Current situation

Widespread rain and unseasonably cool temperatures in Oregon have dampened existing fires and prevented new ones, easing the strain on firefighting resources. At the same time, wet conditions are making it harder on firefighters trying to remove equipment and repair the impacts from suppression efforts. In steep areas that burned earlier this summer, mudflows, rockslides and fire-weakened trees falling are concerns.






















Thursday, October 29, 2015

2015 fire season over statewide

All Oregon Department of Forestry forest protection districts were out of wildfire season as of Oct. 28. But as ODF foresters note, a calendar declaration does not mean fires can no longer occur.

A few warm, windy days can set the stage for a debris burn or campfire to escape control and damage the forest resource. Please continue to follow fire-safe practices as you enjoy Oregon's forests this fall. 

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Oregon Department of Forestry Fire Update - Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Fires Reported on ODF-protected Lands

ODF Central Oregon District - John Day Unit: The Lost Valley Fire was reported at approximately noon on Tuesday, October 13, burning on ODF-protected lands 8 miles southwest of Lonerock.  This morning, Wednesday, October 14, the fire is estimated at 143 acres and fully lined, and crews are working on mop-up.  The cause of the fire is under investigation.  Unless the situation changes, this will be the only report on this fire.

Fire Duty Officer:  Jeri Chase; Cell #503-931-2721; jeri.chase@Oregon.gov

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Fall burning helps prevent summer wildfires

Another severe wildfire season is fading into history - the third in a row. Along with the flames and destruction, Oregonians suffered through weeks of choking smoke. This fall, forest landowners are conducting controlled burns to clean up excess woody debris. Burning when weather conditions are right limits smoke entering communities. It also reduces the risk of wildfires later on. Learn more about fall burning from the Oregon Department of Forestry, www.oregon.gov/ODF/Fire/pages/Burn.aspx.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Fall Creek Fire in West Oregon District now in mop up

The 15-acre Fall Creek Fire reported Sunday burning in the Oregon Dept. of Forestry's West Oregon District - Toledo Unit is currently in mop up. One fire engine, four hand crews and two water tenders were dispatched to the fire. Cause is under investigation.

Friday, September 25, 2015

As wildfires subside, prescribed burning begins

Many Oregon forest landowners are planning controlled burns to occur whenever wildfire danger subsides in their areas. These deliberate fires meet a twofold purpose:

§  Prepare logged sites for replanting of young trees
§  Reduce fuel loads to lower the risk of wildfires next summer

Unlike wildfires, which occur under the worst of conditions, prescribed burns are conducted only when weather and wind patterns are optimal to carry smoke up and away from communities and popular recreation sites. And forest operators and wildland fire agencies staff the sites with fire engines and personnel to prevent the burns from spreading outside of designated burn units.

The Oregon Department of Forestry’s (ODF) meteorologists nail the forecast much of the time. But wind shifts occasionally push some smoke from prescribed burns into populated areas. However, most agree the tradeoff is well worth it. Some 150,000 to 200,000 acres of forestland undergo prescribed burn treatments annually in the state, and the resulting clean-up of logging debris and excess vegetation greatly reduces the risk of damaging wildfires on those lands during the summer.

 The high intensity of a wildfire burning in a fuel-rich forest often does long-term damage, wiping out entire tree stands and in some instances sterilizing the soil. In contrast, a wildfire in a fire-treated forest typically leaves many of the trees alive.

More information about prescribed forest burning and smoke management can be found on the Department of Forestry website,

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Oregon Dept. of Forestry fire update - 09-24-15

The large fires across the Pacific Northwest, including in Oregon, are winding down, as the fall weather pattern begins to take hold. But forest fuels in much of the state remain dry and susceptible to fire, so recreationists are urged to remain vigilant. Please be careful with any activity that could potentially start a fire.

Fire Facts

No new fires 10 acres or larger on the 16 million acres of private and public forestlands protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry have been reported in the past 24 hours.


Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Oregon Dept. of Forestry fire update 09-23-15

In the weeks ahead, Oregonians may see smoke. As wildfire danger declines in the fall, some forest landowners begin prescribed burning. These controlled fires remove woody debris left over from timber harvest and prepare the site for replanting of young trees. And by reducing fuel loads, prescribed burning lessens the potential for damaging wildfires in the future. Prescribed burns are scheduled when weather conditions are optimal to lift smoke up and away from communities and popular recreation areas.   
 
Fire Facts
The 17,823-acre Dry Gulch Fire burning seven miles NW of Richland, Oregon, is 90 percent contained. Mop-up of the fire continues, along with rehabilitation of damage caused by the firefighting operation. The fire was reported Sept. 12. Cause remains under investigation. Full containment is projected for Sept. 24.

The 20,945-acre National Creek Complex 10 miles SW of Diamond Lake is 90 percent contained. The fires were reported Aug. 1. Cause is lightning. Full containment is projected for Oct. 1.


About this update
This update provides information primarily about fires 10 acres or larger on Oregon Dept. of Forestry (ODF) protected lands. ODF provides fire protection chiefly to private and state-owned forestlands, and federal Bureau of Land Management lands west of the Cascades.




Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Oregon Dept. of Forestry fire update - 09-22-15

In the weeks ahead, Oregonians may see smoke. As wildfire danger declines in the fall, some forest landowners begin prescribed burning. These controlled fires remove woody debris left over from timber harvest and prepare the site for replanting of young trees. And by reducing fuel loads, prescribed burning lessens the potential for damaging wildfires in the future. Prescribed burns are scheduled when weather conditions are optimal to lift smoke up and away from communities and popular recreation areas.  

FIRE FACTS

The 17,823-acre Dry Gulch Fire burning seven miles NW of Richland, Oregon, is 85 percent contained. Reported Aug. 12, the fire is currently in mop-up. Cause remains under investigation. Previously managed by ODF's Incident Management Team 3, the fire is now in the hands of local jurisdictions. 

The 20,945-acre National Creek Complex burning 10 miles SW of Diamond Lake is 90 percent contained. Reported Aug. 1, the fire was caused by lightning. Today the South Central Oregon Incident Management Team is transferring command of the complex to the Rogue-Siskiyou National Forest, the Umpqua National Forest and Crater Lake National Park.

Monday, September 21, 2015

2015 Northwest fire statistics to date

Following are highlight wildfire statistics in the Pacific Northwest region through Sept. 11.

·         Since June 1, approximately 1,571,218 acres were affected by wildfire in the Northwest: 576,901 acres in Oregon and 994,317 acres in Washington.
·         There were a total of 3,404 reported fires in the two-state area: 1,942  in Oregon (human-caused 849, lightning-caused 1,093), and 1,462 in Washington (human-caused 1,011, lightning-caused 451).
·         There were 101 fires meeting large fire* criteria: 41 in Oregon and 60 in Washington.

·         NW Incident Management Teams (National Interagency Management Organization, Area Command, Type 1 & Type 2) mobilized 46 times.

·         To date, a total of 58,275 lightning strikes have been recorded. The largest number of strikes occurring in one day was 6,469 (July 9).
·         In Oregon, the largest fire/complex is the Canyon Creek Complex for a total of 110,406 acres.  

·         The largest fire/complex in Washington is the North Star at 211,356 acres.

·         The estimated total firefighting cost to date exceeds $463,953,514; this includes $211,041,902** in Oregon and $252,911,612** in Washington.

·         During peak fire activity, more than 10,900 firefighters and support personnel were actively working on NW fires.

·         In Oregon, fires affected 153,142 acres of Sage Grouse habitat:

- Very high priority habitat = Less than 1 acre
- High priority habitat = 74,343 acres
- Moderate habitat = 78,798 acres

*To be considered a “large fire”, a wildfire must be at least 100 acres in timber or 300 acres in grass or brush.
**
not all costs have been reported.

Oregon Dept. of Forestry fire update - 09-21-15

Fire activity should remain at low levels through the week under the influence of a stable and mostly dry W-SW flow aloft. Storm track stays just north of the region until next potential rain producer moves onshore on Friday. 

Initial-attack activity: Light with the normal dose of daily human-caused starts. Conditions are expected warm and dry today and tomorrow, so please continue to be vigilant with any activity that could start a fire.

FIRE FACTS

The Dry Gulch fire that started Saturday, Sept. 12, is now estimated at 17,823 acres and 85 percent containment. Management of the Dry Gulch fire transitioned from Oregon Department of Forestry's Type 1 Incident Management Team 3 to a smaller, local Northeast Oregon Type 3 Incident Management Team on Friday. Crews have been securing the fire line and mopping up hot spots along the fire's northern perimeter. There will be some smoke visible in the interior of the fire in the coming days as weather warms and dries. Excavators are repairing the effects of fire suppression and water bars are being installed along dozer fire lines to divert water runoff along steep slopes. 

The Canyon Creek Complex south of John Day is now estimated at 110,442-acres and 95 percent contained. Current fire behavior: minimal with creeping and single tree torching. There are still 150 personnel staffing this fire. Updates now issued every other day.

The National Creek Complex 10 miles SW of Diamond Lake is now estimated at 20,945 acres and is 90 percent contained. Minimal fire behavior with some smoldering. The Crater Lake National Park North Entrance road and the PCT trail remain open. The fire is currently staffed with 127 total personnel.
http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/4463/#

Friday, September 18, 2015

Oregon Dept. of Forestry fire update - 09-18-15

Scattered precipitation has occurred across the geographic area with some lightning strikes in Southeastern Washington and far Eastern Oregon. No initial attack activity with minimal growth on existing large fires. Conditions are expected warm and dry today and into the weekend, so please be careful with any activity that could start a fire.

 FIRE FACTS

The Dry Gulch fire that started Saturday, Sept. 12, is now estimated at 17,823 acres. Containment is 75 percent. Oregon Department of Forestry's Type 1 Incident Management Team will hand the fire back to local jurisdictions at the end of shift today and travel back to their respective home units tomorrow. Firefighters will use infrared hand-held devices to locate hot spots throughout the fire area and perform mop-up to ensure there is no potential for future flare-ups or escape. This procedure is very similar to putting a campfire completely out by drowning the fire and breaking up the material. Rehabilitation efforts are also taking place to repair landscape and infrastructure damaged by fire suppression efforts. Rehab work includes mending fences and constructing water bars along bulldozer and hand lines to prevent future erosion from heavy rains.

ODF's Type 1 Incident Management Team will hand the fire back to local jurisdictions at the end of shift today and travel back to their respective home units tomorrow.

The fire team would like to take this opportunity and thank the residents in Halfway, Richland, New Bridge, Carson and Cornucopia for their hospitality and support during the fire suppression effort.

The Canyon Creek Complex south of John Day is now estimated at 110,442-acres and 95 percent contained. When traveling through the fire area it is important to remember that many hazards remain. Fire-weakened trees can topple easily, large ash pits can appear cool but hold significant heat well into the winter, and burned out root holes can lead to twisted knees and ankles. Smoke from the interior of the fire will remain visible in many areas until a season ending event such as steady rain over a long period of time, or the formation of winter snow pack arrives. There are now 189 personnel staffing the fire. Resources include: five hand crews, six fire engines and two bulldozers. Updates will now be every other day.

The 79,374-acre Grizzly Bear Complex burning in grass and timber 20 miles SE of Dayton, Wash., and near Troy, Ore., in the Northeast Oregon District is 44 percent contained. There are now 164 personnel assigned to this fire as well as 12 fire engines and one helicopter. 

Local fire managers will assume responsibility for the continued suppression and rehabilitation work being done. Crews on the southern portion of the fire will be breaking down the spike camp at Elk Flats beginning today as future crews and equipment will be based out of Tollgate, Oregon at the Forest Service Work Center there. This will be the last update on this fire. 

The National Creek Complex 10 miles SW of Diamond Lake is now estimated at 20,945 acres and is 85 percent contained. 

Yesterday, the fire area received approximately one-half to one inch of rain over the fire. Today, direct line construction continues on the southeastern fire edge working to tie into the south side of the Pumice Desert. Fire crews continue to mop-up and secure the remaining southern fire edge. Weather begins a warming trend today with above-average daytime temperatures expected into the weekend, creating potential for increased fire activity. Along the north and east flank of the fire, firefighters continue to patrol sections of fire line and are poised for direct suppression if needed. The Crater Lake National Park North Entrance road and the PCT trail remain open. The fire is currently staffed with 156 total personnel.

Fire Update for Friday, Sept. 18, 2015

Scattered precipitation has occurred across the geographic area with some lightning strikes in Southeastern Washington and far Eastern Oregon. No initial attack activity with minimal growth on existing large fires. 

Conditions are expected warm and dry today and into the weekend so please be careful with any activity that could start a fire.

Fire Facts

The Dry Gulch fire that started Saturday, Sept. 12, is now estimated at 17,823 acres. Containment is 75 percent. 
Oregon Department of Forestry's Type 1 Incident Management Team will hand the fire back to local jurisdictions at the end of shift today and travel back to their respective home units tomorrow. Firefighters will use infrared hand held devices to locate hot spots throughout the fire area and perform mop up to ensure there is no potential for future flare ups or escape. This procedure is very similar to putting a campfire completely out by drowning the fire and breaking up the material. Rehabilitation efforts are also taking place to repair landscape and infrastructure damaged by fire suppression efforts. Rehab work includes mending fences and constructing water bars along bulldozer and hand lines to prevent future erosion from heavy rains.
The fire team would like to take this opportunity and thank the residents in Halfway, Richland, New Bridge, Carson and Cornucopia for their hospitality and support during the fire suppression effort.

The Canyon Creek Complex south of John Day is now estimated at 110,442-acres and 95 percent contained. When traveling through the fire area it is important to remember that many hazards remain. Fire weakened trees can topple easily, large ash pits can appear cool but hold significant heat well into the winter, and burned out root holes can lead to twisted knees and ankles. Smoke from the interior of the fire will remain visible in many areas until a season ending event such as steady rain over a long period of time, or the formation of winter snow pack arrives. There are now 189 personnel staffing the fire. Resources include: 5 crews, six fire engines, two bulldozers. Updates will now be every other day.

The 79,374-acre Grizzly Bear Complex burning in grass and timber 20 miles SE of Dayton, Wash., and near Troy, Ore., in the Northeast Oregon District is 44 percent contained. There are now 164 personnel assigned to this fire as well as 12 engines and 1 helicopter

Local fire managers will assume responsibility for the continued suppression and rehabilitation work being done. Crews on the southern portion of the fire will be breaking down the spike camp at Elk Flats beginning today as future crews and equipment will be based out of Tollgate, Oregon at the Forest Service Work Center there. This will be the last update on this fire. 
 
The National Creek Complex 10 miles SW of Diamond Lake is now estimated at 20,945 acres and is 85 percent contained. 

Yesterday, the fire area received approximately one half to one inch of rain over the fire.Today, direct line construction continues on the southeast fire edge working to tie into the south side of the Pumice Desert. Fire crews continue to mop up and secure the remaining southern fire edge. Weather begins a warming trend today with above normal daytime temperatures expected into the weekend, creating potential for increased fire activity. Along the north and east flank of the fire, firefighters continue to patrol sections of fire line and are poised for direct suppression if needed. The Crater Lake National Park North Entrance road and the PCT trail remain open. The fire is currently staffed with 156 total personnel.

About this Update

This update provides information primarily about fires on Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) protected lands involving fires 10 acres or larger. ODF provides fire protection primarily on private and state-owned forestland, and Bureau of Land Management forestlands west of the Cascades, and also works closely with partner firefighting agencies.

Final update - Dry Gulch Fire

OREGON DEPARTMENT OF FORESTRY
INCIDENT MANAGEMENT TEAM 3
LINK SMITH, INCIDENT COMMANDER

September 18, 2015 Update

Halfway, OR – The Dry Gulch Fire is now 17,823 acres and 75 percent contained. Oregon Department of Forestry’s Type 1 Incident Management Team will hand the fire back to local jurisdictions at the end of shift today and travel back to their respective home units tomorrow.

 With little smoke showing, firefighters will use infrared hand held devices to locate hot spots throughout the fire area and perform mop-up to ensure that there is no potential for future flare-ups or escape. This procedure is very similar to putting a campfire completely out by drowning the fire and breaking up the material.  Rehabilitation efforts are also taking place to repair the landscape and infrastructure damaged by fire suppression efforts. Rehab work includes mending fences and constructing water bars along dozer and hand lines to prevent future erosion from heavy rains.

The fire team would like to take this opportunity and thank the residents in Halfway, Richland, New Bridge, Carson and Cornucopia for their hospitality and support during the fire suppression effort.

To stay current on fire information, visit us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/drygulchfire2015 or at www.oregon.gov/odf. To check on this fire and others across the country, visit www.inciweb.nwcg.gov.


###

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Oregon Dept. of Forestry fire update - 09-17-15



The last in the current series of weather systems will move through the Pacific Northwest today continuing the cloudy and cool weather regime. More areas of wetting rain are expected across much of the region. Conditions are expected warm and dry Friday and into the weekend, so please be careful with any activity that could start a fire.  

 
FIRE FACTS

All evacuation level notifications for communities surrounding the Dry Gulch Fire have been lifted. The fire, that started Saturday, Sept. 12, is now estimated at 17,800 acres due to better mapping. Containment is 60 percent. 

Firefighters will continue mopping up hot spots near the fire perimeter to prevent any future flare-ups and spread. Rehabilitation efforts are also taking place to repair the landscape and infrastructure damaged by fire suppression efforts. This work includes mending fences and constructing water bars along bulldozer and hand lines to prevent future erosion from heavy rains.

 
Oregon Department of Forestry's Type 1 Incident Management Team is preparing to transition the fire back to a smaller fire management organization. The team is expected to hand the fire back to local jurisdictions at the end of shift Friday, and travel back to their respective home units Saturday. There are currently 216 personnel assigned to the fire consisting of 48 overhead, six 20-person crews, 15 fire engines,two bulldozers, one water tender and one helicopter. Total suppression costs to date are estimated at $1.5 million. https://www.facebook.com/DryGulchFire2015/
 
The 110,442-acre Canyon Creek Complex south of John Day is now 90 percent contained and estimated at 110,442 acres. Scattered rain showers tracked over the fire area yesterday, delivering around 0.1 inch of precipitation. There are now 189 personnel staffing the fire. Resources include: five crews, six fire engines, two bulldozers. 
 
The 76,475-acre Grizzly Bear Complex burning in grass and timber 20 miles SE of Dayton, Wash., and near Troy, Ore., in the Northeast Oregon District is 44 percent contained. The Complex is currently staffed with 320 total personnel. Resources include five hand crews and 16 fire engines. Spike camps are moving out; management of the Complex is going back to the Pomeroy and Walla Walla Ranger Districts.  
 
The National Creek Complex 10 miles SW of Diamond Lake is now estimated at 20,945 acres and is 85 percent contained. Of total fire size, 13, 227 acres are in Crater Lake National Park boundaries and it is the largest fire in the park's history. Minimal fire activity due to precipitation. The fire is currently staffed with 170 total personnel.
 
About this Update
This update provides information primarily about fires on Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) protected lands involving fires 10 acres or larger. ODF provides fire protection primarily on private and state-owned forestland, and Bureau of Land Management forestlands west of the Cascades, and also works closely with partner firefighting agencies.
 

 


Dry Gulch Fire 60 percent contained

Oregon Dept. of Forestry
Incident Management Team 3
Link Smith, Incident Commander

September 17, 2015 Update

Halfway, Ore – Due to better mapping, the Dry Gulch Fire that started Saturday, September 12, stands at 17,800 acres and is now 60 percent contained. Total suppression costs to date are estimated at $1.5 million.

All evacuation level notifications for communities surrounding the fire have been lifted. To learn more about the Ready Set Go evacuation level system, visit www.wildlandfirersg.org .

Firefighters will continue mopping up hot spots near the fire perimeter to prevent any future flare ups and spread. Rehabilitation efforts are also taking place to repair the landscape and infrastructure damaged by fire suppression efforts. Rehab work includes mending fences and constructing water bars along dozer and hand lines to prevent future erosion from heavy rains.

Oregon Department of Forestry’s Type 1 Incident Management Team is also preparing to transition the fire back to a smaller fire management organization. The team is expected to hand the fire back to local jurisdictions at the end of shift Friday and travel back to their respective home units Saturday. There are currently 216 personnel assigned to the fire consisting of 48 overhead, six 20-person crews, 15 fire engines, two bulldozers, one water tender and one helicopter.

To stay current on fire information, visit us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/drygulchfire2015 or at www.oregon.gov/odf. To check on this fire and others across the country, visit www.inciweb.nwcg.gov.

###

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Oregon Dept. of Forestry fire update - 09-16-15

FIRE FACTS

More than 80 residents received good news about the Dry Gulch Fire at a community meeting held at the Halfway Elementary School last night. Fire officials shared that the rain that fell on the fire in the past 24 hours has helped immensely with the fire suppression effort. The fire, now 18,272 acres and 55 percent contained, is not expected to grow much more. Firefighters have started mopping up hot spots near the fire's perimeter to prevent any chance of further spread.

Some 269 personnel are currently assigned to the fire including 10 20-person crews, 24 fire engines and one helicopter.

The 12,763-acre Eagle Complex 20 miles NW of Richland, Oregon, is 75 percent contained and has burned 463 acres of privately owned land protected by Oregon Department of Forestry
and 12,300 acres of the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest.

Helicopter water drops will continue today and for the next several days as needed to keep the fire within the containment area. Currently there are approximately 48 personnel assigned to the fire, including one hand crew, three fire engines, one water tender and two helicopters.This will be the final regular update for the Eagle Complex unless conditions change.

The 110,406-acre Canyon Creek Complex south of John Day is now 90 percent contained. Resources include: four crews, six fire engines and two helicopters. There are now 176 personnel staffing the fire.

The 76,475-acre Grizzly Bear Complex burning in grass and timber 20 miles SE of Dayton, Wash., and near Troy, Ore., in the Northeast Oregon District is 44 percent contained. The fires are currently staffed with 332 total personnel. Resources include: five hand crews and 16 fire engines.

The 19,498-acre National Creek Complex 10 miles SW of Diamond Lake is 70 percent contained. Of total fire size, 13,227 acres are in Crater Lake National Park boundaries, and it is the largest fire in the park's history.

The fire has had minimal growth due to the cooler temperatures and higher humidity levels. However, the humidity did not produce any measurable precipitation.The fire is currently staffed with 257 total personnel. Resources include: seven hand crews, nine fire engines and six helicopters.

Contact Info:
Cynthia Orlando, 503-945-7421 / 503-510-7972

Daily Fire Update for Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2015

More than 80 residents received good news about the Dry Gulch Fire at a community meeting held at the Halfway Elementary School last night. Fire officials shared that the rain that fell on the fire in the past 24 hours has helped immensely with the fire suppression effort. The fire, now 18,272 acres and 55 percent contained, is not expected to grow much more. Firefighters have started mopping up hot spots near the fire's perimeter to prevent any chance of further spread.

Some 269 personnel are currently assigned to the fire including 10 20-person crews, 24 engines and 1 helicopter.

The 12,763-acre Eagle Complex 20 miles NW of Richland, Oregon, is 75 percent contained and has burned 463 acres of privately owned land protected by Oregon Department of Forestry and 12,300 acres of the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest.

Helicopter water drops will continue today and for the next several days as needed to keep the fire within the containment area. Currently there are approximately 48 personnel assigned to the fire, including 1 crew, 3 engines, 1 water tender and 2 helicopters.

This will be the final regular update for the Eagle Complex unless conditions change.

The 110,406-acre Canyon Creek Complex south of John Day is now 90 percent contained. Resources include: 4 crews, six fire engines and two helicopters. There are now 176 personnel staffing the fire.

The 76,475-acre Grizzly Bear Complex burning in grass and timber 20 miles SE of Dayton, Wash., and near Troy, Ore., in the Northeast Oregon District is 44 percent contained. The fires are currently staffed with 332 total personnel. Resources include: five hand crews and 16 fire engines.

The 19,498-acre National Creek Complex 10 miles SW of Diamond Lake is 70 percent contained. Of total fire size, 13, 227 acres are in Crater Lake National Park boundaries and it is the largest fire in the park's history.

The fire has had minimal growth due to the cooler temperatures and higher humidity levels - however, the humidity did not produce any measurable precipitation.The fire is currently staffed with 257 total personnel. Resources include: seven hand crews, nine fire engines and six helicopters.

About this Update

This update provides information primarily about fires on Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) protected lands involving fires 10 acres or larger. ODF provides fire protection primarily on private and state-owned forestland, and Bureau of Land Management forestlands west of the Cascades, and also works closely with partner firefighting agencies.


OREGON DEPARTMENT OF FORESTRY
INCIDENT MANAGEMENT TEAM 3
LINK SMITH, INCIDENT COMMANDER


DRY GULCH FIRE
September 16, 2015 Update

Halfway, OR – More than 80 residents received good news about the Dry Gulch Fire at a community meeting held at the Halfway Elementary School last night. Fire officials shared that the rain that fell on the fire in the past 24 hours helped immensely in the suppression effort. The fire, now 18,272 acres and 55 percent contained, is not expected to grow much more. Firefighters have started mopping up hot spots near the fire’s perimeter to prevent any chance of further spread.

Evacuation levels have been eased based on decreased fire behavior and threat. Homes located north of Orr Lane are now under a Level 1 evacuation notification (Ready). Homes south of Orr Lane and west of Posey Ditch remain in evacuation Level 2 (Get Set). All other evacuation level notifications have been lifted.


Favorable weather with forecasted rain is expected to continue through Thursday. While the rain is a welcome relief, it is by no means considered to be a fire season ending event. The public should continue to exercise caution when working or recreating outdoors. Fire restrictions remain in place, including smoking, campfires and off road driving. Check with your local fire protection agency for specific fire restrictions in your area or log on to www.oregon.gov/odf to access Oregon Department of Forestry’s interactive fire restrictions map.

To stay current on fire information, visit us on Facebook at
www.facebook.com/drygulchfire2015 or at www.oregon.gov/odf. To check on this fire and others across the country, visit www.inciweb.nwcg.gov.


Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Fire Update for Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2015

This is the Oregon Department of Forestry Daily Fire Update for Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2015.
 
Currently in Oregon, more than 300,000 acre of forest and rangeland are burning. The good news is, firefighters are making steady progress to contain these fires. Cooler weather and higher humidity have helped.
 
Temperatures are forecasted to creep upward in the days ahead, so please be careful with any activity that could start a fire.
 
Fire Facts
 
The Dry Gulch Fire burning east of Baker City and 7 miles northwest of Richland, OR is estimated at 17,536 acres and is now 20 percent contained.
  
Governor Kate Brown enacted the Conflagration Act on September 14 authorizing resources from around the state to mobilize and respond. Based on early situational reports from ODF's Incident Management Team, the national weather service and local fire chief, an Incident Management Team from the Office of State Fire Marshal and four task forces were mobilized to the fire.
 
Upon arrival on Monday night, the change in weather prompted a reduction in response to two task forces to assist ODF crews in triage and prep work. Remaining OSFM personnel will spend the morning patrolling and triaging structures along the perimeter of the fire to ensure there is no remaining threat to structures before making a decision to demobilize the incident.

Some 274 personnel are currently assigned to the fire including 8 20-person crews, however, over the next few days many firefighters will begin the process of returning to their home units. 
 
The 12,763-acre Eagle Complex 20 miles NW of Richland, Oregon, is 75 percent contained. Minimal fire behavior, creeping and smoldering. The fires are currently staffed with 78 total personnel. Resources include: two hand crews, four fire engines and two helicopters.

The 110,406-acre Canyon Creek Complex south of John Day is now 90 percent contained. The fires are currently staffed with 186 total personnel. Resources include: 4 crews, nine fire engines, 2 bulldozers, 3 water tenders and two helicopters.

The 75,478-acre Grizzly Bear Complex 20 miles SE of Dayton, Wash., and near Troy, Ore., in the Northeast Oregon District is 44 percent contained. The fires are currently staffed with 332 total personnel. Resources include: five hand crews and 16 fire engines.
 
The 16,744-acre National Creek Complex 10 miles SW of Diamond Lake is 70 percent contained. The fire is currently staffed with 257 total personnel. Resources include: seven hand crews, nine fire engines and six helicopters. Fire now smoldering and creeping along the ground due to drop in temperature and rise in humidity.
 
About this Update
 
This update provides information primarily about fires on Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) protected lands involving fires 10 acres or larger. ODF provides fire protection primarily on private and state-owned forestland, and Bureau of Land Management forestlands west of the Cascades, and also works closely with partner firefighting agencies.

Oregon Dept. of Forestry fire update - 09-15-15

FIRE FACTS

The Dry Gulch Fire burning east of Baker City and seven miles northwest of Richland, Oregon, is estimated at 17,536 acres and is now 20 percent contained.
 
Gov. Kate Brown enacted the Conflagration Act on September 14, authorizing resources from around the state to mobilize and respond. Based on early situational reports from ODF's Incident Management Team, the national weather service and local fire chief, an Incident Management Team from the Office of State Fire Marshal (OSFM) and four task forces were mobilized to the fire.

Upon the team's arrival Monday evening, a change in weather prompted a reduction in response to two task forces to assist ODF crews in triage and prep work. Remaining OSFM personnel will spend the morning patrolling and triaging structures along the perimeter of the fire to ensure there is no remaining threat to structures before making a decision to demobilize the incident.

Some 274 personnel are currently assigned to the fire including eight 20-person crews; however, over the next few days many firefighters will begin the process of returning to their home units.

The 12,763-acre Eagle Complex 20 miles NW of Richland, Oregon, is 75 percent contained. Minimal fire behavior is occurring, with creeping and smoldering. The fires are currently staffed with 78 total personnel. Resources include: two hand crews, four fire engines and two helicopters.

 
The 110,406-acre Canyon Creek Complex south of John Day is now 90 percent contained. The fires are currently staffed with 186 total personnel. Resources include: four crews, nine fire engines, two bulldozers, three water tenders and two helicopters.

The 75,478-acre Grizzly Bear Complex 20 miles SE of Dayton, Wash., and near Troy, Ore., in the Northeast Oregon District is 44 percent contained. The fires are currently staffed with 332 total personnel. Resources include: five hand crews and 16 fire engines.

The 16,744-acre National Creek Complex 10 miles SW of Diamond Lake is 70 percent contained. The fire is currently staffed with 257 total personnel. Resources include: seven hand crews, nine fire engines and six helicopters. The fires are now smoldering and creeping along the ground due to drop in temperature and rise in humidity.


About this Update

This update provides information primarily about fires on Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) protected lands involving fires 10 acres or larger. ODF provides fire protection primarily on private and state-owned forestland, and Bureau of Land Management forestlands west of the Cascades, and also works closely with partner firefighting agencies.

Dry Gulch Fire now 17,536 acres, 20 percent contained

Oregon Dept. of Forestry
Incident Management Team 3
Link Smith, Incident Commander

September 15, 2015 update

Halfway, OR – Close to a quarter inch of rain fell on the Dry Gulch Fire yesterday calming fire behavior and slowing fire spread. The fire, located seven miles northwest of Richland, is currently estimated at 17,536 acres and 20 percent contained.

Today, fire crews will take advantage of the overnight precipitation and build fire line right along the fire’s edge.  While 274 personnel are currently assigned to the fire that includes 8 20-person crews, many firefighters will begin the process of returning to their home units over the next few days.

Conflagration Coincides with Rain
Gov. Kate Brown enacted the Conflagration Act on Sept. 14 authorizing resources from around the state to mobilize and respond to the Dry Gulch Fire. 

Based on early situational reports from Oregon Department of Forestry’s Incident Management Team, the national weather service and the local fire chief, an Incident Management Team from the Office of State Fire Marshal and four task forces to assist local structural protection resources were mobilized to the fire.

Upon arrival on Monday night, the change in weather prompted a reduction in response to two task forces to assist ODF crews in triage and prep work.

Remaining OSFM personnel will spend the morning patrolling and triaging structures along the perimeter of the fire to ensure there is no remaining threat to structures before making a decision to demobilize the incident.

A Level 2 Evacuation Notification (Get Set) remains in effect for the following areas until further notice.

Cornucopia Highway to West Wall of the Halfway Valley; West Wall of Halfway Valley; North of Carnahan Road; Hewitt/Holcomb Park; Sag Road; New Bridge; Dry Gulch; Pine Tower Lane; Moody Road.

To stay current on fire information, visit us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/drygulchfire2015 or at www.oregon.gov/odf. To check on this fire and others across the country, visit www.inciweb.nwcg.gov.

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Dry Gulch Fire reaches 15,500 acres

Oregon Dept. of Forestry
Incident Management Team 3
Link Smith, incident commander

Update Sept. 14, afternoon 

Halfway, OR – The Dry Gulch Fire is currently estimated at 15,500 acres. Oregon Department of Forestry’s Type 1 Incident Management Team 3, led by Incident Commander Link Smith, assumed command of the fire from a local Type 3 organization Monday at noon.

Much of the fire activity since Saturday has been fueled by high winds, growing from a few hundred acres Saturday to well over 10,000 acres by Sunday evening. The fire is burning primarily in lighter fuels such as grass and brush with timber burning in the higher elevations. Rain that hit the area Monday was a welcome relief, but not significant enough to put the fire out. Firefighters will focus much of their attention to the south and east ends of the fire in an effort to slow its spread and keep it away from the Halfway community.

The rain was helpful in reducing fire behavior and allowed Level 3 evacuation levels to be reduced to Level 2. While residents previously under a Level 3 may return to their homes, the wildfire threat still exists and people should remain prepared to leave at a moment’s notice. Just as the rainfall alleviated the fire behavior, a return to warm, windy conditions could also raise the threat.

Areas under a Level 2 evacuation notice, meaning to "Get Ready," include the following areas: Cornucopia Highway to West Wall of the Halfway Valley; West Wall of Halfway Valley; North of Carnahan Road; Hewitt/Holcomb Park; Sag Road; New Bridge; Dry Gulch; Pine Tower Lane; Moody Road.

Fire officials and Baker County Emergency Management will continue to assess the situation and make necessary changes to the evacuation levels as needed. For more information about the Ready Set Go evacuation level system, visit www.wildlandfirersg.org .

While Highway 86 is now open, motorists are asked to stay clear of the area due to high fire traffic.  Major highway and road closure information can also be found by visiting www.tripcheck.com.

To stay current on fire information, visit us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/drygulchfire2015 or at www.oregon.gov/odf. To check on this fire and others across the country, visit www.inciweb.nwcg.gov.

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Monday, September 14, 2015

Gov. Brown invokes Conflagration Act on Dry Gulch Fire

Oregon Governor Kate Brown invoked the Emergency Conflagration Act at 12:25 p.m. today in response to the Dry Gulch Fire burning approximately seven miles northwest of Richland, Oregon. More than 150 homes are under a Level 3 evacuation notice. Cause of the fire is under investigation.

The Office of State Fire Marshal activated and deployed the OSFM Green Incident Management Team and four structural task forces in response. Green IMT Incident Commander is Les Hallman.

Structural task forces from Marion, Lane, Clackamas and Columbia counties are expected to arrive on scene by 10:00 p.m. this evening.

The OSFM Green IMT will be in unified command with Oregon Department of Forestry Team 3.

Comments and questions

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. 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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About Me

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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.