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





Sunday, August 16, 2015

Baker County Joint Information Center Evening Update for August 15, 2015 on Cornet/Windy Ridge, Eagle Complex, and Eldorado Fires


Baker County

Oregon Joint Information Center

Cornet/Windy Ridge, Eagle Complex, and Eldorado Fires

Evening Update August 15, 2015 10 PM

 

 

Contact Information

Fire and Evacuation Information: (541)-523-2905



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Inciweb:





 

Incident Commanders:

Southwest Incident Management Team-Mark Ruggiero (Cornet/Windy Ridge) Oregon State Fire Marshal’s Office-Ted Kunze (Cornet/Windy Ridge)

Oregon Department of Forestry Team III-Link Smith (Eldorado)

Albuquerque Zone Type 3 Team-Ryan Romero (Eagle Complex)

 

Weather: Favorable weather conditions are expected to persist tomorrow and the next several days.

 

Media Advisory: Media are requested to call the Joint Information Center number listed above.

 

Road Closures: Highway 245 still closed 11 miles north of Hereford. Drivers are urged to check highway conditions on tripcheck.com.

 

Shelters: The American Red Cross has opened a shelter at the Baker City Middle School with 100 beds currently available. The shelter is open 24-hours and has food, bedding and toiletries for evacuees. For more shelter information, call 541-519-2360.

 

Recreation Areas: Regulated closures are in effect on State and private lands protected by Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) in northeast and central Oregon. Please check with your local Oregon Department of Forestry office for public use restrictions on lands protected by ODF. Visit the Blue Mountain Interagency Dispatch webpage at: www.bmidc.org or contact a local Oregon Department of Forestry office for more complete information. Similar restrictions may be in effect on State and private lands protected by the Washington Department of Natural Resources (WA-DNR). More information can be found on the WA-DNR website at: http://fortress.wa.gov/dnr/firedanger/BurnRisk.aspx.

 

Eagle Complex

Current Situation: Favorable weather conditions allowed firefighters to make good progress on the Eagle Complex today. Crews took advantage of favorable conditions to protect structures throughout the fire area, while holding the fire north of Forest Service Road 77. The fire experienced minimal, if any, growth today and is estimated at 1,666 acres. No structures have been lost and there have been no injuries to firefighters.

 

Area Fire Closures: There is an area closure in effect for the Eagle Complex near Main Eagle, East Eagle, Tamarack Campground and Two Color Campground. Please see the link to the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest Website http://www.fs.usda.gov/main/wallowa-whitman/home.

 

Public Safety: No Level 1 or 3. Level 2 (Set): FS 77 Rd. Bennett Peak Area, main Eagle Area, Tamarack Campground.

 

Additional Info: Rocky Mountain Team Black (Greer), a Type 2 Incident Management Team will assume command of the Eagle Complex tomorrow at 6 a.m.

 

Eldorado Complex

Current Situation: Firefighters on the Eldorado Fire eight miles southeast of Unity are attacking the fire with what night Operations Section Chief Eric Perkins has coined as an “Engine Brigade.” With an abundance of fire activity taking place in the northwest, firefighting resources are hard to come by. The night shift on this fire will be composed of three division supervisors and six engine crews. Fire officials are hopeful in obtaining additional personnel and equipment in the next couple of days. Three helicopters are also assigned to the fire.

 

Highway 26, which is now open to motorists, splits the fire with much of the activity burning toward the south in the Ironside Mountain area. While the fire to the north and northeast of the highway is looking good, firefighters plan to work the south and southeast edges near Rose Creek Road, where suppression efforts will be more effective in lighter fuels such as grass and sage brush.

 

Cooperating agencies on the fire include the Oregon Department of Forestry, Ironside Rangeland Protection Association, Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Forest Service.

 

Area Fire Closures: No area fire closures are in place.

 

Public Safety: The following evacuation level notifications remain in effect. Level 1 (Ready): Shirts Creek; Job Creek and south of Job Creek Road; East of Bull Run Road; and south of Campbell Lane. Level 2 (Set): Dry Gulch area and Ripley Gulch area. Level 3 (Go): Beam Creek area; Eldorado Ditch area; Long Creek area (Baker County); Long Creek Reservoir; and Camp Creek south of Highway 26.

Additional Info: None at this time.

 

Cornet/Windy Ridge Complex

Current Situation: Milder weather conditions subdued fire behavior today, enabling crews to make good progress on all sides of the Cornet/Windy Ridge Fire. Activity increased this afternoon on the northwest portion of the fire, in an area with difficult terrain. Water and retardant drops slowed the fire so a hotshot crew could safely enter and engage directly. Tonight crews will continue to patrol and hold lines that were created today.

 

Area Fire Closures: A forest closure order is in place for the area around the Cornet/Windy Ridge Fire. Please see the link to the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest Website http://www.fs.usda.gov/main/wallowa-whitman/home. OR-245 remains closed. As of this evening, Highways- 7 and Interstate-84 are open.

 

Public Safety: the public should be cautious when driving; crews and equipment are working near and along the roads, and smoke may hinder visibility. Level 1 (Ready): Old Auburn Ln, Durkee. Level 2 (Get Set): Bridgeport, Sutton Creek. Level 3 (Go): Beaver Creek, Black Mountain, Denny Creek, French Gulch, Greater Bowen Valley Rural Fire to French Gulch, Alder Creek, Burnt River Canyon, Dry Creek, Dry Creek Cutoff, Ebell Creek, Hill Creek Rd.

 

Additional Info: None at this time.

 

Fire Statistics, Total Acres, Percent Contained, Cause, Start Date

Eagle Complex: 1,670 acres, 0 percent contained, Lightning, August 10, 2015

Eldorado: 18,600 acres, 0 percent contained, Undetermined, August 14, 2015

Cornet/Windy Ridge: 88,433 acres, 5 percent contained, Lightning, August 10, 2015

 

Structures Lost, Locations:

Eagle Complex: 0, 20 Miles northwest of Richland, Oregon

Eldorado:  0, 5 Miles southeast of Unity, Oregon

Cornet/Windy Ridge: 6, 10 Miles East of Unity Oregon

 

# Personnel, Types of Resources:

Eagle Complex: 140, INFORMATION NOT AVAILABLE AT THIS TIME

Eldorado: 161 CREWS: 2, ENGINES: 12, DOZERS: 7, HELICOPTERS: 1, AIR TANKERS: 0

Cornet/Windy Ridge: 628 CREWS: 19, ENGINES: 34, DOZERS: `12, HELICOPTERS: 4, AIR TANKERS: 0

 

 

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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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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.



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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.