WILLAMINA CREEK FIRE EVENING UPDATE – SUNDAY, AUGUST 23, 2015

News Release from Oregon Dept. of Forestry – Posted on FlashAlert: August 23rd, 2015 9:02 PM

Willamina Creek Fire Update

Oregon Department of Forestry
West Oregon District – Dallas Unit

Fire Information number: (503) 934-8153

August 23, 2015
9:00 pm

Current Situation:
Excellent progress on containing the Willamina Creek Fire was made today. The fire has not grown since Friday night. Increases in acreage shown in these updates over the last few days reflect the GPS data collection work that has been completed which has resulted in more accurate mapping. The final acreage is not expected to increase from today’s total.

Today, firefighters continued the grueling work of mopping up the fire. Crews made great progress on this work on the majority of the fire perimeter. Some heat remains along the east side of the fire, which crews will focus on tonight to make sure the entire edge of the fire is secure. This is the last planned full night shift. Quite a bit of mop-up work remains in the interior–some in very tough ground–the remaining work will be completed during the course of the next few days.

A significant change in the evacuation level will be effective at 9:00 pm tonight. The evacuation level for the cabins on East Creek Road will be reduced from Level 3 (Go!) to Level 1 (Ready). Landowners will be allowed to access their property. Level 1 evacuation means that homeowners should be prepared to evacuate, long before the threat arises. Assemble emergency supplies and have a plan for how you would escape if you had to. For more information about the Ready, Set, Go! Program, visit www.wildlandfirersg.org.

Firefighters have felt the community support and appreciate the signs and words of gratitude from local residents. On their way off the fireline tonight, Bravo Division stopped at a neighboring home where the homeowners had set up a sweet thank you of delicious baked goods. The crews were so grateful for this kind gesture. Yamhill County has also been a big supporter and today activated their ARES (ham radio) unit to assist their CERT members with communications while they manage the road blocks. For anyone who wants to support the fire effort, please consider making a donation to the Wildland Firefighter Foundation (www.wffoundation.org) or the American Red Cross (www.redcross.org).

Weather and Fire Behavior:
The weather forecast for tonight calls for gusty winds coming back around from the west which should ease after dark. Relative humidity is expected to rise tonight with a marine layer coming in over the fire area. The temperature is forecast to be 50-53 degrees with 84-88% humidity.

Fire Statistics
Location: approx. 9 miles north of Willamina, OR Percent contained: 50%
Size: 230 acres Cause: under investigation
Start Date: 8/19/15, approximately 5:00 pm

Wildland resources assigned to the fire include (day and night shifts): 16 hand crews, 11 engines, 4 dozers, 12 water tenders, and overhead personnel.

Air resources: 1 Type 2 helicopter

Total personnel: 266

Cost estimate to date: $860,000

Evacuations and closures:
Four cabins along East Creek Road are under a Level 1 evacuation. Willamina Creek Road and East Creek Road are closed north of the junction with Coast Creek Road.

Places to get information:
ODF Fire Blog – wildfireoregondeptofforestry.blogspot.com/
Facebook – www.facebook.com/oregondepartmentofforestry
Twitter – twitter.com/ORDeptForestry

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