Current situation

Rain will move across much of the region today, Oct. 5, diminishing over the weekend. Temperatures will remain below average. Winds will vary across the region as weather systems arrive and depart. The potential for large fire initiation over the region is minimal due to the wet and cool weather today and lingering through the weekend. Fire restrictions in different parts of the state began to be lowered last week based on the local fuel conditions. Check with your local district or forest protection association for restrictions on activities linked to fire starts or use ODF's fire restrictions and closures web page for the latest details at https://www.oregon.gov/ODF/Fire/Pages/Restrictions.aspx.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Dry Gulch Fire expands to 12,000 acres

Dry Gulch Fire Information

Sunday, Sept. 13, 2015, 9 p.m.

Fire Information: (541) 786-0501

Dry Gulch Fire exhibits extreme behavior

The Dry Gulch fire burning seven miles northwest of Richland, Oregon, has burned approximately 12,000 acres. Due to the rapidly changing fire environment, evacuation orders have been issued and can rapidly change according to the situation.

Level 3 Evacuation (GO) orders have been issued for:
*77 road from McBride Campground to Highway 86
*The West Wall of the Halfway Valley
*Pine Town Lane east of Halfway
*New Bridge to Carnahan Lane
*Carnahan Lane to Hewitt Park
*Along the Powder River arm to Sag Road and Sag Road to Highway 86
Level 2 Evacuation (SET) orders have been issued for:
*Dry Gulch
*New Bridge.
*Between Carnahan Lane and Moody Road
*Cornucopia Highway and the West Wall of the Halfway Valley

Sunday's operations: Firefighters worked to assess opportunities for fire lines and used aircraft and heavy equipment to establish fire lines where fire behavior allowed. The fire burned extremely actively, pushed by gusty winds and low relative humidity. Structure protection and public and firefighter safety took precedence in Sunday's operations. Due to the increase in size and complexity, an ODF Type 1 Team (Smith) was been ordered and will take command of the fire Monday.

Weather and Fire Behavior: The forecast Sunday evening called for clear conditions with gusty winds up to 18 m.p.h. from the Northwest. Humidity recovery was expected to be poor Sunday evening. Weather for Monday is expected to be mostly clear with lighter winds and lower temperatures.

Road Closures
Road closures have been implemented for public and firefighter safety and include:
-Eagle Creek Road from New Bridge
-77 Road from McBride Campground to Highway 86
-Highway 86 from Richland to Halfway
Quick Facts Incident Summary
Size: 12,000 acres
Fire Containment: 0%
Incident Commander: Mike McDonnall
Total Personnel: 150
Jurisdiction:
Oregon Department of Forestry, Bureau of Land Management, Wallowa-Whitman National Forest
and Eagle Valley Rural Fire District
Social Media:
Inciweb
http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/4607/
Facebook
http://facebook.com/DryGulchFire2015

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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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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.