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





Thursday, August 7, 2014

Rowena Fire Evening Fire Update - Thursday, August 7, 2014


Oregon Department of Forestry Incident Management Team 1
John Buckman, Incident Commander
Oregon State Fire Marshall Office Incident Management Green Team
John Ingrao, Incident Commander

Rowena Fire
Daily Evening Information Update
August 7, 2014

 
Summary
Both crews from Oregon Department of Forestry and Oregon State Fire Marshal worked throughout the day to improve hand and dozer lines to prevent further fire travel. In the early afternoon wind speeds increased causing the fire to grow and travel toward the southwest more rapidly than expected. Both the Foley Lakes and Country Club areas experienced unfavorable wind conditions. In the Foley Lakes area, wind driven fire pushed back into the neighborhood that had just hours before had its evacuation level decreased from 3 to 1. Targeted evacuations were enacted to protect the residents in the area. In the Country Club area, fire was pushed across several lines and crossed the Rowena River Road near Adeline Road. Both fires received immediate response and were quickly mitigated.

Structural protection
Structure protection task forces worked throughout the day to improve defensible space around homes and outbuildings. When the Foley Lakes and Country Club fires flared up, task forces assigned to night shift were activated to respond.

Structural firefighters continued to create defensible space around structures in advance of the fire threat.

Evacuations

Level-3
4595 Hwy 30 west to 6464 Hwy 30, including Simonelli Rd, Tooley Terrace, Adeline Way and the Country Club.

Level-1
Murray's Addition, Foley Lakes, residences along Chenowith Loop West. Also Division Street Development residences along Seven mile Road.

Fire Strategy for Tonight
Today, fire control work will focus on reinforcing containment lines on the eastern edge of the fire, securing the northwest end of the fire and continuing structural protection along Highway 30 and other residences.

Public Meeting
A public information meeting is scheduled for 7:00 pm at The Dalles High School located 220 East 10th Street in The Dalles. This meeting is open to all members of the public and media.  Fire managers will provide a current status update and be available to address questions and concerns.

Warnings

An urgent red flag fire weather warning was issued at about 3:00 p.m. on Thursday 8/7/2014 for winds gusting to 30 mph and relative humidity as low as 24 percent.  Fires can grow much faster in these conditions and be hazardous for firefighters.  The red flag warning is in effect through 11:00 p.m.

Unified Command
The fire is being managed under a unified command between the Oregon State Fire Marshal’s Office and Oregon Department of Forestry. This Unified Command is working for ODF Central Oregon District, Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area and Mid Columbia Fire & Rescue.

Fire-At-A-Glance

Size: 2,645 acres Location: The Dalles, OR
Containment: 0%
Cause: Under Investigation
Personnel: 431
Estimated Cost: $937,000
Evacuations and Road Closures: Wasco County Sheriff Evacuation Hotline: 541-506-2792
Closures/Restrictions: Hwy 30 between The Dalles Country Club and Rowena
Media Only Contact Phone: 503-793-1993
For More Information: A fire information line is currently being set up, the number will be distributed via social media once it is established.

 
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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.



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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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.