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Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Canyon Creek Complex morning fact sheet - 09-02-15

Fire Information:                     (541) 820-3643 or (541) 820-3633 (staffed 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.)
Email Address:                                      
Malheur NF:                  
Twitter:                                      @MalheurNF  
Air Quality Index:         

Cause:                                       Lightning

Date of Origin:                         August 12, 2015

Location:                                   One mile south of the towns of John Day and Canyon City, Oregon.

Types of Fuel:                         Timber with brush/grass understory; areas of medium logging slash.

Structures Threatened:              100

Structures Damaged:                50

Residences Destroyed:             43

Current Size:                            105,684 acres (no infrared flight last night)

Percent Containment:               52%

Number of Personnel:                  1,014

Types of resources:                 2 Type 1 (hotshot) crews, 23 Type 2 crews, 5 helicopters, 54 engines, 13 dozers, 20 water tenders, 9 skidgines, 1 masticator.

All Evacuation Levels lowered as of 6 a.m. today. 

Canyon Creek Complex Recent Activities:

   Night shift crews continued to make progress strengthening fire lines and mopping up along the entire northern perimeter of the fire.  Fire activity moderated through the night due to higher relative humidity and operations occurred with no issues.

   Additional resources continue to arrive and are being incorporated into the operational plan, mostly on the northern and eastern flanks to hold the completed line.

   Spot fires east of the 1640 Road challenged firefighters along the High Lakes Rim. Crews and air support worked yesterday to contain them, however low relative humidity and higher temps made the fire resistant to control. Firefighters had to pull out as smoke hindered visibility and potential for spotting below crews made it unsafe to continue operations. Today crews will again engage in this effort and are hopeful lower temperatures and higher relative humidity will aid in their efforts.

   Firefighters worked on two spot fires located in the northeast area of the fire yesterday. Air support dropped retardant on one and firefighters constructed a dozer line around the other. Crews will continue to work on these two spots today.

   Because of active fire activity in the High Lakes basin, causing spotting and increased smoke, the fire module and an additional crew that were hiking into the Strawberry Lake Basin left the area due to unsafe conditions.

   Cooler weather will move into the area with slight wind gusts and higher relative humidity. This should calm fire activity and allow firefighters to make progress in several areas.

   Firefighters continue providing structure protection and strengthening dozer and hand lines in the Dog Creek, Pine, Indian, and Strawberry Creek areas.

   Repair operations will continue along the entire western and southern flanks.

   The Oregon National Guard will continue to work on the western and southern edge of the fire focusing on suppression repair and reinforcing the line.

   A full contingent of aircraft will be active today.

ODOT: CR 62, the 16 Road and Highway 395 are open for through travel with no restrictions. Be advised that crews may still be working on the roads and drivers are urged to use caution.  Smoke will continue for some time, please do not report unless active fire is seen.

Public Safety Alert: If traveling through the area that has burned, please do not leave your vehicles and walk through ashes due to hot spots, stump holes and falling trees. 

Grant County Sheriff: The Grant County Sheriff’s Office reminds people to be respectful of private property and to remain on the road unless invited. Trespassing is punishable by law and violators will be prosecuted.

Burned Area Emergency Response (BAER): A BAER team has been ordered and will begin to conduct a watershed assessment of the area in order to plan rehabilitation of fire lines and mitigate soil erosion.

Air Quality Index: Smoke levels may reach unhealthy levels for sensitive groups range from time to time. For more specific information visit Oregon Smoke Information at


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National weather forecasters predictions that Oregon would see above average temperatures and below average rainfall in the summer of 2018 proved true. Almost all of Oregon was abnormally dry this summer, with a majority of the state in moderate to severe drought. Many areas posted record high temperatures or record strings of hot days. These conditions set the stage for potentially large, fast-moving wildfires.

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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.

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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.