrain and wind driven.

The ORCA Type II Incident Management Team (Brett Fillis) took over the fires in the High Cascades Complex on the Warm Springs Reservation including the Powerline, West Hills and Razorback fires.

The Razorback fire is estimated at 20,239 acres and continues to burn on both sides of the Deschutes River. The Lower Deschutes River is not closed to rafting at this time; however, fire officials and the Jefferson County Sheriff Department did a pre-cautionary evacuation of South Junction and Trout Creek Campgrounds last night. The Campgrounds remain closed to camping. Rafters can access the river through Warm Springs and Trout Creek launch sites; however, fire officials want to warn boaters the fire is not contained and vehicles left in the launch areas may be at risk if the fire activity increases. In addition, rafters should understand there is a 15 mile section between South Junction and Dant that has burned on both sides of the river. This has limited the campsites available for camping and rafters should use caution when floating through and should not stop along this section or interfere with suppression operations. . Rafters may be asked to temporarily hold up their float to allow helicopters to dip their buckets into the river.

Highway 197 was closed again at 5:00 pm today between mileposts 46-67 due to increased fire activity. Travelers can detour around the closure by driving through Warm Springs or toward Grass Valley on Highway 97 to take Highway 216 toward Maupin.

For more information regarding the High Cascades Complex fires please call (530 598-9303.

With many fires newly contained and the potential for others to start, hunters heading out for bow season should use caution when heading out to their units. They should avoid camping in or hiking through areas with active fire, watch for increased fire traffic on forest and rangeland roads and should watch for dangerous burned out stump-holes and snags in recently burned areas. Check in with local agencies before you head out to see if there are any additional fire restrictions or campground closures.

-end-

*******************************
Jeri Chase, ODF Incident Information Officer
Fire Duty Officer Pager #503-370-0403

Media Release from Oregon State Fire Marshal's Office; August 28, 2011 @ 3:11 p.m.: High Cascades Complex Declared a Conflagration

News Release from: Oregon State Fire Marshal
HIGH CASCADES COMPLEX DECLARED A CONFLAGRATION

August 28th, 2011 3:11 PM


Governor John Kitzhaber has declared the High Cascades Complex of fires burning on the Warm Springs Reservation a conflagration. The declaration cleared the way for the state fire marshal to mobilize firefighters and equipment to assist local resources with protecting threatened structures.

The Office of State Fire Marshal has mobilized four task forces to assist with protection of threatened structures. Responding task forces are from Clackamas, Hood River/Wasco, Marion, and Washington counties. The OSFM has also sent five personnel from their Red Incident Management Team to manage the deployed structural protection task forces. Approximately 190 homes are threatened.

The High Cascades Complex consists of three named fires - The Razorback, Powerline, and West Hills. No estimate yet on the number of acres burned.

Oregon's conflagration may be invoked only by the Governor and allows the State Fire Marshal to dispatch structural firefighters and equipment. More information on Conflagration and

Emergency Mobilization is available at OSFM website:
http://www.oregon.gov/OSP/SFM/Conflagration_Information_2007.shtml .

Additional resources on surviving wildfires may be accessed at:
* Wildfire…Evacuation Readiness http://egov.oregon.gov/OSP/SFM/docs/Comm_Ed/WUI/wildfire_evac.doc
* After the Wildfire… http://egov.oregon.gov/OSP/SFM/docs/Comm_Ed/WUI/After_a_wildfire.doc

Contact Info: Rich Hoover, 503-370-0033 pager.

******************************************
Jeri Chase, ODF Incident Information Officer
Fire Duty Officer Pager #503-370-0403

Oregon Department of Forestry Wildfire Update - Sunday morning, August 28,2011

This is the Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) fire update for Sunday morning, August 28, 2011. It also contains some additional general background information on terms that are often used by firefighting agencies relating to RED FLAG WARNINGS and FIRE WEATHER WATCHES, and INCIDENT MANAGEMENT TEAMS.


Over the past 24 hours, some lightning strikes continued in various locations throughout Oregon, although fewer than have been occurring since the middle of this week. However, the following RED FLAG WARNINGS that were issued yesterday afternoon, remain in effect, due to the possibility of abundant lighting:
• Weather Zones in Central Oregon – through 3 p.m. today, August 28, 2011
• Weather Zones in Eastern Oregon – through 11 p.m. today, August 28, 2011

General information about Red Flag Warnings and Fire Weather Watches are included today farther down in this update in the FIRE WEATHER section.

These lighting storms throughout the state this past week have ranged from being accompanied by some to no precipitation and have resulted in many fire starts. The majority of these starts have been contained, with a few fires resulting in extended attack. Crews from all fire protection agencies in Oregon, including the Oregon Department of Forestry, continue to work actively and cooperatively in suppressing new fire starts, on extended attack on those fires that necessitate it, and at patrol, reconnaissance, and detection to locate any new holdover fires from earlier lightning, as well as on new fire starts as they occur, in addition to monitoring those fires that have been contained and are in patrol status.

FIRES ON ODF-PROTECTED LANDS:
Northeast Oregon District, Pendleton Unit: The Elephant Rock Fire was reported at 3:30 a.m. on August 28, burning in steep terrain on ODF-protected lands, seven miles southeast of Weston, in timber, brush, and grass. This fire is active, running uphill, and not yet contained, and the department is closely monitoring what could ultimately pose a threat to some structures and outbuildings near the area. This fire is currently roughly estimated at approximately 500 acres and the cause is under investigation. Because of the active nature of this fire and the potential threat to resources and property, the ODF Type 3 Team that was managing the now-contained Dead Horse Complex earlier this week in Central Oregon has been transferred to this fire. When this fire was initially reported very early this morning, resources assigned to the fire were six engines, two tenders, and three dozers. More resources have since been assigned, are reporting, and actively engaged in fighting the Elephant Rock Fire.

Central Oregon District, Prineville Unit: The Cat Mtn Fire, reported on early Friday evening, August 26th, burning 21 miles northeast of Prineville, is lined and in mop-up, at 13.2 acres. Some resources will be released from this fire this evening. Unless the situation changes, this will be the last report on this fire.

OTHER INFORMATION:
Conditions on many of Oregon’s forests are classified as EXTREME. Regulated Use Restrictions are in place and increasing throughout most locations in the state. Please check with your local ODF office before heading out to recreate or engage in other forest activities, so that you are aware of these restrictions and what they mean to you and your use of Oregon’s forests.

Bow Hunting Season: Notice from the Central Oregon Interagency Dispatch Center regarding the start of bow hunting season:

“With many fires newly contained and the potential for others to start, hunters heading out bow season should use caution when heading out to their units. They should avoid camping in or hiking through areas with active fire, watch for increased fire traffic on forest and rangeland roads and should watch for dangerous burned out stump-holes and snags in recently burned areas. All hunter warming fires and campfires should be completely extinguished when not attended.”

INCIDENT MANAGEMENT TEAMS:
References are made throughout ODF wildfire updates and many other fire agencies media releases to “Types” of Incident Management Teams. The Central Oregon Interagency Dispatch Center recently released the following very useful general information on Incident Management Teams – the system that is so critical in Oregon (and across the United States) for management of wildfires and other incidents:

“. . . Incident management teams operate at the local, State and National Level and respond to all types of disasters including wildfires. Other incidents handled by Incident Management Teams include helping manage the Columbia Space Shuttle disaster, working 9/11 incidents in New York and working with the Federal Emergency Management Agency with the Hurricane Katrina response.

“Wildfire Teams are range from Type III to Type I, with Type I teams managing the most complex incidents. Complexity is based on the number of issues that firefighters and the team may face when suppressing a fire. These issues range from private land and homes near the fire, special status species or other critical resource problems, multiple fires burning in an area, the overall size of an incident, and the number of people involved. Type III Teams generally respond locally in Central Oregon, Type II Teams typically respond within a Region or State, and Type I Teams are available to respond anywhere in the nation.

“Teams are put together in advance and members usually commit to being on a team for three year. The personnel on a team include an incident commander, as well as staff to manage safety, public information, operations, planning, logistics, and finance. With several hundred to more than a thousand personnel working a fire, all of these team positions are critical to establishing safe and effective operations to suppress a wildfire and building the fire camp that feeds, sleeps, and cares for everyone working on the incident.”

FIRES ON OTHER LANDS:
In the past week, several large fires have broken out in Oregon. Many of the fires were caused by lightning, and most of the fires are east of the Cascade Range. Two of these fires have large-fire interagency Incident Management Teams assigned.

More information on many of these large fires is available on the on the Northwest Interagency Coordination Center’s website at:
http://www.nwccweb.us/.

Information on fires burning in Central Oregon is also always available on the Central Oregon Interagency Dispatch Center’s website at:
http://www.fs.fed.us/r6/centraloregon/fire/, PH: 541/416-6811.

The Hancock Fire Complex (Incident #511), a group of fires burning near Clarno, is reported this morning at 33,000 acres. The Central Oregon Interagency Incident Management Team (COIMT) – a Type II Team (Incident Commander Mark Rapp) - assumed command of this complex on Friday morning, August 26th, and the team’s Inciweb site is now up and running at:
http://www.inciweb.org/incident/2535/ . The general information phone number for the team is: 541-787-4322 – Extension 2009.

Several fires on the Warm Springs Reservation are part of the newly named High Cascades Complex. The Oregon-California Interagency Incident Management Team (ORCA), a Type II Team, assumed command of this complex. Information for these fires is available at 541-553-8190.

OTHER FIRE INFORMATION:
For information on wildfires in all jurisdictions within Oregon, go to the Northwest Interagency Coordination Center website, www.nwccweb.us/ , or to the national Incident Information System website, www.inciweb.org/state/38 .

ABOUT THIS UPDATE:
The Oregon Department of Forestry is responsible for fire protection on private and state-owned forestland, and on a limited amount of other forestlands, including those owned by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management in western Oregon. However, because fires starting on one ownership type may spread to others, and because of the need to share firefighting resources, agencies commonly work closely together.

This update focuses primarily on firefighting activity on Oregon Department of Forestry-protected land, and on the department's role as a partner in fighting major fires that start on land protected by other agencies.

FIRE STATISTICS:
Fire statistics are for the current year and the average over the past 10 years for the 16 million acres of private and public forestland protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry:

January 1, 2011, through today:*
Lightning-caused fires: 87 fires burned approximately 264 acres
Human-caused fires: 322 fires burned approximately 422 acres
Total: 409 fires burned approximately 687 acres

*Yearly fire statistics represent numbers input into the ODF-reporting system on fires on ODF-protected lands. Due to the recent intense fire activity, information on many of the recent fires, particularly those from lightning storms that have occurred during this past week, have not yet been input and included in above fire statistics. They will be included as they become available.

10-year average (January 1 through the present date in the year):
Lightning-caused fires: 274 fires burned approximately 20,686 acres
Human-caused fires: 525 fires burned approximately 3,559 acres
Total: 799 fires burned approximately 24,245 acres

FIRE WEATHER
What exactly is a Red Flag Warning?
The National Weather Service issues Red Flag Warnings and Fire Weather Watches to alert fire agencies of the onset, or possible onset, of critical weather and dry conditions that could lead to rapid or dramatic increases in wildfire activity. During these times, extreme caution is urged to be used by all members of the public, because a simple spark can cause a major wildfire.

A Red Flag Warning is the highest forecast warning issued by the National Weather Service to warn of conditions that are ideal for wildland fire ignition and propagation. When humidity is very low, wildland fuels are extremely dry, and when high winds are accompanied with multiple lightning strikes, the Red Flag Warning becomes a critical statement for firefighting agencies, which often alter their staffing, equipment resources, and firefighting tactics dramatically to accommodate the forecast risk. To the public, a Red Flag Warning means high fire danger with increased probability of a quickly spreading vegetation fire in the area within 24 hours.
A separate but less imminent forecast may include a Fire Weather Watch, which is issued to alert fire and land management agencies to the possibility that Red Flag conditions may exist beyond the first forecast period (12 hours). The watch is issued generally 12 to 48 hours in advance of the expected conditions, but can be issued up to 72 hours in advance if the National Weather Service is reasonably confident. The term “Fire Weather Watch” is headlined in the routine forecast and remains in effect until it expires, is canceled, or upgraded to a Red Flag Warning.

The weather criteria for Fire Weather Watches and Red Flag Warnings varies with each Weather Service Office’s warning area based on the local vegetation type, topography, and distance from major water sources, but usually includes the daily vegetation moisture content calculations, expected afternoon high temperature, afternoon minimum relative humidity, daytime wind speed, and/or the prediction of lightning.

For current fire weather information, go to:
www.oregon.gov/ODF/FIRE/fire.shtml

**************************
Jeri Chase, ODF Incident Information Officer
Fire Duty Officer Pager #503-370-0403

COIDC Media Release - Central Oregon Fire Update; Sunday, August 28, 2011 @ 11 a.m. PDT

Central Oregon Interagency Dispatch Center

4550 SW Airport Way
Prineville, OR 97754

FIRE NEWS--Central Oregon Interagency Dispatch Center
For Immediate Release: August 28, 2011 – 11:00 a.m.
Contact: Media Desk, 541/416-6811 www.fs.fed.us/r6/centraloregon/fire

Central Oregon Fire Update


Central Oregon – Firefighters continue to work on several wildfires burning in Central Oregon and are watching for any lightning holdover fires from the past week’s storms. Another storm passed through last night, putting down 290 strikes in Central Oregon. An additional Red Flag Warning is in place today for a slow-moving storm producing abundant lightning. While the storms over the past week had some areas of heavy precipitation, overall moisture levels remain low, leading to extremely dry vegetation.

Firefighters continue to work on the Hancock Fire Complex burning in the Clarno area in the north-central part of the state. While two of the fires within the Complex are now considered contained, another fire in the 30-mile Creek area had higher fire activity yesterday. The Complex is 33,000 acres this morning and remains 50 percent contained. The fires in this complex are burning on both sides of Highway 218 and on both sides of the John Day River. Firefighters will remain challenged by steep slopes, inaccessible and rugged terrain, and light, flashy fuels that ignite and burn quickly.

The Central Oregon Type II Incident Management Team (Mark Rapp) is in command of the fire and is now providing information about this fire on a wildfire incident website at www.inciweb.org. The phone line for information for this incident is (541) 787-4323 x 2009.

Firefighters will continue to work on three fires burning east of Twickenham and north of Mitchell. Incident #615 is holding as of yesterday evening at 550 acres. The Dead Dog Fire (Incident #614) remains 2,500 acres this morning and is five percent contained. Approximately 30 firefighters with the assistance of a helicopter continue to work on this fire and are challenged by very limited access and steep slopes. Incident #656 was reported yesterday and grew to 100 acres. Approximately 35 firefighters are assigned to this incident. Airtankers dropped several loads of retardant yesterday to knock down the fire. All of these fires are burning in a mix of grass and shrub, and are terrain and wind driven.

The ORCA Type II Incident Management Team formally took over the Razorback Fire burning on both sides of the Lower Deschutes River yesterday. The fire moved northeast off of the Reservation and jumped the Deschutes River near Dant on Thursday. The fire burned on the east side of the river and moved north and south approximately 15 miles along the river (burning between River Miles 75 – 60). The fire also burned east up to Highway 197. The Razorback Fire is approximately 12,500 acres and has no estimate of containment.

The Lower Deschutes River is not closed to rafting at this time; however, fire officials and the Jefferson County Sheriff Department did a pre-cautionary evacuation of South Junction and Trout Creek Campgrounds last night. The campgrounds remain closed this morning. Rafters can access the river today through Warm Spring and Trout Creek launch sites; however, fire officials want to warn boaters that vehicles left in the launch area may be at risk if the fire takes a run this afternoon. In addition, rafters should use caution when floating through this stretch of the river and should not stop along the sides where the fire is burning or interfere with suppression operations, including helicopters dipping for bucket work. Rafters may also be asked to temporarily hold up their float to allow helicopters to dip their buckets into the river.

Both north and southbound lanes of Highway 197 remain closed between mileposts 46-67 for fire activity. Travelers can detour around the closure by driving through Warm Springs or toward Grass Valley on Highway 97 to take Highway 216 toward Maupin.

The team will also assumed command of the Warm Springs (formerly Shitike) and Powerline Fires this morning. Warm Springs Fire Management will retain command of the Box Canyon Fire. Until the team has information lines set up, information on this complex (High Cascades Complex) can be reached at (541) 553-8190.

With many fires newly contained and the potential for others to start, hunters heading out bow season should use caution when heading out to their units. They should avoid camping in or hiking through areas with active fire, watch for increased fire traffic on forest and rangeland roads and should watch for dangerous burned out stump-holes and snags in recently burned areas. All hunter warming fires and campfires should be completely extinguished when not attended.


-end-

**********************
Jeri Chase, ODF Incident Information Officer
Fire Duty Officer Pager #503-370-0403

Saturday, August 27, 2011

COIDC Media Release - Fires Continue to Burn in Central Oregon; Saturday, August 27, 2011 @ 8:p.m. PDT

Central Oregon Interagency Dispatch Center

4550 SW Airport Way
Prineville, OR 97754


FIRE NEWS--Central Oregon Interagency Dispatch Center
For Immediate Release: August 27, 2011 – 8 p.m.
Contact: Media Desk, 541/416-6811 www.fs.fed.us/r6/centraloregon/fire


Fires Continue to Burn in Central Oregon


Central Oregon – As firefighters continue to work on several wildfires burning in the area, the first possible fire from the lightning storm moving through Central Oregon this evening has been reported. With only 115 strikes reported so far, the storm initially appears to have much less intensity than the storm that moved through last Wednesday and is accompanied by precipitation.

With many fires newly contained and the potential for others to start, hunters ready for the opening of bow season should use caution when heading out to their units. They should avoid camping in or hiking through areas with active fire, watch for increased fire traffic on forest and rangeland roads and should watch for dangerous burned out stump-holes and snags in recently burned areas.

The largest fires are part of the Hancock Fire Complex, which is a group fires burning around Clarno. The fire had moderate growth today and is 22,000 acres this evening and remains 50 percent contained. The fires in this complex are burning on both sides of Highway 218 and on both sides of the John Day River. Firefighters will remain challenged by steep slopes, inaccessible and rugged terrain, and light, flashy fuels that ignite and burn quickly.

The Central Oregon Type II Incident Management Team (Mark Rapp) is in command of the fire and is now providing information about this fire on a wildfire incident website at http://www.inciweb.org/.  The phone line for information for this incident is (541) 787-4323 x 2009.

An additional fire started in the Twickenham area located north of Mitchell, and firefighters are working on three fires in this area now. Incident #615 was reported Thursday and remains approximately 550 acres today. The Dead Dog Fire (Incident #614) continued to grow today and is now 2,500 acres and is five percent contained. Approximately 30 firefighters with the assistance of a helicopter continue to work on this fire and are challenged by very limited access and steep slopes. Incident #656 was reported this afternoon and has grown to 100 acres. Oregon Department of Forestry firefighters, along with eight smokejumpers, have been working to suppress the fire this afternoon. Airtankers dropped several loads of retardant to knock down the fire. All of these fires are burning in a mix of grass and shrub, making short uphill runs on one side of a slope and backing slowly down the backside of slopes. The fires are terrain and wind driven fire and behavior on these typically picks up in the afternoon as daytime temperatures rise and afternoon winds increase.

Firefighters are making progress several other smaller fires. Incident 606 in the Hamilton Creek area north of milepost 46 on Highway 26 near the Ochoco Divide is 25 acres and 100 percent contained this evening. The Snowgate Fire burning southwest of Black Butte Ranch near Sisters will be contained at 8 p.m. this evening.

The ORCA Type II Incident Management Team formally took over the Razorback Fire burning on both sides of the Lower Deschutes River this evening. The fire moved northeast off of the Reservation and jumped the Deschutes River near Dant last night. Today, the fire burned on the east side of the river and moved north and south approximately 15 miles along the river (burning between River Miles 75 – 60). The fire also burned east up to Highway 197. The Razorback Fire is approximately 12,500 acres this evening and has no estimate of containment.

The Lower Deschutes River is not closed to rafting at this time; however, rafters should use caution when floating through this stretch of the river and should not stop along the sides where the fire is burning or interfere with suppression operations, including helicopters dipping for bucket work.

Both north and southbound lanes of Highway 197 are closed between mileposts 46-67 for fire activity. Travelers can detour around the closure by driving through Warm Springs or toward Grass Valley on Highway 97 to take Highway 216 toward Maupin. In addition, as a precautionary measure the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department is evacuating Trout Creek and South Junction campgrounds this evening.

The team will also assume command of the Shitike and Powerline Fires tomorrow morning. Warm Springs Fire Management will retain command of the Box Canyon Fire. Until the team has information lines set up, information on this complex (High Cascades Complex) can be reached at (541) 553-8190.

-end-

***************************
 
Jeri Chase, ODF Incident Information Officer
Fire Duty Officer Pager #503-370-0403

Red Flag Warnings issued today for much of southern, central, and northeast Oregon

Two Red Flag Warnings have been issued at approximately 3 p.m. this afternoon as follows:



1. In effect until 2300 hours (11 p.m.) PDT on Sunday, August 28, for Oregon Weather Zones 632, 633, 634, 635, and 638 [essentially most of northeast Oregon - roughly, Grant, Wheeler, Union, Wallowa, and Baker counties] for thunderstorms producing abundant lighting.


2. In effect until 1500 hours (3 p.m.) PDT, Sunday, August 28, for Oregon Weather Zones 610, 611, and 630 [essentially much of central Oregon - roughly, Deschutes, Jefferson, and Crook counties] for abundant lighting.

A Red Flag warning also came out earlier today that is in effect through 10 p.m. PDT today, August 27, for Oregon Weather Zones 617, 620, 621, 623, and 624 [essentially much of southern Oregon - roughly, parts of Douglas, Jackson, Josephine, and Klamath counties] for abundant lighting with little rainfall.
*******************
Jeri Chase, ODF Incident Information Officer
Fire Duty Officer Pager #503-370-0403

Media Release from COIDC for the Central Oregon Incident Management Team - Hancock Complex Update, Saturday, August 27, 7 a.m. PDT

Hancock Complex Update

Central Oregon Incident Management Team
Incident Commander: Mark Rapp
For Immediate Release: August 27, 2011, 7 am
Central Oregon Interagency Dispatch Center – Fire Information 541-416-6811


Hunters and the general public need to be aware of increased firefighting activities throughout the Gilliam, Sherman, Wasco and Wheeler Counties. Visibility on roads and public lands may be reduced due to smoky conditions. Please reduce your speeds and stay alert for changing conditions.

General Information/Announcements:
Central Oregon Incident Management Team, Incident Commander Mark Rapp, assumed command of the Hancock Complex yesterday morning. The incident command post is located at the Wheeler County Fairgrounds in Fossil and the helibase in located at Pine Creek Ranch. All firefighting resources ordered have arrived to aid in the suppression of the 18,000 acre Hancock Complex. Due to the complexity, location, and mileage distances separating the fires, fire officials made the decision to divide the complex into two management areas consisting of Branch I and Branch II.

Firefighters made good progress yesterday digging direct hand line and cold trailing on all flanks of the fires in Branch II near Clarno. Burnout operations near Cove Creek were successful in tying a portion of the fire’s perimeter into natural rock barriers and roadways on Iron Mountain. A new fire approximately 5 miles east of the Washington Family Ranch quickly grew over to 1,000 acres. Resources will scout and assess this fire for suppression actions.

Fires located in Branch I northwest of Fossil, were active sending up visible smoke columns throughout the day. Firefighting resource monitored and provided guidance to private land owners.

Today’s Planned Activities:
In Branch II near Clarno, firefighters will patrol for hot spots, mop-up, and construct handline. Helicopters will support suppression efforts with water drops.

In Branch I northwest of Fossil, additional resources were assigned to monitor and patrol the fire perimeters.

Challenges today include heat, rough terrain, and upslope winds with light, dry fuels.

Weather:
Temperatures are predicted between 91-96 degrees, relative humidity of 15–20%, and north/northeast winds 8 to 15 mph. Thunderstorms are predicted for today to the south of the Complex tracking to the north/northeast this afternoon.

Hancock Complex Fire:
Location: Gilliam, Sherman, Wasco and Wheeler Co.
Date Started: 08/24/2011
Cause: Lightning
Size: 18,000 acres
Percent Contained: 50%
Total Personnel: 304
Resources: Crews: 6, Engines: 19, Dozers: 2,Helicopters: 1-light, 2- medium, 1-heavy lift, Water tenders: 4 and Overhead: 67

~~~~

**********************************
Jeri Chase, ODF Incident Information Officer
Fire Duty Officer Pager #503-370-0403

COIDC Media Release - Central Oregon Fire Update; Saturday, August 27, @ 10:00 a.m.

Note from ODF Incident Information Officer:  The following news release, released by the Central Oregon Interagency Dispatch Center at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, August 27, includes a particularly useful description of the Incident Management Team system that is so crucial to firefighting in Oregon during periods of extreme fire danger and busy fire seasons.

***********************************
Central Oregon Interagency Dispatch Center

4550 SW Airport Way
Prineville, OR 97754

FIRE NEWS--Central Oregon Interagency Dispatch Center
For Immediate Release: August 27, 2011 – 10:00 a.m.
Contact: Media Desk, 541/416-6811 www.fs.fed.us/r6/centraloregon/fire

Central Oregon Wildfire Update

Central Oregon – Firefighters continue to respond to the more than 200 new fires reported since a lightning storm passed through Central Oregon Wednesday afternoon and evening. In addition to getting control of the majority of on-going fires in the area, firefighters remain on the lookout for any additional lightning holdover fires and may locate these for the next several days.

With the opening of bow season today, hunters should use caution when heading out to their units. They should avoid camping in or hiking through areas with active fire, watch for increased fire traffic on forest and rangeland roads and should watch for dangerous burned out stump-holes and snags in recently burned areas.

The largest fire remains the Hancock Fire Complex, which is a group fires burning around Clarno. The fire had moderate growth yesterday and is now 18,000 acres and 50 percent contained. The fires in this complex are burning on both sides of Highway 218 and on both sides of the John Day River. Firefighters will remain challenged by steep slopes, inaccessible and rugged terrain, and light, flashy fuels that ignite and burn quickly.

The Central Oregon Type II Incident Management Team (Mark Rapp) is in command of the fire. Fire staff are working to get internet and phone connections and will continue to provide information through Central Oregon Dispatch until this is accomplished. Approximately 304 firefighters and staff are now working on the Hancock Complex. Resources include three Hotshot Crews, three Type 2 handcrews, one Type II helicopter, 18 engines, two dozers, four watertenders, 61 overhead personnel, and two camp crews.

Firefighters are now working on two fires burning east of Twickenham. Incident #615 was reported Thursday and initially had minimal growth. The fire is approximately 550 acres today. A second fire in the area had significant growth yesterday afternoon. Approximately 30 firefighters with the assistance of a helicopter are working on Incident #614, which is 1,200 acres this morning. Both of these fires are burning in a mix of grass and shrub, making short uphill runs on one side of a slope and backing slowly down the backside of slopes. The fires are terrain and wind driven fire and behavior on these typically picks up in the afternoon as daytime temperatures raise and afternoon winds increase.

Firefighters are making progress on the fires east of Prineville. Incident 606 in the Hamilton Creek area north of milepost 46 on Highway remains 25 acres and 70 percent contained. In addition, crews from the Oregon Department of Forestry have contained Incident #630 overnight at 4.7 acres.

A Type II Incident Management Team (ORCA) took over command of the East Cascades Complex this morning. The Shitike Fire, located 1/8 mile west of the town of Warm Springs is now 1500 acres. Residents along Tenino Road were evacuated last night while fire crews conducted a burnout operation to keep the fire from reaching these homes. The Box Canyon Fire (formerly Seekseequa) is 4,500 acres this morning. The Antoken Fire burning on the northeast side of the Resevation has burned down to and jumped the Lower Deschutes River onto BLM land. The river is not closed at this time; however, rafters should use caution when floating through this stretch of the river and should not stop along the sides where the fire is burning or interfere with suppression operations, including helicopters dipping for bucket work.

Incident Management Teams
Two Type II Incident Management Teams are in command of two separate wildfire complexes in Central Oregon. Incident management teams operate at the local, State and National Level and respond to all types of disasters including wildfires. Other incidents handled by Incident Management Teams include helping manage the Columbia Space Shuttle disaster, working 9/11 incidents in New York and working with the Federal Emergency Management Agency with the Hurricane Katrina response.

Wildfire Teams are range from Type III to Type I, with Type I teams managing the most complex incidents. Complexity is based on the number of issues that firefighters and the team may face when suppressing a fire. These issues range from private land and homes near the fire, special status species or other critical resource problems, multiple fires burning in an area, the overall size of an incident, and the number of people involved. Type III Teams generally respond locally in Central Oregon, Type II Teams typically respond within a Region or State, and Type I Teams are available to respond anywhere in the nation.

Teams are put together in advance and members usually commit to being on a team for three year. The personnel on a team include an incident commander, as well as staff to manage safety, public information, operations, planning, logistics, and finance. With several hundred to more than a thousand personnel working a fire, all of these team positions are critical to establishing safe and effective operations to suppress a wildfire and building the fire camp that feeds, sleeps, and cares for everyone working on the incident.

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Jeri Chase, ODF Incident Information Officer
Fire Duty Officer Pager #503-370-0403

ODF Wildfire Update, Saturday, August 27, 2011 @ 8:00 a.m.

This is the Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) fire update for Saturday, August 27, 2011, @ 8 a.m. PDT.


Over the past 24 hours, lightning continued to strike in areas of Oregon, although much more localized cells than over the previous two days. More lightning and thunderstorms are in the weather forecasts for parts of Oregon from today through Sunday.

These lighting storms throughout the state this past week have ranged from being accompanied by some to no precipitation and have resulted in many fire starts. The majority of these starts have been contained, with a few fires resulting in extended attack. Crews from all fire protection agencies in Oregon, including the Oregon Department of Forestry, continue to work actively in suppressing new fire starts, extended attack on those fires that necessitate it, and at patrol, reconnaissance, and detection to locate any new holdover fires from earlier lightning, as well as on new fire starts as they occur, in addition to monitoring those fires that have been contained and are in patrol status.

FIRES ON ODF-PROTECTED LANDS:
The following information includes fire reports received until 8 p.m., Friday, [note: this is an edited post; the original post incorrectly stated that the day was "Thursday] August 26, 2011:

Central Oregon District, John Day Unit, Fossil Sub-Unit:
Dead Horse Complex: Effective 3:30 p.m. on Friday, August 26th, additional ODF overhead fire management personnel, known as a Type 3 Team, were assigned to a complex of six fires burning grass, juniper, and timber on ODF-protected forestlands (Fossil Sub-Unit) in steep terrain near a local landmark known as Hells Half Acre. The complex of fires, at approximately 35 acres when the team assumed command, includes the previously-named Cobb Saddle Fire (estimated at that time approximately 25 acres), which was previously reported on in the ODF Wildfire Update from August 26th. and is now named the Dead Horse Complex. The determination was made to assign this team based on the extreme fire conditions in the area, fuels, difficult terrain, and potential for fire growth and resource damage. The majority of these six fires have line completed around them, with an airtanker dropping retardant and two helicopters performing water drops earlier throughout the day to help stop the fire spread while the team was being ordered and arriving on the scene to assume command.

The Rosenbaum Fire was reported at 1:30 p.m. on Thursday, August 25, burning in grass, juniper, and sagebrush on the west side of Rosenbaum Canyon. This fire is now 100 percent lined and in mop-up. Unless the situation changes, this will be the last report on this fire.

Central Oregon District, Prineville Unit:
The Cat Mtn. Fire was reported early Friday evening, August 26th, burning 21 miles northeast of Prineville. At that time, the first was estimated at 13 acres, and firefighters anticipated containing and stopping the fire spread with initial attack resources.

The Johnson Creek #2 Fire, burning near Johnson Creek seven miles east of Prineville, was reported on Thursday evening, August 25th. This fire is at 121 acres this morning, lined and in mop-up, with the line holding. Smoke may be noticeable in the Prineville area from this fire. NOTE: This fire is approximately ½ mile away from an initial Johnson Creek Fire that was contained on Thursday, August 25. Also NOTE: This fire is the same fire as Incident 951-016 and was erroneously reported on twice – once by name and once by number – in the ODF Fire Update of Friday, August 26th.

OTHER INFORMATION:
Because of the conditions in many of Oregon’s forests due to the seasonal hot and dry weather, Regulated Use Restrictions are in place and increasing throughout most locations in the state. Please check with your local ODF office before heading out to recreate or engage in other forest activities, so that you are aware of these restrictions and what they mean to you and your use of Oregon’s forests.

FIRES ON OTHER LANDS:
In the past few days, several large fires have broken out in Oregon. Many of the fires were caused by lightning, and most of the fires are east of the Cascade Range. Two of these fires have large-fire interagency Incident Management Teams assigned/enroute.

More information on many of these large fires is available on the Northwest Interagency Coordination Center's web site at http://nwccweb.us/ .

The Hancock Fire Complex (Incident #511), a group of fires burning around Clarno, had moderate growth yesterday and is now approximately 17,000 acres. Approximately 285 personnel are currently assigned to this fire, which the Central Oregon Interagency Incident Management Team (COIMT) – a Type II Team (Incident Commander Mark Rapp) - assumed command of at 6:00 a.m. PDT on Friday morning. The team is working to get internet and phone connections established. Until then, information on this fire – and other fires in Central Oregon - will continue to be provided through the Central Oregon Interagency Dispatch Center at http://www.fs.fed.us/r6/centraloregon/fire/ , PH: 541/416-6811.

Several fires on the Warm Springs Reservation are part of the newly named High Cascades Complex. The Oregon-California Interagency Incident Management Team (ORCA), a Type II Team, will assume command of this complex this morning. Information for these fires is now available at 541-553-8190.

OTHER FIRE INFORMATION:
For information on wildfires in all jurisdictions within Oregon, go to the Northwest Interagency Coordination Center website, www.nwccweb.us/ , or to the national Incident Information System website, www.inciweb.org/state/38 .

ABOUT THIS UPDATE:
The Oregon Department of Forestry is responsible for fire protection on private and state-owned forestland, and on a limited amount of other forestlands, including those owned by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management in western Oregon. However, because fires starting on one ownership type may spread to others, and because of the need to share firefighting resources, agencies commonly work closely together.

This update focuses primarily on firefighting activity on Oregon Department of Forestry-protected land, and on the department's role as a partner in fighting major fires that start on land protected by other agencies.

FIRE STATISTICS:
Fire statistics are for the current year and the average over the past 10 years for the 16 million acres of private and public forestland protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry:

January 1, 2011, through today:
Lightning-caused fires: 75 fires burned approximately 263 acres
Human-caused fires: 312 fires burned approximately 420 acres
Total: 387 fires burned approximately 684 acres

10-year average (January 1 through the present date in the year):
Lightning-caused fires: 273 fires burned approximately 20,686 acres
Human-caused fires: 520 fires burned approximately 3,557 acres
Total: 788 fires burned approximately 24,243 acres

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Jeri Chase, Incident Information Officer
Fire Duty Officer Pager #503-370-0403

Friday, August 26, 2011

COIDC Media Release - Central Oregon Lightning Fires Update; August 26, 2011, 7:00 p.m. PDT

Central Oregon Interagency Dispatch Center

4550 SW Airport Way
Prineville, OR 97754

FIRE NEWS--Central Oregon Interagency Dispatch Center
For Immediate Release: August 26, 2011 – 7:00 p.m.
Contact: Media Desk, 541/416-6811 www.fs.fed.us/r6/centraloregon/fire


Central Oregon Lightning Fires Update


Central Oregon – With fewer new fires reported today, firefighters were able to make progress on the more than 200 new fires reported since a lightning storm passed through Central Oregon Wednesday afternoon and evening. In addition to getting control of the majority of on-going fires in the area, firefighters remain on the lookout for any additional lightning holdover fires and may locate these for the next several days.

The largest fire remains the Hancock Fire Complex, which is a group [of] fires burning around Clarno. The fire had moderate growth today and is now 17,000 acres. The fires in this complex are burning on both sides of Highway 218 and on both sides of the John Day River. Most of the growth today occurred on the north side of the complex. Firefighters are challenged by steep slopes, inaccessible and rugged terrain, and light, flashy fuels that ignite and burn quickly.

The Central Oregon Type II Incident Management Team (Mark Rapp) assumed command of the fire at 6:00 a.m. this morning. Fire staff are working to get internet and phone connections and will continue to provide information through Central Oregon Dispatch until this is accomplished. Approximately 285 firefighters and staff are now working on the Hancock Complex. Resources include three Hotshot Crews, three Type 2 handcrews, one Type II helicopter, 18 engines, two dozers, four watertenders, 61 overhead personnel, and two camp crews.

The Hancock Fire Complex [is] a typical rangeland fire that moves quickly through light grass and shrub but calms down overnight when temperatures cool and relative humidity rises. Fire crews will focus on finding and suppressing hotspots in the cooler evening and early morning hours when fire behavior is lower and will continue to construct and hold containment lines throughout the day.

Firefighters are also working on a fire burning east of Twickenham. Incident #615 was reported yesterday and initially had minimal growth. The fire is a terrain and wind driven fire and behavior increased during the afternoon higher temperatures. The fire is approximately 550 acres the evening. The fire is burning in a mix of grass and shrub, making short uphill runs on one side of a slope and backing slowly down the backside of slopes.

Firefighters are also continuing to work on several fires in the Ochoco National Forest east of Prineville. Incident 606 in the Hamilton Creek area north of milepost 46 on Highway 26 is 25 acres this afternoon and 70 percent contained. A helicopter is providing bucket drops to help with containment efforts. In addition, crews from the Oregon Department of Forestry are working to contain a 10-acre fire that kicked up this afternoon. The fire is burning mostly on the ground in grass and needlecast, with occasional torching in ponderosa pine trees. A helicopter and the State air tanker have been providing assistance. There is no estimate of containment at this time.

Two incidents previous[ly] reported include Incident #608 and the Lyle Gap III Fire. Incident #608, burning near Johnson Creek east of Prineville, did not grow today and crews from the Oregon Department of Forestry spent the day holding and improving the containment line put in place last night. Firefighters also successfully stopped the progress of the Lyle Gap III fire burning northeast of Madras, and it is contained this evening at 78 acres.

Firefighters on the Warm Springs Reservation have been busy over the past several days responding to new wildfires as well. Several fires are part of the newly named High Cascades Complex. The complex includes the following fires: Fire #127 Shitike Fire (1000 acres) located west of the town of Warm Springs with structure protection in place from the Central Oregon Task Force #3; Fire #121 Seekseequa Fire (3000 acres) burning on the Metolius Bench; and, Fire #133 Razorback Fire (1700 acres) on the NE side of the Reservation in the Mutton Mountain area. A Type II Team (ORCA) will assume command of this complex tomorrow morning. Information for these fires is now available at (541) 553-8190.

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ODF Type 3 Incident Management Team assigned to fire complex burning on ODF-protected forestlands in the John Day Unit, Fossil Sub-Unit

At 3:30 p.m. on Friday, August 26th, additional ODF overhead fire management personnel, known as a Type 3 Team, was assigned to a complex of six fires burning grass, juniper, and timber on ODF-protected forestlands (Fossil Sub-Unit) in steep terrain near a local landmark known as Hells Half Acre.  The complex of fires, at approximately 35 acres when the team assumed command, includes the previously-named Cobb Saddle Fire (estimated at 3:30 at approximately 25 acres), which was previously reported on in the ODF Wildfire Update from earilier in the day, and is now named the Dead Horse Complex.  The determination was made to assign this team based on the extreme fire conditions in the area, fuels, difficult terrain, and potential for fire growth and resource damage. The majority of these six fires have line completed around them, with an airtanker dropping retardant and two helicopters performing water drops earlier throughout the day to help stop the fire spread while the team was being ordered and arriving on the scene to assume command.

Jeri Chase, ODF Incident Information Officer
Fire Duty Officer Pager #503-370-0403

Oregon Department of Forestry Wildfire Update - Friday, August 26, 2011

This is the Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) fire update for Friday, August 26, 2011.


Over the past 24 hours, lightning continued to move through Oregon, including systems through western Oregon, starting near Eugene, that moved northeast through Wasco County/Cascade crest, out of Oregon into central Washington, and then veering south into Oregon again into portions of Umatilla County. Precipitation accompanying this lightning was variable. More lightning and thunderstorms are in the weather forecasts for parts of Oregon from today through Sunday.

The Central Oregon Interagency Dispatch Center has reported this morning that there have been more than 196 new fire starts since the in initial lightning storm passed through southern/southeastern, central, and northeast Oregon on Wednesday afternoon and evening. The majority of these fire starts have been contained, with a few fires resulting in extended attack. Crews from all fire protection agencies in Oregon, including the Oregon Department of Forestry, continue to work actively in suppressing new fire starts, extended attack on those fires that necessitate it, and at patrol, reconnaissance, and detection to locate any new holdover fires from the lightning earlier this week, as well as on new fire starts due to the lightning from last night/early this morning, in addition to monitoring those fires that have been contained and are in patrol status.

FIRES ON ODF-PROTECTED LANDS:

Central Oregon District, John Day Unit, Fossil Sub-Unit:
The Rosenbaum Fire was reported at 1:30 p.m. on Thursday, August 25, burning in grass, juniper, and sagebrush on the west side of Rosenbaum Canyon. This fire is active and estimated at 100 acres. Resources assigned to this fire have included one engine, one air tanker, and one dozer.

The Cobb Saddle Fire was reported in the morning on Thursday, August 25, burning at the bottom of a local landmark know as Hells Half Acre in grass and timber in steep terrain. The fire was last reported at 16 acres, active, and 45 percent lined. Resources assigned to this fire have included one engine, two air tankers, one helicopter, and one dozer.

The 29-acre Murphey Mt. Fire, near the north fork of the John Day River, reported early on Thursday, August 25, burned in grass and timber in steep terrain on ODF protected lands. At this time, this fire is mopped up. Unless the situation changes, this will be the last report on this fire.

Central Oregon District, Prineville Unit:
The Johnson Creek #2 Fire, burning near Johnson Creek seven miles east of Prineville, was reported on Thursday evening, August 25. This fire is at 122 acres this morning, lined and in mop-up. Smoke may be noticeable in the Prineville area from this fire. NOTE: This fire is approximately ½ mile away from an initial Johnson Creek Fire that was contained on Thursday, August 25.  Also NOTE that this fire was also reported in previous iterations of our wildfire information as Incident 951-016.  Incident 951-016 was named and is the same fire as Johnson Creek #2.

The Allen Creek Fire, reported on Wednesday evening, August 24, 13 miles south of Mitchell, burned 47 acres in grass, brush, and pine. This fire was 100 percent lined and controlled by last night. Unless the situation changes, this will be the last report on this fire.

OTHER INFORMATION:
Because of the conditions in many of Oregon’s forests due to the seasonal hot and dry weather, Regulated Use Restrictions are in place and increasing throughout most locations in the state. Please check with your local ODF office before heading out to recreate or engage in other forest activities, so that you are aware of these restrictions and what they mean to you and your use of Oregon’s forests.

FIRES ON OTHER LANDS:

The Hancock Fire Complex (Incident #511), is the largest fire currently burning in Oregon. The Central Oregon Interagency Dispatch Center reported this morning that the complex, “is a group of five fires burning more than 15,000 acres around Clarno. These fires are burning on both sides of Highway 218 and on both sides of the John Day River. The eastern-most fire triggered the safe evacuation of approximately 55 young campers Wednesday of the Hancock Field Station, a 10-acre science camp run by the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry located one mile east of Clarno. Campers have not yet returned to the Field Station.

"The Central Oregon Type II Incident Management Team (Mark Rapp) assumed command of the fire at 6:00 a.m. this morning and is busy assessing the wildfire and bringing in additional resources. Currently more than 100 firefighters are working, including two hotshot crews (Prineville and Union), one 20-person hand crew, 15 engines, and more resources are on the way. The Hancock Fire Complex a typical rangeland fire that moves quickly through light grass and shrub but dies down overnight when temperatures cool. Fire crews will focus on finding and suppressing hotspots in the cooler evening and morning hours when fire behavior is lower and will continue to construct and hold containment lines throughout the day.”

The Central Oregon Interagency Dispatch Center also reported this morning: “Firefighters on the Warm Springs Reservation have been busy over the past several days responding to new wildfires as well. The Seekseequa Fire burning near the Metolius Rim is 1,000 acres this morning, and the West Hills Fire, burning near the city of Warm Springs is approximately 300 acres this morning. A new fire, the Antoken Fire, is burning about 500 acres on the northeast side of the reservation. No structures are threatened with any of these, and there are no estimates of containment at this time. Information on these fires will available at 541-553-2413.

OTHER FIRE INFORMATION:
For information on wildfires in all jurisdictions within Oregon, go to the Northwest Interagency Coordination Center website, www.nwccweb.us/ , or to the national Incident Information System website, www.inciweb.org/state/38 .
ABOUT THIS UPDATE:
The Oregon Department of Forestry is responsible for fire protection on private and state-owned forestland, and on a limited amount of other forestlands, including those owned by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management in western Oregon. However, because fires starting on one ownership type may spread to others, and because of the need to share firefighting resources, agencies commonly work closely together.

This update focuses primarily on firefighting activity on Oregon Department of Forestry-protected land, and on the department's role as a partner in fighting major fires that start on land protected by other agencies.
 
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Jeri Chase, Incident Information Officer
Fire Duty Officer Pager # 503-370-0403

Comments and questions

The purpose of this blog is to provide breaking news about wildfire activity on the forestlands protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry. We invite you to post questions or comments you have about current wildfires. Please keep your posts civil and free of profanity. You are also welcome to contact us by email at: information@odf.state.or.us.

Current wildfire info

Extremely dry conditions exist across most forestlands in Oregon currently. Large wildfires to date this season have been both lightning- and human-caused.

What we do

Protection jurisdiction
The Oregon Dept. of Forestry protects 16 million acres of private and public forestlands from wildfire. This includes all private forestlands in Oregon as well as state- and local government-owned forests, along with 2.8 million acres of federal Bureau of Land Management lands in the western part of the state. There are about 30.4 million total acres of forest in Oregon.

Fire suppression policy
The department fights fire aggressively, seeking to put out most fires at 10 acres or smaller. This approach minimizes damage to the timber resource and fish and wildlife habitat, and protects lives and property. It also saves money. Suppression of large fires can run into millions of dollars.

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About Me

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Oregon Dept. of Forestry's public information officers maintain this blog. During the wildfire season, we spend much of our time reporting on fires and firefighting to news media and the public.