Current situation

Cooler air should start moving across the area late Thursday or Friday, bringing more widespread showers with some embedded wet thunderstorms west of the Cascades. Precipitation should taper off into the weekend. The potential for new significant fires will stay low across the Pacific Northwest into next week.


Thanks to cooler temperatures, and higher humidity and precipitation, fire restrictions have started to be reduced in different parts of the state depending on the local fuel conditions. Check with your local district or forest protection association for restrictions on activities linked to fire starts or use ODF's fire restrictions and closures web page for the latest details at http://www.oregon.gov/ODF/Fire/Pages/Restrictions.aspx.





Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Government Flats Complex update - Aug. 20, 2013 morning

Current Acres:
• 6,725 acres.

Current Status:
The Wells and Government Flat fires lines held yesterday and the two fires remained at 66 and 229 acres respectively but the Blackburn fire doubled in size increasing to 6430 acres. Gusty winds and steep slopes pushed the fire across containment lines on multiple divisions. Two residences burned yesterday along with 5 outbuildings. There is a Level 3 evacuation in place for the Upper Mill Creek Road and Obrist Road. OSFM structural task forces are protecting structures today including the water treatment plant for the City of The Dalles. The fire is at the water treatment plant this morning.

Fire Behavior:
Gusty winds and steep slopes created erratic fire behavior and the fire grew to the south, east and west.
Objectives:
• Reestablish control lines on the east, west and south sides of the fire.

• Maintain structural protection and brush out the roads along the Upper Mill Creek. Protect the City of The Dalles water treatment plant.

• Weather: High temps, low humidity and winds gusting to 25 MPH, wind direction will be highly variable starting today and into the night shift.

• The fire and smoke may reach the Bonneville Power Administration high power lines today.

• Terrain: Steep slopes with flashy fuels

• Potential: Still high potential for fire growth given winds, RH and terrain.
• Lack of resources intermediate overhead for night operations.

• There is a public meeting scheduled for today at 1830.

Resources Threatened Today:
• 35 homes in upper Mill Creek, the City of The Dalles water treatment plant
• Private timberland
• BPA high voltage power lines

Expected Growth:
• Fire will be pushed to the east with 8-12 MPH west winds and wind direction will be variable.

Comments:
• Safety Status: No accidents or injuries to date.

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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 about current wildfires. Please keep your posts civil and free of profanity.

Current wildfire info

National weather forecasters predictions that Oregon would see above average temperatures and below average rainfall in the summer of 2018 proved true. Almost all of Oregon was abnormally dry this summer, with a majority of the state in moderate to severe drought. Many areas posted record high temperatures or record strings of hot days. These conditions set the stage for potentially large, fast-moving wildfires.


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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. In total there are about 30.4 million 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. While suppressing large fires can cost millions of dollars, economic and environmental damage from wildfires can be many times greater.

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