2015 another severe fire season

By mid-October 2016, ODF's net expenditures on large wildfires stood at $13.2 million. The lack of dry lightning played a significant role in the moderate firefighting costs this season. In 2015, large-fire costs totaled $29.6 million.


Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Eagle Complex update - 08-26-15

Incident Summary

Start Date:                  August 11, 2015
Cause:                        Lightning
Location:                    20 Miles NW of Richland, Oregon
Size:                            10,965 Acres
Containment:              7%
Resources:                 321 Personnel
                                     9 crews, 16 fire engines, 4 water tenders, 7 bulldozers,
                                     5 helicopters


The Eagle Complex progressed north on Tuesday, then began backing down the western flank into the drainage above Two Colors and toward Boulder Creek as firefighters initiated structure protection efforts near Footbridge. Structure protection efforts continued along East Eagle Creek using a PSD (plastic sphere dispenser) to ignite unburned fuel between the main fire and structures on upper East Eagle Creek. The southwest edge of the Eagle Complex is nearly contained along most of Eagle Creek and mop-up efforts will continue today. Additionally, crews continued to construct indirect fire line around the fire on the east side of East Eagle Creek. Crews are putting in hand lines and using dozers to create a line between East Eagle Creek and the eastern edge of this fire, then north and east to bring the line towards Little Eagle Creek. Firefighters on the ground were assisted by a heavy air tanker that dropped a line of retardant on the east edge of fire to support line construction. A series of contingency lines have been created by crews and dozers, creating multiple opportunities to check the fire if it continues to move the south and east.
 
On Wednesday, firefighters hope to finish preparing indirect line construction around the southeast portion of fire on the east side of East Eagle Creek, in an effort to stop the fire’s progress toward neighboring communities to the east and south. When line construction is completed, crews are planning to perform a burnout off of the indirect line this evening. A 6,000-gallon tank was brought into the East Eagle area to assist crews on the ground and reduce aircrafts’ flight time between water and retardant drops. Structure protection efforts will continue near Footbridge as necessary today, as well as mop-up along Forest Service Road 77.

Evacuations: The Baker County Sheriff's Office has issued a LEVEL 3 evacuation notice to include where the intersection of the 7700 road turns to the Northeast at the intersection of the 7700 and 7015 roads up the Long Creek drainage to the wilderness.
 
The evacuation levels for the area south of the 7735 road, South of the junction of the 7735 and 7700 road to McBride Campground and over to Carson down to the forest boundary have been increased to a LEVEL 2 (Get Set). Evacuation levels for the Eagle Complex are available on the interactive incident map (http://arcg.is/1I5DaJw).
 
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).

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The weather conditions setting up for this summer are ominous: continuing drought, meager winter snowpack, and above-average temperatures forecast through August.

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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 maintain this blog. During the wildfire season, we spend much of our time reporting on fires and firefighting to news media and the public.