Current situation

Fire season on ODF-protected land has officially ended in all of Oregon as cooler temperatures and moister conditions settle over much of the state. With the end of wildfire season in Oregon, firefighting resources are now more available. As a result, several public and private engines and crews have been dispatched to California to assist with the devastating wildfires there.































Saturday, August 15, 2015

Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) Fire Update for Saturday, August 15, 2015

FIRES CURRENTLY BURNING ON ODF-PROTECTED LANDS

EL DORADO FIRE
The El Dorado Fire reported Friday morning 5 miles southeast of Unity, Oregon is burning on Oregon Department of Forestry private lands, Vale BLM and Wallowa-Whitman National Forest lands. The fire burning primarily in grass, brush and timber is exhibiting extreme fire behavior including wind-driven runs and is approximately 12,000 acres at this time. Significant spread to the east and northeast is expected. Fire officials are recommending that people avoid driving near the fire due to increased firefighting traffic.

An ODF Type 1 IMT assumed command of the incident at 10:00 this morning. Cause is under investigation.

Fire information541-523-2905

CANYON CREEK COMPLEX
This lightning-caused complex of fires located south of John Day Oregon and reported Wednesday afternoon is now estimated at 34,143 acres.The fire has exhibited extreme behaviors including crowning, wind-driven runs and long-range spotting up to two miles. Strong winds pushed the Berry Creek and Mason Springs Fires to the north toward Canyon City and John Day on Friday.

The fires merged together creating a fast moving fire forcing residents to evacuate and fire fighters to retreat from the fire line. Air resources were grounded in the late afternoon because of the heavy winds. Today the fire is being managed by a local Type 3 Team, including ODF resources, with support from the Oregon State Fire Marshal's Red Team.

Structural task forces are in place, working to protect homes in the path of the fire. Crews working to assess structures are challenged by access due to damage to road infrastructure such as burned wooden bridges and fallen trees.There are currently 26 primary residences confirmed destroyed. This number may rise as crews make assessments. The fire is estimated to be approximately 34,000 acres based on an IR flight from Friday night.  Fire fighters will face calmer winds and increased humidity today. 

Resources
Throughout the night dozers worked to put in line south of Canyon City.  Available resources continue to be limited; approximately 225 people are currently assigned to this fire including 5 crews and 1 helicopter.  

Today at 4pm the Great Basin Team (Type 1) will be in-briefed, with plans to take command of the fire on Sunday. Firefighting resources are depleted at a national level in the west. Multiplehave been issued by the Grant County Sheriff's Department across the area. Due to the severity of the situation of the Canyon Creek Complex, the Conflagration Act has been enacted.     

Evacuations
Level 2 evacuation notices have been issued for:
Laycock Creek Road, Nance Rock Road, West Bench Road, Dog Creek

Level 3 evacuation notices have been issued for: South of Canyon City to the J-Bar-L Ranch, Marysville Road, Adams Drive, South side of Marysville Road, Pine Creek

Those under a Level 1 evacuation notice need to be aware of the situation
Level 2 - prepare to leave on short notice
Level 3 - evacuate immediately

Please continue to monitor KJDY at 1400 am for more evacuation information

Closures and shelters
Highway 395 south is expected to remain closed for potential three more days at least due to active fire, hazard trees and heavy fire fighter traffic. A Red Cross shelter has been set up at the Mount Vernon Community Hall. Multiple churches are also providing assistance.
Multiple landowners are offering space for livestock as well as the Grant County Fairgrounds.

Fire information541-263-0661

CORNET FIRE
The lightning-caused Cornet Fire (EOA) near Hereford, Oregon on the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest, Vale BLM District and on private lands protected by Oregon Department of Forestry is approximately 26,000 acres. It is 5 percent contained and now threatens approximately 146 residences. 

On Thursday Governor Kate Brown invoked the Emergency Conflagration Act in response to the Cornet Fire. This declaration authorizes the Oregon Office of State Fire Marshal to mobilize structural firefighters and equipment to assist local resources battling the fire. The fire is exhibiting extreme behavior with crowning, wind-driven runs and spotting.

Resources 
Approximately 457 people are assigned to this fire including 14 crews, 4 helicopters and 19 fire engines. Ruggreio's Type 1 Southwest IMT 2 assumed command of the Incident at 1800 hours yesterday.

Evacuations
Level 1 (READY) - Elk Creek Lane to Griffin Gulch Lane 
Level 2 (GET SET) -Bridgeport 
Level 3 (GO) -Beaver Creek -Black Mountain -Denny Creek -French Gulch -Greater Gowen Valley Rural Fire to French Gulch -Old Auburn Ln 

Closures: Baker County Sheriff’ Office has issued a Level 3 Evacuation Order for Stices Gulch and a level 2 Evacuation Order for Rancheria Creek, Black Mountain and Denny Creek. 

Fire Information: 541-523-2905 

WINDY RIDGE FIRE
The lightning-caused Windy Ridge Fire (BLM) located 4 miles west of Durkee first reported August 11 has moved to the northeast toward Interstate-84. 41 residences are threatened. The fire is burning in brush, grass and timber and size is estimated to be 22,862 acres.

The terrain on the fire is rugged and steep and ground crews have trouble accessing certain areas. This has necessitated aggressive air suppression including single engine air tankers (SEATs), helicopters and heavy air tankers, though increasingly scarce resources are straining air support.

The Team is transitioning to Ruggiero's Type 1 Team (Cornet and Windy Ridge Fires expected to merge).

Fire Information: 541-523-2904

EAGLE COMPLEX
The Eagle Complex (USFS) reported Tuesday afternoon burning approximately 16 miles northeast of Baker City and 10 miles east of Medical Springs, Oregon, is now approximately 1,700 acres. Three fires comprise the complex and are burning on the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest as well as private lands protected by Oregon Department of Forestry.  

Strong winds and continued hot, dry conditions caused additional growth of the Eagle Fire Complex on Friday. The fire spotted over Forest Service Road 77 road in the southwest corner of the fire. Firefighters were able to successfully catch all of the spot fires and no structures were burned. 

Today’s operations include continued structure protection and fire suppression.

Resources: A Type 2 Incident Management Team has been ordered and will transition over the next couple of days with the current Type 3 team currently working on the Complex.

Evacuations
Level 2 evacuation notices remain in effect. A Level 2 evacuation notice means residents should be SET (Ready, Set, Go) to evacuate, and continue to closely monitor local media and incident information. Questions regarding evacuation notices and the evacuation process can be directed to the Baker County Emergency Management at 541-523-8200. 

An area closure has been implemented for public and firefighter safety and can be viewed at http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/4481/ 

The fire danger rating has increased to EXTREME and Public Use Restrictions involving campfires and chainsaw use are in effect. For more information about the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest’s Public Use Restrictions, please contact any forest office, or visit our website at www.fs.usda.gov/wallowa-whitman/ or on the Blue Mountain Fire Information BlogSpot at http://bluemountainfireinfo.blogspot.com/.

Fire Information(541) 523-1267

CHAMBERS MILL
The Chambers Mill fire located approximately 2 miles south of Lorane is now 100 percent lined with a combination of dozer and hand lines. Initial attack was strongly supported by air attack; three residences were threatened.

Crews have been mopping up and Territorial Highway is now open both ways. Cooperators on the incident include Weyerhaeuser Co. and the Bureau of Land Management. The fire size was 180 acres.

Resources
4 Hand Crews, 2 helicopters, 4 engines, 4 bulldozers, 6 water tenders. 

STOUTS CREEK
The Stouts Creek Fire (Douglas Forest Protective Association (DFPA) approximately16 miles east of Canyonville near Milo on forestlands protected by DFPA, is currently estimated at approximately 24,181 acres and 65 percent containment. 

Night crews on the Stouts Creek Fire continued to be vigilant, holding and widening control lines while working toward securing the south end of the fire. Overnight fire activity was low as firefighters patrolled the northern portions of the 24,181-acre fire looking for hot spots and flare ups.  

There are 1,645 personnel assigned to the fire with 49 crews, 46 engines, 27 water tenders, 20 bulldozers and 11 helicopters. Numbers of personnel and equipment will continue to shrink as objectives are met and these resources move on to fires with greater needs. The Stouts Creek Fire costs to date are $25.5 million. The Incident Management Team leading the effort under unified command is protecting lands that are about 48% on state protected lands, which include BLM and private lands, and 52% on the Umpqua National Forest. Twenty-three states and three Canadian provinces have provided staff for this effort.

Fire Information: 541-825-3724 
Facebook: www.facebook.com/StoutsFire                                                                    
#StoutsFire

CABLE CROSSING FIRE
The Cable Crossing Fire, (Douglas Forest Protective Association (DFPA) burning on DFPA-protected private and public forestlands six miles east of Glide, is currently estimated at 85 percent containment. 
The cause of this fire remains under investigation.

Fire information: 541-817-7186
#cablecrossingfire 

PHILLIPS CREEK FIRE
The Phillips Creek Fire (Northeast Oregon District – LaGrande Unit) located 7 miles northwest of Elgin in northeast Oregon in brush, grass, slash, and heavy timber predominantly on the Umatilla National Forest, has burned 2,601 acres including approximately 435 acres of ODF-protected private forestlands.  It is now approximately 89 percent contained and crews continue to do mop up.

Planned actions include holding and mopping up along the fire perimeter, and continuing repair work on contingency lines.The tentative plan is to transition management of the fire back to the local district in the next three to six days.

Fire Information: 541-437-1159
#Phillipscreekfire

  
FIRE PREVENTION
Oregonians are reminded to continue to treat fire season with respect.  Everyone is encouraged to follow current fire season restrictions to prevent human caused fires.  

In addition, residents who live in the wildland urban interface, where communities border forests and grazing lands, should always be prepared before fire threatens.  Have a plan that includes making arrangements for persons with special needs, livestock, and pets.  Learn more about the Ready Set Go Program at www.wildlandfirersg.org/.

WILDFIRE SMOKE
Smoke may persist where wildfires are burning in in Oregon, including times when burn-out firefighting operations are taking place. Stay up-to-date on smoke density and public health advisories, orview and monitor Oregon’s air quality index.  Wildfires and severe smoke can create dangerous conditions for people, especially those with chronic health conditions. Learn what you can do to reduce the risk of health effects of wildfire smoke.

NEWS MEDIA
News media may call the Fire Information Duty Officer, who is currently Cynthia Orlando,
503-510-7972 (Cell), 503-945-7421 (office) any time for fire information. If the duty officer is unable to take your call, you can expect a prompt return call. Media may also call the Oregon Department of Forestry headquarters office, 503-945-7200, weekdays during business hours.

OTHER FIRE INFORMATION
For information on wildfires on all jurisdictions in Oregon, view:
ODF Social Media sources for information on fires on Oregon Department of Forestry protected lands:
ABOUT THIS UPDATE
This update provides information primarily about fires on Oregon Department of Forestry-protected lands involving fires 10 acres or larger. ODF provides fire protection primarily on private and state-owned forestland. The department also provides fire protection on some other lands, including U.S. Bureau of Land Management land in western Oregon.

The Oregon Department of Forestry works closely with neighbors and partner agencies to support the firefighting efforts on major fires outside its authority because sharing firefighting resources can help better protect all of Oregon’s forests.

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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.