Current situation

Winter and spring see lots of controlled burns in Oregon to eliminate piles of woody debris left over after logging or thinning. Embers buried in the ashes of these pile burns can sometimes reignite even days after a fire appears to be out, especially if winds blow away ashy debris. The same winds can then fan smoldering embers back to life. That's why it's a good idea to keep checking old pile burns to ensure no hot spots have rekindled.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Canyon Creek Complex Update - Sunday, August 16, 2015

Sunday, August 16, 2015
Joint Information Center Hotlines:    541-575-3040 or 541-575-3480                                          

A community meeting is scheduled for Sunday, August 16 at 4 p.m. at Grant Union High School old gym.


JOHN DAY, Ore. –Local, state and federal firefighters continue to actively fight the fire, reinforced by structural fire engines to provide community and structure protection.

Local firefighting resources and new firefighting resources coming in to assist with the Canyon Creek Complex were provided an early morning briefing by the incoming state and federal firefighting teams in the sale barn at the Grant County Fairgrounds this morning.

“As we work in this incredibly resilient community; we recognize local responders and the public who worked to help friends and neighbors through this very difficult event with limited resources. We will be here for as long as it takes to ensure that you have the support you need moving forward,” said Oregon State Fire Marshal and Red Team Incident Commander Jim Walker.

Both of the Incident Commanders stressed the importance of working together with the local resources.  Two incident management teams: a federal wildland firefighting team, and an Oregon State Fire Marshal’s team, are managing the Canyon Creek Complex under unified command as of 6 a.m. this morning.

“We are working with local leaders to support the community and responders. Today’s priority is for a safe and organized transition.  We are assessing the fire situation and building on the long standing relationships in this community,” added Great Basin Team 1 Incident Commander Beth Lund.

Approximately 300 firefighters are currently assigned and more are anticipated to arrive to assist with the Canyon Creek Complex.  Air tankers provided good support to the fire operations yesterday, and the lack of a smoke inversion this morning allowed helicopter operations to get an early start today providing support to ground operations.

Today, the fire is most active in the southeast corner in the Strawberry Wilderness.  Fire managers cautioned firefighters that potential rapid growth of spot fires may occur with exposure to predicted gusty winds. Equipment operators have been requested to fill up tanks prior to leaving town to minimize impacts to water sources, and to notify local land managers of stray livestock in an effort to assist permittees.

A number of communities remain under Level 3 and Level 2 evacuations:

Level 3: Dog Creek-south of Marysville
              Marysville South
              Pine Creek – Gravel Pit, South
              Canyon Creek
              Edgewood Drive
Level 2: Laycock Creek                 Adams Drive
              Nans Rock Rd                   West Bench Rd
              Luce Creek                        Marysville North
              Pine Creek – Gravel Pit, North
              Dog Creek-north of Marysville

American Red Cross shelter has been staged at the Mt. Vernon Community Center at 640 Ingle Street.

The Red Cross is transitioning to providing financial and relief services for displaced residents. Those wishing to make monetary donations on behalf of displaced residents can contact the American Red Cross Mountain River Chapter at or in person at the shelter located on Ingle Street in Mt. Vernon.

An emergency fire closure is in effect in the Strawberry Mountain Wilderness area.  A copy of the closure order and map is available at    Forest Service personnel have assisted with escorting campers and other recreationalists out high-use areas, coordinating with Grant County Sheriff’s Office and other local agencies to facilitate the closure.

Additional information on the Canyon Creek Complex can be found on Inciweb at:

Please be advised of increased fire traffic and smoky conditions throughout the area. Forest Officials ask that the public stay clear of all fire activities.

The National Multi-Agency Coordinating Group (NMAC) is increased the National Fire Preparedness Level (PL) to its highest point, PL-5, effective at 5:30 a.m. Mountain Daylight Time on Thursday, August 13. The last time that the National Preparedness Level was raised to 5 was on August 20, 2013. The National Preparedness Level remained at 5 for 7 days until it was dropped to 4 on August 26, 2013. This is the fifth time that PL-5 has been reached in the last ten years.

Additional fire information can be found at JDIDC - BICC sites online at:

For more information on the Malheur National Forest, please visit us at, follow U.S. Forest Service- Malheur National Forest on Facebook, and follow @MalheurNF on Twitter for all the latest forest news.

To report a fire, contact the John Day Interagency Dispatch Center at 541-575-1321 or the Burns Interagency Communication Center at 541-573-1000.     

Email Address:
Facebook:                  Great Basin National Incident Management Team 1


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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:

Current wildfire info

Cool, wet weather in the winter of 2016-17 ended Oregon's long drought and left a thick mountain snowpack. It didn't take long for that to melt and vegetation to dry out due to a series of heatwaves and a prolonged stretch of dry weather over the summer. As forest fuels dried, fires started and spread, many from lands adjacent to those protected by ODF, such as the Chetco Bar Fire in Curry County. That one fire accounted for 46% of the 47,537 acres of land protected by ODF which burned in 2017. Of fires originating on ODF-protected land, 95% were put out at less than 10 acres.

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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. 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.