This week will bring warmer, dryer weather conditions back to the John Day valley, and back to the fires of the Canyon Creek Complex. Un-burned vegetation and smoldering large fuels may begin to smoke more than they have in the past week when humidity was higher and temperatures were cooler. Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) fire managers are confident that fire lines adjacent to private lands are secure, and do not pose a risk to landowners. The fire continues to burn on the eastern front where Oregon Interagency Incident Management Team 4 is developing a strategy to contain the fire and minimize impacts in the Slide Creek and Strawberry Creek drainages of the Strawberry Mountain Wilderness.
ODF’s John Day Unit will continue to patrol, focusing on the private lands within the fire area. In addition to the normal engine patrols from the John Day Unit the Central Oregon District has assigned a strike team of five engines from other ODF offices around the state to patrol and mop-up smokes or hot spots near the fire perimeter. These engines and their strike team leader will also be involved in fire suppression repair activities.
While interior smoke will be visible until fall rains and cooler temperatures completely extinguish the fire, any active fire or smoke near the fire edge, or within the urban interface should be reported to the John Day Interagency Dispatch Center (541-575-1321), or 911. The John Day Unit is still fully staffed for fire season with initial attack resources including engines, Single Engine Air Tankers, a helitack crew, helicopters, and a reconnaissance plane.
The Central Oregon District remains in a regulated closure restricting activities with the potential to ignite fires. Campfires are prohibited on lands protected by ODF, including Oregon State Parks. This campfire ban includes warming fires and cooking fires. Hunters are encouraged to be prepared for cooler temperatures as they go to the field so they will not be tempted to build a fire to stay warm. Additional restrictions are included in the closure which can be found on the Central Oregon District website: oregon.gov/odf/centraloregon
Open burning such as burn barrels and debris burns within the Central Oregon District require a permit from ODF during fire season. Currently no permits are being issued. Burning without a permit can result in citations or fines. In addition to these restrictions exploding targets, tracer ammunition, and sky lanterns are all prohibited during fire season.
Christie ShawPublic Information Officer