Lightning is largely absent from Oregon this week. However, warm, dry weather will greet the hundreds of thousands of visitors arriving to see the eclipse of the sun on Aug. 21. Avoiding activities that can spark a wildfire is key to making the eclipse a safe and pleasant experience for all. One measure adopted to reduce the risk of wildfire is a temporary ban, now in effect, on all campfires in state parks





Wednesday, June 11, 2014

June 11, 2014 Fire Update: Two Bulls Fire

No new fires have been reported to Salem Coordination Center in the last 24 hours.

Two Bulls Fire
The Two Bulls Fire broke out midday Saturday near Tumalo, 10 miles northwest of Bend. By early Sunday the fire had burned more than 6,000 acres of private forestland, as well as federal lands on the Deschutes National Forest.

Despite strong winds yesterday afternoon, the firelines held. Resources assigned: 6 helicopters, 77 engines, 11 bulldozers and 1,163 personnel are assigned to this fire.

* No structures lost or damaged

* 2 firefighters have received minor injuries - a cut on the leg and a reaction to a bee sting.

* The fire is now estimated to be 40 percent contained

* Estimated costs to date: $3.0 million

Investigation into Fire Cause:
A joint investigation to locate the origin and cause of the fires is being conducted by a team of investigators from the Oregon State Police, U.S. Forest Service Law Enforcement, Deschutes County Sheriff's Office, Walker Range Fire Protection Association, and Oregon Department of Forestry. Investigators located the origin of both fires, collected evidence, and have determined that the fires were human caused.

The Investigation Team wants any information citizens can provide. Please call with any information about activity, individuals, or vehicles seen on Cascade Timberlands property in the days leading up to the fire.

Taylor Northwest contributed $2500 to the existing reward; the reward now totals $4500 to anyone with information that leads to a successful conviction. Anyone with information that could help identify the suspects is asked to contact the Crime Stoppers Tip Line at 1-877-876-8477 (TIPS). If citizens see suspicious activity or something that doesn't look right, we encourage them to report it to Deschutes County 9-1-1.

Current Fire Information: Firefighters spent a "chilly but productive" night on the Two Bulls Fire, said Mike Carlson, the night operations supervisor. The overnight temperature plummeted into the 30s while crews hunted down and extinguished smokes and embers 100-300 feet inside the fireline.

Yesterday a ?1/4 acre fire suddenly appeared outside of the fireline south of Skyliners Road. Helicopters and engines quickly attacked and brought it under control. Today, crews continue mop-up operations while being vigilant for flare-ups of fire, inside and outside the fireline.

Evacuation Information
The Sheriff's Office lowered the Skyliners Road Evacuation Notice to Level II last night at 8:00 p.m. The Sheriff's Office WILL ONLY ALLOW RESIDENTS IN THIS AREA. Residents returning to their homes should be aware of possible additional fire activity and be cautious if they return home as there is only one main exit out of the Skyliners Road residential area.

There are no Level III Evacuation Notices in effect. Level I Evacuation Notices are in effect for:
* The Saddleback Subdivision area to include some evacuated homes on Johnson Road, Tyler Road and Kuhlman Road.
* The area located south of Shevlin Park Road, west of Mt. Washington Drive, and north of Century Drive.
* The remainder of Northwest Crossing (east of Mt. Washington Drive), and the area that includes residents north of Shevlin Park and west of Mt. Washington Drive.
Deschutes County I.T. has produced a link to a map that shows the current Evacuation Notice Levels, Interactive Map: https://maps.deschutes.org/custom/simple/index.html (This map will be updated with any change in Evacuation Notice Levels). For current evacuation updates, please contact the Deschutes County Sheriff's Office information line at 541-550-4850.

Sheriff's Office units are patrolling the areas affected by the Evacuation Notices. There will be additional Sheriff's Office and U.S. Forest Service Law Enforcement patrols working this week and through the weekend.

School Closures
William E. Miller Elementary, Cascade Middle and Summit High schools are open today and all other District schools will be open as scheduled. Cascade Middle and Summit High school students are encouraged to check their school websites for information about finals, final projects, and materials return.

Fire Danger High
Due to hot and dry weather conditions and the low fuel moistures we are experiencing, Bend Fire Department, ODF and Deschutes National Forest have increased the level of fire danger to High as of this morning. Fires under High conditions begin and spread quickly and burn with greater intensity. All fires have the potential of becoming disastrous.

Human activity is one of the leading cause of wild land fires throughout the summer, both accidental and intentional in nature. Here are some tips to help decrease the chances of a wildfire starting:
* Properly dispose of cigarettes and smoking materials.
* Follow all burning restrictions in place in Bend and any areas you recreate, live or work.
* Keep matches and lighters away from children.
* If you are operating equipment, including lawn and garden equipment, ensure you watch for sparks or malfunctioning equipment.

USFS Closures
The Deschutes National Forest has instituted an area closure as a result of the Two Bulls Fire west of Bend. The area encompasses Forest Roads 4601 West of Tumalo Creek, 4606, 1612, 590, 480, 113, 110, 377, 900, 1620, 1628 and 370 North of Todd Lake. This area closure is bordered on the south by Cascade Lakes Highway, which remains open at this time.This closure includes all roads and trails within the area including the popular Phil's Trailhead system and much of the West Bend project area that's part of the Deschutes Collaborative Forest Project.
The following county road closures remain in place: Tumalo Reservoir Road is closed to westbound traffic at Rock Springs Road, Bull Springs Road is closed to westbound traffic at Johnson Road, Skyliners Road is closed to westbound traffic at FS 4604 (Phil's Trailhead).

Donations
The Two Bulls Fire incident has been asked by Bend residents and surrounding communities what donations can be offered to the firefighters. On behalf of the firefighters, the teams managing the fire and Deschutes National Forest, we want to thank the public for their generosity. At this point, all of the needs of the firefighters are being met.

If you would like to make a monetary donation, we encourage you to consider the local Red Cross Chapter www.redcross.org/or/bend/ways-to-donate or 541-382-2142, or the Wildland Firefighter Foundation at www.wffoundation.org, which contributes to injured or fallen firefighters and their families. Helping the foundation, helps the firefighter community.

Note: Upcoming Community Event on Wildfire
Deschutes County, City of Bend Fire Department and the Deschutes National Forest invite Central Oregon residents to a panel discussion and film on wildfire in our community in mid-June. The goal is to help people understand more about Wildland Urban Interface (WUI) wildfires, wildfire risks to our community and reducing those risks to their personal property.

"The Fire Line: Wildfire in Colorado", will be showing on Thursday, June 19 at 7 pm at Hitchcock auditorium, Pioneer Building 201 on the Central Oregon Community College (COCC) Campus at 2600 NW College Way in Bend. Following the 30 minute film will be a short evaluation of the film by local law enforcement, county officials, structural and wildland firefighters on living and working in the wildland-urban interface (WUI) boundary between public land and local communities.

Panelists include Ed Keith, Deschutes County Forester, Bob Madden, Battalion Chief with the Bend Fire Department, Nathan Garibay, Sergeant with Deschutes County Sheriff's Office, George Ponte, District Forester, Oregon Department of Forestry and Craig Letz, Fire Staff Officer for Central Oregon Fire Management Service.

There will be a question and answer period following the panels' statements. Residents are encouraged to ask questions of the panel of fire prevention and firefighting experts. Gary Marshall, former Bend Fire Marshal and current Fire Safety Manager at Sisters-Camp Sherman Fire, will emcee the event.

"The Fire Line" is a documentary produced by The Denver Post that examines the effects of catastrophic wildfires in the west and their impacts on community members, firefighters, and natural resources. While the focus of the film is on wildfires in Colorado, there are many lessons that Central Oregon communities can derive from their losses. The film discusses the challenges that homeowners face while living in a fire prone environment and how homeowners can better mitigate the risks to personal property, local firefighters and the beautiful Central Oregon landscape.

Media
PLEASE CALL ONLY 541-389-6421 FOR FIRE UPDATES.
Interested media should report to the Incident Command Post located in the field across from 63685 Johnson Road. Public Information Officers will be available for interviews; media is required to check in with Information immediately upon arrival. Media personnel that would like a guided tour of the fire need to arrive with full Nomex, hard hat, and fire shelter; the fire camp does not have enough equipment to accommodate those that do not have this. A media update will be given at 10:00 followed by a media fire tour at 1:00 pm.

Sites for Fire Information
Information Phone at Joint Information Center: 541-550-4888 (No media calls here please) Note: This is interagency information for the public related to the fire. Open 9-9.
This number will no longer be in service after 12:00 noon, Thursday June 12.

Information Phone at the fire ICP: 541-389-6421
Note: This phone is operational for public and media now.
As of Thursday at noon, this will be the only public & media information phone line.

Sheriff's Emergency Information phone :541-550-4850
Note: This is a recorded line

OTHER FIRE INFORMATION

ODF maintains a blog at http://wildfireoregondeptofforestry.blogspot.com/, which includes breaking news on wildfires statewide, along with current fire statistics, and a frequently updated Twitter feed at https://twitter.com/ORDeptForestry.

For information on wildfires in other jurisdictions within Oregon, go to the Northwest Interagency Coordination Center website, http://www.nwccweb.us/ and to the national Incident Information System website at http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/.

Statewide air quality index readings are available at http://www.deq.state.or.us/aqi/index.aspx.

NEWS MEDIA
News media may call the Fire Information Duty Officer pager, 503-370-0403, 24/7 for fire information. The duty officer will call back promptly. Media may also call the Oregon Department of Forestry headquarters office, 503-945-7200, weekdays during business hours.

ABOUT THIS UPDATE
This update focuses primarily on firefighting activity on Oregon Department of Forestry-protected lands involving fires 10 acres or larger in size or of other significance. It also reports on ODF's actions as a partner in fighting major fires that start on lands protected by other agencies. ODF 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. Fires may cross ownerships, and because of the need to share firefighting resources, agencies work closely together.

OTHER LINKS
Safety Tips: http://wildfirelessons.net/uploads/6mfs/home.html
Fire weather: http://www.oregon.gov/ODF/Pages/fire/fire.aspx#Fire_Weather
Wildfire smoke forecasts: http://www.oregon.gov/ODF/FIRE/fire.shtml#Smoke_Management_Information
Keep Oregon Green: http://www.keeporegongreen.org/

FACEBOOK: www.facebook.com/TwoBullsFire, facebook.com/Deschutes.County,
TWITTER: @twobullsfire, @desnatlforest, @deschutescounty, @OchocoNatForest, @CentralORFire, #twobullsfire
INCIWEB: http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/3889/
BLOG: www.CentralORfireinfo.blogspot.com

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Have a question/comment about this season's wildfire activity on the 16 million acres of private and public forestlands that the Oregon Dept. of Forestry protects from wildfire? Let us know. Please keep your remarks civil and free of profanity.

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

Cool, wet weather in the winter of 2016-17 ended Oregon's long drought and left a thick snowpack at higher elevations which will take some time to melt. However, even in non-drought years Oregon's warm, dry summers create conditions that allow for fire to start and spread. In an average summer firefighters still see almost a thousand fires on lands protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry.



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. While suppressing large fires can cost millions of dollars, economic and environmental damage from wildfires can be many times greater.




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About Me

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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.