Cooler temperatures and higher humidity with light rainfall this past weekend in many areas of the state have helped firefighting efforts. Lightning is less of a concern this week but humans causing new fires remains a top concern. Gov. Kate Brown announced over the weekend that she is authorizing Oregon National Guard personnel to help fire suppression efforts near Crater Lake National Park.


Monday, July 21, 2014

Waterman Complex update - July 21, 2014, morning

Waterman Complex – Mitchell, Oregon
Information Center – 541-787-4321
Incident Commander Doug Johnson

Fire at a glance
Start date: July 12, 2014
Cause: Lightning
Size: 11,989 acres
Containment: 60 percent
Resources:
     Hand crews: 23
     Fire engines: 37
     Water tenders: 24
     Helicopters: 8
     Bulldozers: 11
     Personnel: 872

Adverse winds yesterday prevented completion of the planned burnout operations to secure the existing fire lines along the Forest Road 2630 to Highway (Hwy) 26.  The limited opening of the highway will not occur on today as scheduled.

Evacuation Notices

Wheeler County Sheriff and fire officials have lowered the Level 3 evacuation order for the West Branch area.  West Branch and Marks Creek residents will remain at the Level 2 preparedness.  Residents need to remain ready to evacuate should fire conditions warrant.  The Red Cross Shelter remains open at the Crook County High School in Prineville.

Current Situation

The Complex consists of four fires (Bailey Butte, Toney Butte, Junction Springs and Incident #376.)  The Bailey Butte fire is being actively managed.  The others are 100% contained and will continued to be monitored by air.

Bailey Butte Fire – 9,745 acres, 50% contained.  Due to an increase in relative humidity, firefighters were unable to complete the scheduled burnout operation early this morning. Crews worked all night into the early morning hours continuing the burnout operation from Corral Flats to the Hwy 26 corridor to provide a secure fire line along the highway.  When the burnout and hazard tree falling is complete, Hwy 26 will partially open as soon as it is deemed safe for travel.  Fire fighters are also mopping up hot spots, chipping debris removed from fire line preparation, using helicopters to drop water to cool hotspots, and holding established fire lines.

Toney Butte Fire – 2,229 acres, 100% contained.  The fire will be monitored by the air.  Smoke may be visible from interior burning.

Junction Springs Fire – 15 acres, 100% contained. This fire remains in patrol status and monitored by air.

Incident #376 - .25 acres, 100% contained. 

Ochoco National Forest Closure Area:

A Forest Closure Order 06-07-01-14-001-01 is in effect on Ochoco National Forest System lands.  The closure prohibits the public from entering the Closure Area except under special exemption.  The closure is due to firefighting activities and the safety of the public within the Closure Area.  The public is encouraged to check with the Forest before they travel.  To view the entire Forest Closure Order please see the following link:


Temporary Flight Restrictions (TFR):  The TFR over the Toney Butte fire was removed.  One TFR remains in place over the Bailey Butte fire. Please check the NOTAM for current information.

For more information on the Waterman Complex visit:

Inciweb at http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/3961/                         
Facebook Waterman Complex
Find us on Twitter @watermancmplx                                   
Oregon Trip Check at http://www.tripcheck.com

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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 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.



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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. 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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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.