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.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Phillips Creek Fire Update - Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Phillips Creek Fire Update
Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2015, 12:00 p.m.
Fire Information: (541) 975-4271

ELGIN, OR – Firefighters have completed the fire line around the southern portion of the fire on private land. Dozers have completed contingency lines along the west side on the fire. Yesterday air tankers dropped retardant along the east side of the fire, to slow the spread of the fire to the east along Middle Ridge. Although the fire has not reached Highway 204, Oregon Department of Transportation is instituting a pilot car this afternoon due to heavy aircraft use in the area.

An additional Level 1 Evacuation Notice has been issued by Union County officials on Highway 204 between Phillips Creek and Valley View, and on Valley View between Highway 204 and Gordon Creek.
Oregon Interagency Incident Management Team 2, led by Incident Commander Brett Fillis, assumed management of the fire this morning. The Incident Command Post (ICP) is located at the Elgin Stampede Rodeo Grounds.

The forecast today calls for winds out of the west and temperatures in the low 80's. With generally hot and dry conditions there is a potential for active fire behavior. Today, firefighters will continue to hold and improve both hand and dozer fire lines along the south and west flanks of the fire. Fire officials are scouting, identifying, and beginning to construct contingency fire lines on the east portions of the fire. Engines from fire departments in Union County are providing structural protection. Five engines will be working on the night shift, patrolling the south side of the fire.

Phillips Creek Fire information can be found on Inciweb at: and on Facebook at Phillips Creek Fire | Facebook.
Union County officials have issued a Level I Evacuation Notice for residents of Ruckle Road and Sanderson Springs Road, west of Elgin. A Level I evacuation notice means residents should be READY to leave their homes at a moment’s notice. Questions regarding evacuation notices and the evacuation process can be directed to the Emergency Operation Center at 541-963-1049.

Quick Facts
Incident Summary
1,538 acres
Fire Containment: 5%
Incident Commander: Brett Fillis
Resources on the Fire: Hand Crews: 10
Helicopters: 3
Engines: 11
Dozers: 8
Water Tenders: 7
Total Personnel: 276
Jurisdiction: USDA-Forest Service
Umatilla National Forest
Walla Walla R.D.
Oregon Department of Forestry
Social Media: Facebook
Phillips Creek Fire | Facebook
PhillipsCreek Fire (@PhillipsCK2015) | Twitter


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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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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.