News Release from Oregon Dept. of Forestry – Posted on FlashAlert: August 14th, 2015 12:20 PM
FIRES CURRENTLY BURNING ON OREGON DEPT. OF FORESTRY (ODF)-PROTECTED LANDS
Chambers Mill Fire
Located approximately two miles south of Lorane, it is now 100 percent lined with a combination of dozer and hand lines. Three residences were threatened. Initial attack was strongly supported by air attack.
Resources: 4 Hand Crews, 2 helicopters, 4 fire engines, 4 bulldozers, 6 water tenders.
Crews are busy mopping up today and Territorial Highway is now open both ways. Cooperators on the incident include Weyerhaeuser Co. and the Bureau of Land Management. The fire size was 180 acres.
Canyon Creek Complex
The Berry Creek Fire burning seven miles south of John Day saw strong winds and increased fire activity yesterday. It was reported August 12 following a series of early morning thunderstorms in the area. Currently the fire is estimated at 50 acres, burning primarily in the Strawberry Mountain Wilderness, with a small number of ODF-protected acres burned.
A local Type 3 organization was mobilized August 13 to increase suppression efforts. Active fire activity in the region has limited available resources to respond to the fire. The fire is burning in heavy fuels and slash with wind- and terrain-driven fire behavior. Today the winds are expected to increase in the fire area. ODF’s John Day Unit is actively engaged in the suppression efforts for the fire.
Mason Springs Fire
The fire is estimated at 600 acres burning on U.S. Forest Service lands seven miles north of Seneca. The fire is approximately one mile from private lands protected by ODF. A Level 2 evacuation has been issued for the private lands near the fire. Oregon Highway 395 near Seneca is closed because of fire activity along the highway. Due to the complexity of these two fires the Rocky Mountain Blue (Type 2) Team will take command of the Berry Creek and the Mason Springs Fires on Monday. The two fires are now the Canyon Creek Complex.
Canyon Creek Complex Fire information
The Eagle Complex reported Tuesday afternoon burning approximately 16 miles northeast of Baker City and 10 miles east of Medical Springs, Oregon, is currently estimated at 1,500 acres. Three fires comprise the complex and are burning on the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest as well as private lands protected by ODF. Difficult terrain combined with hot weather and wind contributed to fire growth. Firefighter and public safety remains the highest priority. Structure protection and continued safe fire line operations are planned for Friday. No structures have burned.
A level 2 evacuation notice has been sent to residents along Forest Service Road 77 near Tamarack Camp Ground, Bennett Peak and Main Eagle areas associated with the Eagle Complex. A Level 2 evacuation notice means residents should be SET (Ready, Set, Go) to evacuate, and continue to closely monitor local media and incident information.
Questions regarding evacuation notices and the evacuation process can be directed to the Baker County Emergency Management at 541-523-8200.
An area closure has been implemented for public and firefighter safety and can be viewed at http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/4481/
The fire danger rating has increased to EXTREME and Public Use Restrictions involving campfires and chainsaw use are in effect.
For more information about the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest’s Public Use Restrictions, please contact any forest office, or visit our website at www.fs.usda.gov/wallowa-whitman/ or on the Blue Mountain Fire Information BlogSpot at http://bluemountainfireinfo.blogspot.com/
Eagle Complex Fire Information
The lightning-caused Cornet Fire (Eastern Oregon Area) near Hereford, Oregon burning approximately 7 miles east of Hereford, Oregon on the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest, Vale BLM District and on private lands protected by Oregon Department of Forestry is approximately 12,791 acres. It threatens approximately 112 residences.
Gov. Kate Brown invoked the Emergency Conflagration Act in response to the Cornet Fire. This declaration authorizes the Oregon Office of State Fire Marshal to mobilize structural firefighters and equipment to assist local resources battling the fire. Yesterday the priority was protecting structures in Stices Gulch. Firefighters continued working the south and west flanks of the fire and will continue to build lines to the northeast as resources are available. More fire growth is expected due to fuels and weather.
Closures: Baker County Sheriff’ Office has issued a Level 3 Evacuation Order for Stices Gulch and a level 2 Evacuation Order for Rancheria Creek, Black Mountain and Denny Creek.
Cornet Fire Joint Information Center
Stouts Creek Fire
The Stouts Creek Fire (Douglas Forest Protective Association [DFPA]) 11 miles east of Canyonville near Milo on forestlands protected by DFPA, is currently estimated at approximately 24,181 acres and 65 percent containment. Night crews continue to be vigilant, holding and widening control lines while working toward securing the south end of the fire. Overnight fire activity was low as firefighters patrolled the northern portions of the fire looking for hot spots and flare ups.
Using heavy equipment, crews have completed the majority of the containment line on the south end in preparation for the large burnout, north of Upper Cow Creek Road and Beaver Creek. Firefighters will install hoses, pumps and tanks as managers wait for favorable conditions to complete the next phase. Based on current progress and weather forecasts, the burnout could begin in the next few days.
“We should have the line completed today,” says John Pellissier, Operations Chief for the fire. “We’re about two-thirds done with the mechanical work and then we’ll run hose and water sources throughout. Operationally, we’ll be ready. Then it’s up to Mother Nature.”
Fire managers are looking for weather conditions that allow for a safe, slow burn that will minimize impact on timber and other natural resources. With many factors involved in the burn operations, any number of things out of parameters could delay the burnout.
“All of the weather conditions and other factors have to be right,” Pellissier said. “We are looking to start with a smaller, slow trial process and this could take several days. It will be a slow, steady process.”
The public will be given as much notice before the burnout begins as possible.
Resources: There are 1,645 personnel assigned to the fire with 49 hand crews, 46 fire engines, 27 water tenders, 20 bulldozers and 11 helicopters. Numbers of personnel and equipment will continue to shrink as objectives are met and these resources move on to fires with greater needs.
Costs: The Stouts Creek Fire costs to date are $25.5 million. The Incident Management Team leading the effort under unified command is protecting lands that are about 48 percent on state protection, which includes BLM and private lands, and 52 percent on the Umpqua National Forest. Twenty-three states and three Canadian provinces have provided staff for this effort.
Stouts Fire Information
Cable Crossing Fire
The Cable Crossing Fire, (Douglas Forest Protective Association [DFPA]) burning on DFPA-protected private and public forestlands six miles east of Glide, is currently estimated at 85 percent containment. Crews continue to make good progress, with firefighters now focusing efforts on mopping up hot spots, extinguishing all visible smokes and smoldering material within 300-500 feet of the fire trail. The cause of this fire remains under investigation.
Cable Creek Fire information:
Phillips Creek Fire
The Phillips Creek Fire (ODF Northeast Oregon District, LaGrande Unit) located seven miles northwest of Elgin in northeast Oregon is burning in brush, grass, slash and heavy timber predominantly on the Umatilla National Forest. It has burned 2,601 acres including approximately 435 acres of ODF-protected private forestlands.
Following transition to the local Type 3 interagency Incident Management Team led by Incident Commander (IC) Joel McCraw and Deputy IC Renee Kuehner yesterday, crews continued to make steady progress in mop-up operations on all flanks of the fire. As containment objectives were successfully achieved, resources were released to help suppress and support other area fires.
The tentative plan is to transition management of the fire back to the local district in the next three to six days.
Phillips Creek Fire Information:
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, orview 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.
News media may call the Fire Information Duty Officer, who is currently Cynthia Orlando, 503-945-7421 (office) or 503-521-5868 (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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Cynthia Orlando | Public Information Officer & Certified arborist
Oregon Department of Forestry
2600 State St., Salem, OR 97310
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