This is the Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) Fire Update for Sunday, August 9, 2015.
As the smoke is clearing over the Cable Crossing Fire, Oregonians are reminded to continue to treat fire season with respect. Everyone is encouraged to follow current fire season restrictions to prevent human caused fires. In addition, residents who live in the wildland urban interface, where communities border forests and grazing lands, should always be prepared before fire threatens. Have a plan that includes making arrangements for persons with special needs, livestock, and pets. Learn more about the Ready Set Go Program at www.wildlandfirersg.org/.
Smoke may persist where wildfires are burning in in Oregon, including times when burn-out firefighting operations are taking place. Stay up-to-date on smoke density and public health advisories, or view and monitor Oregon’s air quality index. Wildfires and severe smoke can create dangerous conditions for people, especially those with chronic health conditions. Learn what you can do to reduce the risk of health effects of wildfire smoke.
NEW FIRES ON ODF-PROTECTED LANDS
Southwest Oregon District: At about 1:30 p.m., Saturday, August 8, the Illinois Valley Fire Department, ODF, and US Forest Service responded to a reported grass fire located in the 100 block of Krauss Lane, approximately four miles south of Cave Junction. Upon arrival, the fire was reported the fire to be approximately 2-4 acres, with immediate structural threat, and Josephine County implemented Level 3 (Go) evacuations in the area as the fire quickly spread to approximately 40 acres. ODF requested helicopters and tankers to the fire to stop the forward spread, and at times 6 helicopters and 3 air tankers were actively working the fire, with numerous other resources on scene. Evacuations were lifted late last night, as the fire’s spread was stopped. This morning, August 9, ODF has assumed command of the Krauss Lane Fire which is currently estimated at about 51 acres, dozer-lined, and in mop-up. The cause of this fire is under investigation.
FIRES CURRENTLY BURNING ON ODF-PROTECTED LANDS
Douglas Forest Protective Association (DFPA): The Cable Crossing Fire, reported July 28 burning on DFPA-protected private and public forestlands six miles east of Glide, is currently estimated at 1,857 acres and 80 percent contained. ODF IMT 3 (Incident Commander Link Smith), turned the fire over to a smaller fire management organization this morning. The Team would like to thank the Glide community for their kind hospitality and support during their stay. While fire crews have reached between 300 and 500 feet into the fire from the perimeter with mop-up operations, residents in the area may see smoke for several days from burning stumps and snags well within containment lines. The local team in place for the next few days is made up of about 225 personnel, with the fire camp moved from French Creek Road to the Incident Command Post at the old Glide Jr. High School on Glide Loop Road. The cause of this fire remains under investigation.
Cable Creek Fire information:
Douglas Forest Protective Association (DFPA): The Stouts Creek Fire, reported July 30, burning 11 miles east of Canyonville near Milo on forestlands protected by DFPA, is currently estimated at approximately 22,501 acres and 35 percent contained, with over 1,628 personnel assigned. Today’s plans call for more of the same tactics that have been successful in recent days – burn-out operations, strengthening fireline, and mop-up. There will be a change today is in wind direction, which will push more smoke into the areas of Milo and Tiller, while possibly alleviating smoke issues for residents in other areas. Motorists are asked to use extreme caution if they encounter smoke on roadways in the fire area, use headlights and slow their speed for safety, but not to slow or stop to view firefighting operations. All evacuation levels within the fire area remain at Level 1 (Get Ready) Level 2 (Get Set), with the number under evacuation level notice decreased today from 371 to 163. A public meeting will be held this evening in Milo at 7 p.m. at the Milo VFD. There are public land and road closures in place for the fire area by both the U.S. Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management. Information on the specifics of those closures, including maps, is available on the fire’s Inciweb site. The Stouts Creek Fire is burning on private timberlands, other tracts of private land, and Bureau of Land Management and Umpqua National Forest lands; 53 percent of the fire is on state-protected private and BLM lands, and 47 percent on the Umpqua National Forest. The fire being managed under joint command by the Oregon Department of Forestry’s Incident Management Team 1 (Incident Commander Buckman) and the U.S. Forest Service. The cause of this fire remains under investigation.
Stouts Fire Information:
Northeast Oregon District – LaGrande Unit: The Phillips Creek Fire, reported August 1 burning seven miles northwest of Elgin in brush, grass, slash, and heavy timber predominantly in the Phillips Creek Drainage on the Umatilla National Forest, is reported today having burned 2,346 acres, including approximately 435 acres of ODF-protected private forestlands (no change in ODF-protected acres). The fire is now 38 percent contained, with 632 personnel assigned. A Red Flag Warning has been issued for today for the threat of thunderstorms with potential gusty outflow winds up to 40 mph in the evening, and continued warm and dry conditions provide the potential for very active fire behavior today. Actions today will expand on yesterday’s efforts, connecting areas of black within the fire lines and continuing mop-up. Firefighting operations and smoky conditions will continue to impact travel in that area on Highway 204, necessitating pilot cars or temporary road closures – visit www.tripcheck.com for the latest information. Level 1 (Get Ready) evacuations and road closures in the area of the fire are in effect. Oregon Interagency Incident Management Team 2 (Incident Commander Brett Fillis), assumed management of the Phillips Creek Fire on August 5. Due to the impact and continuing threats to ODF-protection, ODF is fully engaged with the team, who is officially working for both the Umatilla National Forest and ODF. This involvement and participation with the team includes ODF divisions assigned specifically to help protect ODF-protected private forestlands, as well as several other ODF personnel who are either assigned directly to the team or serving as liaisons. A community meeting will be held on Monday, August 10, at 6:30 p.m. in the Elgin Community Center, with representatives from the IMT, U.S. Forest Service, ODF, and Union County.
Phillips Creek Fire Information:
Fire statistics are for the current year and the average over the past 10 years for the 16 million acres of private and public forestland protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry.
January 1, 2015, through today:*
Lightning-caused fires: 222 fires burned 2,498 acres
Human-caused fires: 506 fires burned 23,028 acres
Total: 728 fires burned 25,526 acres
10-year average (January 1 through August 4):
Lightning-caused fires: 174 fires burned 19,741 acres
Human-caused fires: 373 fires burned 3,110 acres
Total: 547 fires burned 22,851 acres
Fire statistics can be accessed any time from the ODF website.*
*When personnel are heavily engaged in firefighting activities, the latest information may not always appear in the statistics.
News media may call the Fire Information Duty Officer, who is currently Jeri Chase, 503-945-7201 (office) or 503-931-2721 (Cell), any time for fire information. If the duty officer is unable to take your call, you can expect a prompt return call. Media may also call the Oregon Department of Forestry headquarters office, 503-945-7200, weekdays during business hours.
OTHER FIRE INFORMATION
For information on wildfires on all jurisdictions in Oregon, view:
• the Northwest Interagency Coordination Center website, or
• the national Incident Information System site.
ODF Social Media sources for information on fires on Oregon Department of Forestry protected lands:
• the department’s Wildfire blog for news on wildfires statewide and provides current fire statistics
• the ODF’s Southwest Oregon District blog with district-specific wildfire information and Twitter feed
• the Douglas Forest Protective Association Facebook page and Twitter feed
• the Blue Mountain Interagency Wildfire blog for news on wildfires in the Blue Mountains (northeast Oregon)
• the ODF Forest Grove District’s Fire blog with district-specific wildfire information
• the ODF Central Oregon District’s Twitter feed
ABOUT THIS UPDATE
This update provides information primarily about fires on Oregon Department of Forestry-protected lands involving fires 10 acres or larger. ODF provides fire protection primarily on private and state-owned forestland. The department also provides fire protection on some other lands, including U.S. Bureau of Land Management land in western Oregon.
The Oregon Department of Forestry works closely with neighbors and partner agencies to support the firefighting efforts on major fires outside its authority because sharing firefighting resources can help better protect all of Oregon’s forests.
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