On Monday, July 14, 2014 a thunderstorm ignited the Sunflower Fire 10 miles northwest of Monument, OR. The fire is now estimated at 5,900 acres.
Summary: Crews continue to make excellent progress on the fire perimeter. The fire is well established on the south side of Wall Creek drainage between Happy and Wilson Creeks and has moved into the Little Wilson and Big Wilson Creek drainage's. Short duration crown runs, torching and spotting have been observed due to afternoon localized winds. The fire has grown to 5,900 acres.
Current Situation: Localized afternoon winds continued to push the fire south and southeast into Little and Big Wilson Creek drainage's. Crews continue to monitor both the northeast and northwest flanks of the fire while it smolders and creeps back into fire area.
Overnight crews conducted a burnout operation along FS Road 24 to eliminate grass and brush between the road and fire front. Evening winds assisted the burnout operations which strengthened the containment line.
Early this morning, a spot fire was identified on the east side of FS Rd. 24. It is approximately of 15 acres. The spot fire was assessed and is the priority for day shift crews, using both ground and air resources to contain.
Today, crews in the northeast and northwest sections of the fire will continue mopping up hot spots. In the southern perimeter, crews will continue constructing hand and dozer line along the southwest corner of the fire. Arial resources will be supporting ground crews with water and retardant drops, as soon as the inversion layer lifts in the late morning.
Smoke will increase across eastern Oregon due to increased fire activity and duration. Localized smoke will hinder visibility through midday, but will improve in the late afternoon.
Weather: A cooling trend is expected to begin setting up Monday. A chances of showers is forecasted for Tuesday and Wednesday. Decreased temperatures and higher relative humidity will calm fire behavior and assist firefighters with suppression efforts.
Area Fire Closures: An area closure was again expanded on July 19 around the fire for firefighter and public safety. Information and map can be found @ http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/3964/