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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

36 Pit Fire Update, Setpember 17, 2014

Washington IMT 2 Incident Commander – Bruce Holloway
ODF Incident Commander – Russ Lane
Oregon Fire Marshal Blue Team Incident Commander – Scott Magers
36 Pit Fire Update
September 17, 2014 – 1:00 PM
INFO PHONE: 360-280-4352 or 503-630-1711
Fire Information Office Hours: 8:00 am -8:00 pm
Excellent progress to contain the 36 Pit Fire occurred yesterday along the northern and western perimeters of the fire. Dozer and hand lines were constructed to contain portions of the fire’s northern perimeter. Natural features and Road 4610 are also being used to contain the fire on the northern flank. The highest priority is to continue to hold and contain the western and northern portions of the fire since these locations are closest to any structures, industrial forest land, and other resource values.
Yesterday, burn out operations went well in the vicinity of the Silver Fox RV Park creating a smoke plume that was visible to many residents of the Estacada area. Yesterday afternoon and through part of last night’s shift, fire crews burned out fuel located between Road 4610 and Highway 224 near the Silver Fox RV Park. However, last night, increased humidity caused burn out operations to be suspended. Today, as temperatures increase and relative humidities decrease, firefighters intend to complete the burn out near the Silver Fox RV Park. Burn out will continue to happen at the north and the northwest portions of the fire. Burn out of fuels is a fire suppression tactic used to reinforce fire lines and to consume fuels adjacent to structures. Residents of the Estacada area may see visible smoke as burn out operations proceed.
Along the southern perimeter of the fire, firefighters continue to identify roads and other locations where they can safely contain the fire. However, there may be opportunities to build containment directly adjacent to the fire dependent on favorable weather conditions. Firefighters are contending with very steep terrain and are evaluating locations where fire line can be safely constructed.
A Unified Command led by Incident Commander Russ Lane of the Oregon State Department of Forestry, Bruce Holloway of Washington Incident Management Team 2, and Scott Magers of the Oregon State Fire Marshal Blue Team are leading the fire suppression effort. The local Estacada fire District 69 has been heavily involved in the fire suppression efforts. Structure protection task forces and Blue Team management personnel mobilized under the Oregon State Conflagration Act continue to work on the north and west side of the fire, assisting with protection and mop up operations around those affected homes, including the Silver Fox RV Park. Structure protection resource needs will continue to be evaluated throughout today and will likely begin to demobilize over the next couple of days as the threat to those structures lessen.
The public is urged to be aware of increased fire related traffic on local roads, and to drive safely. For information related to evacuations instituted by the Clackamas County Sheriff, please go to their web site at: or call 503-655-8224.
The public may also obtain information on smoke by going to:

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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 about current wildfires. Please keep your posts civil and free of profanity.

Current wildfire info

National weather forecasters predictions that Oregon would see above average temperatures and below average rainfall in the summer of 2018 proved true. Almost all of Oregon was abnormally dry this summer, with a majority of the state in moderate to severe drought. Many areas posted record high temperatures or record strings of hot days. These conditions set the stage for potentially large, fast-moving wildfires.

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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. In total there are about 30.4 million 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.