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





Friday, September 19, 2014

36 Pit Fire Update for Friday, September 19, 2014

Washington IMT 2 Incident Commander – Bruce Holloway
ODF Incident Commander – Ross Holloway
                
36 Pit Fire Update
September 19, 2014 – 9:00 AM


FIRE INFORMATION WEBSITE:   http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/4106/  
INFO PHONE:   360-280-4352 or 503-630-1711
EMAIL:
36pitfire@gmail.com  
Fire Information Office Hours:  8:00 am -8:00 pm
Yesterday, fire suppression efforts progressed to such an extent that the Clackamas County Sheriff reduced the evacuation level for the Silver Fox RV Park from Level 3 (immediate evacuation) to Level 2 (prepare for possible evacuation).  The residents of Silver Fox RV Park have been allowed to return to their homes.  The fire is estimated to be 4104 acres in size and is now 35% contained. The fire has not moved appreciably in any direction since its initial spread last Sunday and Monday.  The 55 acre spot fire located to the northwest of the main fire will be completely mopped up by the end of today’s day shift.

Oregon Department of Forestry Incident Commander Russ Lane transferred command to Ross Holloway of the Oregon Department of Forestry due to a personal commitment.   

The fire is burning in extremely steep terrain on slopes in excess of 60 degrees presenting crews with footing hazards, rolling debris, and fire weakened trees.  Heavy deep fuels also present challenges to contain the fire.

Crews are working aggressively to complete fire line along the northwestern and northern flanks of the fire closest to any homes or structures Mop up of hot spots near the fire line is also progressing well and will continue today.  A small burn out operation of approximately ten acres in the area of Carter Bridge was conducted yesterday afternoon to reinforce the southeast flank of the fire adjacent to Highway 224.  Today, elite hot shot crews are building fire line up a steep slope directly adjacent to the fire at its southern perimeter south of Highway 224.  At the southern perimeter of the fire, crews continue to build line to contain the ground fire.  South of Highway 224 and at the northwest portion of the fire, good ground locations have been identified where crews can safely build fire line and use natural features to the South Fork of the Clackamas River to corral the fire.

Today, weather is still expected to remain favorable for firefighters as they attack the fire. However, tomorrow and Sunday, weather conditions are expected to change to dryer and warmer conditions with east winds.  A Haines Index 5 is also predicted for tomorrow and indicates a drier and more unstable atmosphere.  These predicted weather conditions are expected to create more active fire behavior.  Fire managers have implemented fire suppression tactics the last few days in anticipation of this weather change.  The weekend weather may be the first test of firefighters’ containment lines. 

Local resource advisors have also been an integral component of the fire suppression team.  Resource Advisors collaborate with fire managers to fight fire aggressively while protecting resources such as fisheries, cultural resources and wilderness values.  A portion of the fire is located in congressionally designated wilderness where minimum impact suppression tactics (MIST) are being implemented.

The public is urged to be aware of increased fire related traffic on local roads and to drive defensively.  For information related to evacuations, please go to:  http://www.clackamas.us or call 503-655-8224.  Information related to smoke can be found at:  www.oregonsmoke.blogspot.com   For more information, please use the contact information listed above.

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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.