2015 another severe fire season

A cool, wet winter and heavy snowpack delayed the start of fire season in much of western and northeastern Oregon. However, the onset of hotter, drier weather is quickly drying out forests and rangeland, making it easier for fires to start. More than half of ODF-protected lands are in districts that have declared the start of fire season this month. It's especially important as summer approaches to avoid or be extra careful with any potential source of fire in wooded areas. Fire season means the end of most outdoor activities that are high risk for starting a fire, such as debris burning, campfires outside of designated areas, and using tracer ammunition and exploding targets.







Friday, August 21, 2015

Canyon Creek Complex update - 08-21-15 morning

Updated Fire Information phone numbers: 541-820-3643, 541-820-3633

FIRE AT A GLANCE

Cause: Lightning

Date of Origin: August 12, 2015

Location: One mile south of the towns of John Day and Canyon City, Oregon.

Types of Fuel: Timber with brush/grass understory and areas of medium density logging slash.

Structures Threatened: 700+

Structures Damaged: 50+

Residences Destroyed: 36

Current Size: 61,631 acres

Containment: 13%

Number of Personnel: 939

Types of resources: 5 Type 1 Crews, 21 Type 2 Crews, 4 Helicopter, 66 Engines, 19 Dozers, 7

Skidgines, 27 Water tenders

Weather: The Red Flag Warning Continues through today with winds 20-25 mph gusting to 35 mph.

Recent Activities:

• Protected threatened homes on the fires southern edge.

• Worked to limit spread to the Southeast where fire activity was highest.

• Several aviation and initial-attack resources responded to a new fire north of Prairie City at 4:45 p.m. yesterday. Oregon Dept. of Forestry's designated initial-attack units were used extensively to combat this fire.

• The newest fire that started yesterday is called “Jerry’s Draw.” It will be added into the Canyon Creek Complex.
 
Planned actions include:

• Continue to work the fires southern flank to limit spread.

• A Fire Information Officer will be available outside the store in Seneca from 12 p.m.-4 p.m.

• Crews will closely monitor weather to determine the best distribution of firefighting resources during the Red Flag warning and expected high winds.

• Continue to improve and extend fire line to increase total containment.

• Work to quickly control the newest start and to protect the structures in that area.

• Use air resources aggressively as weather allows


Canyon Creek Complex Fact Sheet

August 21, 2015

Evacuation Update on Canyon Creek Complex
(This does not include new fire north of Prairie City)

Joint Information Center Hotlines: 541-820-3643 or 541-820-3633

Level 3 Evacuations:

• The area west of County Road 62, south of the forest boundary (MP 12) and north of Forest Road 16 to the junction of FR 15/16 is in a Level 3 evacuation. The Strawberry Mountain Wilderness remains in a closure. CR 62 and the 16 are open for through travel, at this time.

• South from Dog Creek to Little Dog Creek will stay closed and under a Level 3 evacuation.

• Upper end of Pine Creek from the road closure near the rock pit will remain under a Level 3 evacuation.

• Canyon Creek, from the fire perimeter north at Canyon City, south to the 15/16 junction will remain under a Level 3 evacuation.

Level 2 Evacuations:

• Adam Marysville

• Eagle Peak Gardner Ranch

• Pineview Buckhorn

• Edgewood Little Pine

• Rebel Hill Both sides of Izee Road from Hwy 395 to the Mike Moore Ranch

• Lower Pine Creek from the rock pit to Highway 26

• Nan’s Rock Road, Laycock Creek Road, Luce Creek, West Bench (still level 2 but inadvertently left off list)
 

Road Closures:

• Hwy. 395 remains closed

• Marysville from Hwy. 395 to Dog Creek and the junction of Hwy. 26 is CLOSED TO THROUGH TRAFFIC. Only homeowners will be able to access that portion of the road. Homeowners on the lower Little Canyon Mountain Trail area can also access their homes.

• The 15 road remains closed.

Evacuation level definitions:

LEVEL 1: A Level 1 Evacuation means “BE READY” for potential evacuation.

LEVEL 2: A Level 2 Evacuation means “BE SET” to evacuate.

LEVEL 3: A Level 3 Evacuation means “GO” Evacuate now, leave immediately.

Twitter: @CanyonCreekFire #CanyonCreekComplex

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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.



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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.