Phillips Creek Fire Update – Saturday, Aug. 8, 2015, 10:00 a.m.

Fire Information: (541) 437-1159

Firefighters Continue to Make Good Progress on Phillips Creek Fire

Firing operations on the Philips Creek Fire will make smoke more visible today from La Grande and areas south and west of the fire. Firefighters will be conducting firing operations today to slowly bring the fire to the control lines, reducing the potential for the fire to make runs to the fire line.

Smokey conditions can be expected on the Hwy 204 corridor again today. For up to date information on highway conditions, check www.tripcheck.com.

Yesterday’s Operations: Firing operations were successfully completed on portions of the fire above Hwy 204 yesterday. Helicopters supported the burning operations to help keep the fire controlled as it burned to the pre-established fire lines and down towards the highway. Contingency lines were improved and mop-up activities continued near the fire line in multiple divisions.

Weather and Fire Behavior: Today’s forecast calls for highs in the low 80s with a slight chance of afternoon thunderstorms. The fire is expected to become more active in the afternoon as winds from the southwest become more prevalent.

Today’s Operations: Firing operations will commence on the western portion of the fire today, as well as completing firing operations along the east side down to Hwy 204. Firefighters will continue mopping up hot spots from the fire’s edge towards the interior portions of the fire on multiple divisions. Mop up continues on the south flank, adjacent to private lands, and in other areas where the fire line has been tied into the fire perimeter.

Phillips Creek Fire information can be found on Inciweb at: http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/4443/ and on Facebook at Phillips Creek Fire | Facebook.

Evacuations:
Union County officials have issued Level I Evacuation Notices for residents of Ruckle Road and Sanderson Springs Road, Highway 204 between Phillips Creek and Valley View, Valley View between Hwy 204 and Gordon Creek and all of Gordon Creek Road. A Level I evacuation notice means residents should be READY to evacuate and continue to closely monitor incident information. Questions regarding evacuation notices and the evacuation process can be directed to the Emergency Operation Center at 541-963-1049.

Road Closures:
Road closures have been expanded for public and firefighter safety and include:
· Forest Road 3738 (Phillips Creek Road) from its junction with Forest Road 3100 (Summit Road) to State Highway 204.
· Forest Road 3148 from its junction with Forest Road 3100 (Summit Road) to its end.
· Forest Roads 3148-010 and 3148-900 from their junction with Forest Road 3148 to their end.
· Forest Road 3740 from its junction with Forest Road 3738 to the forest boundary.
· Forest Roads 3740-020, 3740-025, 3740-030, 3740-040, and 3740-05.
· Forest Road 3734 from its junction with State Highway 204 to its end.
· Forest Road 3200 from its junction with Forest Road 3100 (Summit Road) to the forest boundary.
· Forest Road 3217 from its junction with Forest Road 3200 to its end.
· Forest · F Road 3100-035.
· County Roads: Sanderson Springs and Ruckle Roads west of Elgin; except to resident travel.

State Highway 204 remains open at this time though travelers should consider alternate routes to avoid firefighter traffic and smoke.

The official Road Closure Orders can be found at: http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/4443/

Smoke continues to be an issue in the Grande Ronde Valley and surrounding communities. To monitor the air quality index, the public can access the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality’s website at www.deq.state.or.us/aqi.

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 Umatilla National Forest’s Public Use Restrictions, please contact any forest office, call our Forest Information hotline at 1-877-958-9663, or visit our website at www.fs.usda.gov/umatilla/ or on the Blue Mountain Fire Information BlogSpot at http://bluemountainfireinfo.blogspot.com/.

Regulated closures are in effect on State and private lands protected by Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) in northeast and central Oregon. Please check with your local Oregon Department of Forestry office for public use restrictions on lands protected by ODF. Visit the Blue Mountain Interagency Dispatch webpage at: www.bmidc.org or contact a local Oregon Department of Forestry office for more complete information. Similar restrictions may be in effect on State and private lands protected by the Washington Department of Natural Resources (WA-DNR). More information can be found on the WA-DNR website at: http://fortress.wa.gov/dnr/firedanger/BurnRisk.aspx.

Quick Facts –
Incident Summary
Approximate Size:2,250 Total acres
   1,815 ac. – USFS
   435 ac. – ODF Protected
Fire Containment: 25%
Incident
Commander: Brett Fillis
Resources on the Fire:
  Hand Crews: 23
  Helicopters: 5
  Engines: 16
  Dozers: 6