Lightning is largely absent from Oregon this week. However, warm, dry weather will greet the hundreds of thousands of visitors arriving to see the eclipse of the sun on Aug. 21. Avoiding activities that can spark a wildfire is key to making the eclipse a safe and pleasant experience for all. One measure adopted to reduce the risk of wildfire is a temporary ban, now in effect, on all campfires in state parks





Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Willamina Creek Fire update - 08-26-15

Oregon Department of Forestry

West Oregon District – Dallas Unit

Willamina Creek Fire information number: (503) 934-8153

August 26, 2015, 9 a.m.                     

Special message: 
Major active operations on the Willamina Creek Fire are quickly ramping down and fire managers would like to take a moment to express their gratitude to everyone who has helped with this fire. The assistance and generosity from the local community has been genuinely appreciated. A few of the many that assisted include: Yamhill County Emergency Management, Public Works, CERT and ARES teams for establishing and staffing road blocks to ensure firefighter and public safety; volunteers for assisting with keeping fire camp running smoothly, including ODF retiree, Doug Shadbolt; Mark and Matthew Matocha for generously offering use of their field for a staging area and helibase; the communities of Willamina, Sheridan and Dallas for turning out in droves to provide treats, water and Gatorade to crews; and many more provided support in so many ways. All of the support is truly appreciated.

Current situation: 
Excellent progress has been made on the Willamina Creek Fire over the last few days. The Type 3 team that has been managing this fire will be transitioning it back to the West Oregon District after today. This will be the last update from this fire.

At this morning’s operational briefing, West Oregon District leadership and the Incident Commander expressed their gratitude to crews for their hard work and persistence in stopping this fire, minimizing acres burned and protecting valuable forest resources.

Work on mop-up will continue over the next several days, primarily utilizing help from inmate crews from South Fork Forest Camp and Mill Creek institutions. The fire will continue to be patrolled after mop up work has been completed to ensure no unseen hazards arise.

Weather and Fire Behavior: 
The forecast for the day today is expected to be sunny with a few high clouds. Temperatures will be between 82 and 86 degrees with 30-35 percent relative humidity. Tonight, temperatures will drop to 43-48 degrees and relative humidity will rise to 85-90 percent.

Fire Statistics

Location: approx. 9 miles north of Willamina, OR                 
 
Percent contained: 95%                             

Size: 230 acres                                                                         
 
Cause: under investigation                           

Start Date: 08-19-15, approximately 5 p.m.                          

Wildland resources assigned to the fire include (day and night shifts): 11 hand crews, 8 engines, 1 bulldozer, 6 water tenders, and overhead personnel. 

Total personnel:  195

Cost estimate to date:  $1,380,000

Evacuations and closures:
Four cabins along East Creek Road are under a Level 1 (Ready, in the Ready, Set, Go! system) until 6 p.m. tonight; the evacuation notice will be lifted at that time. The road blocks on Willamina Creek Road and East Creek Road will continue to be in effect through the weekend. Road blocks are currently in place at the north and south junctions of Willamina Creek and East Creek Roads.

Places to get information:

 
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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.