Incident Management Team 3
Link Smith, incident commander
Update Sept. 14, afternoon
Halfway, OR – The Dry Gulch Fire is currently estimated at 15,500 acres. Oregon Department of Forestry’s Type 1 Incident Management Team 3, led by Incident Commander Link Smith, assumed command of the fire from a local Type 3 organization Monday at noon.
Much of the fire activity since Saturday has been fueled by high winds, growing from a few hundred acres Saturday to well over 10,000 acres by Sunday evening. The fire is burning primarily in lighter fuels such as grass and brush with timber burning in the higher elevations. Rain that hit the area Monday was a welcome relief, but not significant enough to put the fire out. Firefighters will focus much of their attention to the south and east ends of the fire in an effort to slow its spread and keep it away from the Halfway community.
The rain was helpful in reducing fire behavior and allowed Level 3 evacuation levels to be reduced to Level 2. While residents previously under a Level 3 may return to their homes, the wildfire threat still exists and people should remain prepared to leave at a moment’s notice. Just as the rainfall alleviated the fire behavior, a return to warm, windy conditions could also raise the threat.
Areas under a Level 2 evacuation notice, meaning to "Get Ready," include the following areas: Cornucopia Highway to West Wall of the Halfway Valley; West Wall of Halfway Valley; North of Carnahan Road; Hewitt/Holcomb Park; Sag Road; New Bridge; Dry Gulch; Pine Tower Lane; Moody Road.
Fire officials and Baker County Emergency Management will continue to assess the situation and make necessary changes to the evacuation levels as needed. For more information about the Ready Set Go evacuation level system, visit www.wildlandfirersg.org .
While Highway 86 is now open, motorists are asked to stay clear of the area due to high fire traffic. Major highway and road closure information can also be found by visiting www.tripcheck.com.
To stay current on fire information, visit us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/drygulchfire2015 or at www.oregon.gov/odf. To check on this fire and others across the country, visit www.inciweb.nwcg.gov.