Current situation

Fire season on ODF-protected land ended in most of Oregon last week as cooler temperatures, shorter days and moister conditions settled over much of the state.





























Sunday, September 13, 2015

Canyon Creek Complex update - 09-13-15

Level 2 evacuation notice issued by Grant County Sheriff:
Residents in the following area of Dog Creek Road are affected; two miles south of Highway 26 to the northern fire perimeter, west of Dissel Creek, east of Little Dog Creek. Residents are advised to pack emergency items, pay close attention to updates from the Grant County Sheriff’s Office and be prepared to evacuate should the need arise.

On the fire
• The John Day Type 3 Interagency Incident Management Team has assumed command of the Canyon Creek Complex as of 6 a.m. today.
• Today’s maximum temperature is forecasted to be 5-10 degrees cooler than yesterday’s record-tying temperature. While temperatures will be cooler, humidity will remain low today and tonight. As the weather transitions to cooler temperatures and higher humidity over the next couple of days, an increase in northwest wind is expected as early as midday today. Red Flag warnings have been issued for parts of eastern Washington and north-central Oregon. No Red Flag warnings or fire weather watches have been issued for our area.
• Aircraft will continue aerial suppression today, cooling areas of heat enough for firefighters to access and extinguish hot spots.
• No heat was found on the Strawberry Lake and Slide Lake spot fires with infrared cameras or by firefighters. All firefighters have hiked out of the area and are engaged elsewhere on the fire today.   
• The Burned Area Emergency Response (BAER) team continues to assess areas damaged by the fire. They are evaluating areas in need of emergency stabilization to prevent resource damage such as erosion and water runoff.

Canyon Creek Complex Facts
Type, cause, date started:  The lightning-caused wildfire began Aug. 12, 2015. 
Location: One mile south of the towns of John Day and Canyon Creek.
Fuels: Timber, brush and grass understory and medium density logging slash
Structures Damaged: 50, Destroyed: 43
Size: 110,422 acres. Containment: 90%
Personnel: 362 Resources: (2) Type 1 crews, (4) Type 2IA crews, (2) Type 2 crews, (3) helicopters, (6) fire engines, (4) bulldozers, (7) water tenders, (2) skidgines.

Open and closed
• Malheur National Forest has area and road closures in the fire area. The Starr Ridge and Parish Cabin Campgrounds are now open to the public as well as the FS Road 15 from the junction of County Road 65 to the junction of FS Road 16. IFPL III and Public Use Restrictions B are in effect. Public Use Restrictions B regulate campfires, use of combustion engines, chainsaws, smoking, and off-road and off-trail vehicle travel.
• Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT):  Highway 395 is open for two-way travel.  A pilot car may be on site to lead traffic in specific areas between 6 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.
• 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.

For More Information
Inciweb: http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/4495/
Facebook: www.facebook.com/canyoncreekfireoregon and www.facebook.cm/malheurnationalforest
Malheur National Forest Website: www.fs.usda.gov/malheur/
Air Quality Index: http://oregonsmoke.blogspot.com/
Malheur Hunting Information: http://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/malheur/news-events/?cid=STELPRD3852316

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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. 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.