News Release from Oregon Dept. of Forestry – Posted on FlashAlert: August 24th, 2015 10:16 AM
Willamina Creek Fire Update
Oregon Department of Forestry
West Oregon District – Dallas Unit
Fire Information number: (503) 934-8153
Community support for firefighters on the Willamina Creek Fire has been fantastic and much appreciated. Words and signs of thanks and support buoy spirits and keep the motivation up during this long, challenging fire season. If you’re looking for a way to support the fire effort, please consider making a donation to the Wildland Firefighter Foundation (www.wffoundation.org), which honors those who have been killed and injured in the course of protecting lands, homes, and property; or the American Red Cross (www.redcross.org), which provides support to communities affected by fire and other disasters.
Work on the Willamina Creek Fire is progressing well. The fire has not grown since Friday night. Increases in acreage shown in these updates over the last few days reflect work to collect GPS data which has resulted in a more accurate map. The final acreage is not expected to increase from today’s total of 230 acres.
Yesterday, crews worked hard on mopping up the fire around the entire perimeter. Two handheld infrared cameras were in use last night identifying burning roots and other hot spots hidden underground. Firefighters open up these spots and use water to ensure no hidden ember will escape and reignite the fire. Last night was the last full night shift; the remaining mop-up work will be completed during the daytime over the next few days. As operations on this fire wind down, resources will be released to assist with other fires. This fire season has been extremely challenging and, if the weather forecasts are correct, may continue for a couple more months. During the operational briefing this morning, crews were reminded to take good care of themselves and their team members to make sure they stay safe and ready to work through the rest of the season.
Effective last night at 9 p.m., the mandatory, Level 3 (Go!) evacuation order for the four cabins along East Creek Road was reduced to Level 1 (Ready). Landowners in the area are allowed to access their property. A Level 1 (Ready) evacuation means that residents should have a plan in place in case it becomes necessary to evacuate their home. Every person should assemble emergency supplies and develop a plan for where to go, critical items to take, where to take animals, and how to get out long before a threat arises. For more information about the Ready, Set, Go! Program, visit www.wildlandfirersg.org.
WEATHER AND FIRE BEHAVIOR:
Forecasts for today call for temperatures to be around seasonal averages of 75-78 degrees, much cooler than over the last couple days. Relative humidity will be 35-40 percent with breezy west winds in the fire area.
Location: approx. 9 miles north of Willamina, OR
Percent contained: 50%
Size: 230 acres
Cause: under investigation
Start Date: 08-1915, 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.
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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