WILLAMINA CREEK FIRE UPDATE – 08-22-15

News Release from Oregon Dept. of Forestry – Posted on FlashAlert: August 22nd, 2015 8:55 AM
Oregon Department of Forestry Team – West Oregon District – Dallas Unit

August 22, 2015 WILLAMINA CREEK FIRE UPDATE – 08-22-15

Current Situation:
Crews conducted a burnout operation Friday morning in the southeast corner of the fire to remove unburned fuel and create a stronger fuel break around some of the most challenging areas of the fire. Firefighters working during the day Friday focused efforts on strengthening these lines. Westerly winds in the afternoon again challenged firefighters, this time on the north side of the fire. Fire managers ordered additional air support and were able to utilize assistance from an additional medium helicopter and three SEATs (Single Engine Air Tankers). The aerial support helped make a big difference in cooling down the hot spots.

Overnight, crews worked to strengthen the lines around the spots using hose lays and hand line. Containment lines have been completed around the perimeter of the fire and crews hope to be able to hold them through the weather change today. Today’s weather is expected to be quite a bit warmer and drier with gusty dry winds coming out of the northeast. Crews will be focusing on securing lines that were the most active yesterday. Mop-up has begun around the entire fire with a goal of having the fire 100% mopped up.

The Willamina Creek Fire is burning on land protected by ODF’s West Oregon District, Dallas Unit. The fire is currently estimated to be about 212 acres and is burning in heavy fuels on high-value private and BLM timberland. Additional GPS data will be collected over the coming days to continue to improve accuracy of the acreage measurement.

Weather and Fire Behavior:
The weather forecast for today predicts gusty, hotter and drier conditions on the fireline today. Poor humidity recovery is expected for tonight with light east winds persisting through the evening. Temperatures are expected to be 88-93 degrees with 20-25% humidity.

Fire Statistics
Location: approx. 9 miles north of Willamina, OR Percent contained: 15%
Size: 212 acres (estimated) Cause: under investigation
Start Date: 8/19/15, approximately 5 p.m.

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

Evacuations and closures:
Four cabins along East Creek Road remain under a Level 3 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
Contact Info:
Fire Information number: (503) 934-8153