Thursday, November 29, 2018

Deschutes County Forestland Classification Meetings


The Deschutes County Forestland Classification Committee will host the first of three public meetings to inform the public of the preliminary forestland classification results for the county.  Tonight's meeting begins at six at the La Pine Fire Department.  

If you are unable to attend one of the meetings, and are interested in the classification of your property use the interactive map link below to see the preliminary classification.


Meeting Schedule:

November 29, 2018: 
La Pine – La Pine Rural Fire Department
51550 Huntington Road, La Pine OR 97739
November 30, 2018: 
Sisters – Sisters Camp Sherman Fire Department Community Hall
301 S Elm Street, Sisters OR 97759
December 3, 2018: 
Bend – Deschutes County Services Building
1300 NW Wall Street, Bend OR 97703
Barnes and Sawyer Rooms
Classification Committee Members:
Ed Keith, County Representative (committee chair)
Gordon Foster, ODF Representative (committee secretary)
Nicole Strong, OSU Extension Representative
Jeremy Ast, State Fire Marshall Representative
Bill Swarts, Timberland Representative
Matt Cyrus, Grazing land Representative





Monday, November 26, 2018

Information Meetings Planned for Deschutes County Forestland Classification


[Bend, Ore.]  The Deschutes County Forestland Classification Committee will be holding public meetings to explain the forestland classification process and criteria used by the committee and to present the preliminary forestland classification.  These meetings and the public hearing are the final steps before the committee considers testimony received and finalizes the classification.  Forestland classification is the process of determining what is forestland, then further classifying these lands as primarily suitable for growing timber, for grazing/agricultural use, or a combination of the two.  Forestland by definition includes woodland, brush land, or clearing that at any time of the year contains enough vegetation to present a fire hazard, regardless of how the land is zoned or taxed.
The six person committee is comprised of foresters, landowners, and experienced fire fighters.  Their varying backgrounds and areas of expertise proved insightful during the process and ensured a quality preliminary classification.  Efforts during this reclassification process have focused on accurately mapping and classifying the lands based on soil productivity, potential fuel hazard, existing vegetation and other factors which may influence the potential fire risk for these lands.  Soil surveys, aerial photo imagery, infra-red imagery, and on site visits were used to identify the suitable classification for the forestland. 
Committee members and representatives from the Oregon Department of Forestry will be available at these informational meetings to provide information specific to landowners and answer any questions.  All meetings begin at 6:00 P.M.  Public meeting schedule:
November 29, 2018: 
La Pine – La Pine Rural Fire Department
51550 Huntington Road, La Pine OR 97739
November 30, 2018: 
Sisters – Sisters Camp Sherman Fire Department Community Hall
301 S Elm Street, Sisters OR 97759
December 3, 2018: 
Bend – Deschutes County Services Building
1300 NW Wall Street, Bend OR 97703
Barnes and Sawyer Rooms
Classification Committee Members:
Ed Keith, County Representative (committee chair)
Gordon Foster, ODF Representative (committee secretary)
Nicole Strong, OSU Extension Representative
Jeremy Ast, State Fire Marshall Representative
Bill Swarts, Timberland Representative
Matt Cyrus, Grazing land Representative
For additional information about forestland classification please visit www.ODFcentraloregon.com.

Monday, November 19, 2018

NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING


Pursuant to ORS 526.328, notice is hereby given that a public hearing will be held to receive from any interested persons suggestions, advice, objections or remonstrance’s to the preliminary forestland classification for Deschutes County, within the Central Oregon Forest Protection District.  A hearing will be held on Monday, December 3, 2018, at 6:00 P.M., at the Deschutes County Services Building – 1300 NW Wall Street, Bend, Ore. Maps of the preliminary classification may be inspected during normal working hours at the Oregon Department of Forestry Central Oregon District Office – 3501 NE 3rd Street, in Prineville, or at the Department of Forestry office in Sisters, 16721 Pine Tree Lane.  Written testimony may be submitted to the committee at these locations or by mail, PO Box 670, Prineville, OR  97754. Testimony must be received by December 10 at 5 P.M.  To ensure the broadest range of services to individuals with disabilities, persons with disabilities requiring special arrangements should contact 541-447-5658 at least two working days in advance.
                                                            OREGON DEPARTMENT OF FORESTRY
                                                            PETER DAUGHERTY, STATE FORESTER

Deschutes County Forestland Classification Public Hearing

[Bend, Ore.]  The Deschutes County Forestland Classification Committee will be holding a public hearing December 3, 2018 to hear testimony regarding the preliminary forestland classification.  Landowners will have the opportunity to provide written or verbal testimony regarding draft classification results and the process for the committee to evaluate prior to finalizing the classification.  Public information meetings are planned to provide information to affected landowners prior to the hearing.  The schedule follows, all meetings begin at 6:00 P.M.

November 29, 2018:  La Pine – La Pine Rural Fire Department
                              51550 Huntington Road, La Pine OR 97739
November 30, 2018:  Sisters – Sisters Camp Sherman Fire Department
Community Hall
                              301 S Elm Street, Sisters OR 97759
December 3, 2018:  Bend – Deschutes County Services Building
                              1300 NW Wall Street, Bend OR 97703
                              Barnes and Sawyer Rooms

Classification Committee Members:
Ed Keith, County Representative (committee chair)
Gordon Foster, ODF Representative (committee secretary)
Nicole Strong, OSU Extension Representative
Jeremy Ast, State Fire Marshall Representative
Bill Swarts, Timberland Representative
Matt Cyrus, Grazing land Representative
For additional information on forestland classification please visit www.ODFcentraloregon.com and select the forestland classification tab.
**PUBLIC HEARING NOTICE**
Pursuant to ORS 526.328, notice is hereby given that a public hearing will be held to receive from any interested persons suggestions, advice, objections or remonstrance’s to the preliminary forestland classification for Deschutes County, within the Central Oregon Forest Protection District.  A hearing will be held on Monday, December 3, 2018, at 6:00 P.M., at the Deschutes County Services Building – 1300 NW Wall Street, Bend, Ore. Maps of the preliminary classification may be inspected during normal working hours at the Oregon Department of Forestry Central Oregon District Office – 3501 NE 3rd Street, in Prineville, or at the Department of Forestry office in Sisters, 16721 Pine Tree Lane.  Written testimony may be submitted to the committee at these locations or by mail, PO Box 670, Prineville, OR  97754. Testimony must be received by December 10 at 5 P.M.  To ensure the broadest range of services to individuals with disabilities, persons with disabilities requiring special arrangements should contact 541-447-5658 at least two working days in advance.     

Monday, November 5, 2018

Spread Stopped on Wind Driven Fire Near Tygh Valley


[The Dalles, Ore.] Firefighters from the Oregon Department of Forestry’s Central Oregon District responded Sunday to an escaped debris burn near Tygh Valley.  Strong winds pushed the Shadybrook Fire through grass and other light fuels, spreading into oak and brush in some of the surrounding draws.  The Department of Forestry was assisted by U.S. Forest Service resources and a dozer from the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.  Firefighters from Tygh Valley, Wamic and Juniper Flat Fire Departments also responded to suppress the fire.  Fireline was constructed around most of the fire by late Sunday evening and forward progress was stopped.  The fire is estimated to be approximately 500 acres in size.  There were no structures damaged or destroyed by the fire.
Today two five person ODF crews, three ODF engines, two U.S. Forest Service engines and overhead personnel are completing fireline and working to find and extinguish hotspots.  Winds are expected to be reduced, with cool temperatures aiding suppression efforts.
The Shadybrook Fire serves as a good reminder that while fire season is no longer in effect fire danger can quickly change and caution should be used in outdoor activities.  Before burning check with your local fire department or ODF to determine if it is a burn day, if you need a permit, and tips for safely burning.  All fires, including campfires and warming fires need to be DEAD OUT! and never left unattended.     
For additional information on ODF’s Central Oregon District, including contact information and unit offices, please visit www.ODFcentraloregon.com.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Fire Season Ends for Department of Forestry Protected Lands in Central Oregon District


[Prineville, Ore.] – The Central Oregon District of the Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) will terminate fire season as of 12:01 a.m., Friday, October 12, 2018.  Continued cool moist weather over the last few weeks has significantly reduced the fire danger within the Central Oregon District.  Fuel conditions in Central Oregon are heavily influenced by weather patterns, and while the risk is diminished erratic winds and lack of precipitation can quickly cause a rise in fire danger.  Monitoring weather forecasts, following prevention tips such as having a shovel and water available when burning, and being aware of fire risk will help limit wildfires this fall.  “We live and work in an environment prone to wildfires, termination of fire season doesn’t mean the risk of wildfires is gone”, explains Rob Pentzer, Acting District Forester for the Central Oregon District.  “It means the risk is reduced to a point where we can work with landowners, operators, and the public so they can have campfires and operate chainsaws without restrictions, but are still cautious and aware of the risks.”
Year to date the Central Oregon District has had 74 human caused fires, up over 20% compared to the ten year average of 61 and up from the 65 fires in 2017.  These fires have burned over 8,000 acres of land.  Fires started by lightning were down by 35%, with only 45 fires year-to-date versus the ten-year-average of 70. 
The information below is specific to the various Units within the Central Oregon District.
Prineville-Sisters Unit—Residential open burning is still prohibited within Deschutes, Crook and Jefferson counties.  Please check with your local fire departments for the most current restrictions within the area that you live.  Industrial slash burning requires a burn permit from the local ODF office in Prineville or Sisters.  
The Dalles Unit—The seasonal burn ban in Wasco and Hood River counties will terminate October 15, 2018.  Please wait to burn until after this timeframe.  Check with local fire departments to determine if a burn permit is needed before burning.  Logging debris and slash burning requires a burn permit from the local ODF office in The Dalles.   
John Day Unit—ODF does not require burn permits for burning yard debris.  Contact your local fire department to determine if a permit is necessary prior to burning.  Use caution when burning yard debris, never leave a fire unattended and monitor weather forecasts before deciding to burn.  A burn permit from ODF is required before burning logging slash or debris from fuel reduction activities. Contact the John Day ODF office to obtain a permit.
If you have questions please contact your local Oregon Department of Forestry Office.  Contact information is available at www.odfcentraloregon.com.

Monday, October 8, 2018

Oregon Department of Forestry Terminates Regulated Closure Restrictions


[Prineville, Ore.] – Oregon Department of Forestry’s Central Oregon District will terminate the Regulated Use Closure in effect for lands within the District at 12:01 a.m. on October 9, 2018.  Cooler fall weather combined with precipitation over the weekend has reduced the need for these restrictions.  Fire Season remains in effect for the District.  While the risk of ignitions from certain activities is diminished there is still the potential for fires to start or become out of control based on current fuel conditions.  Campfires/warming fires should never be left unattended and should be fully extinguished when you leave.  “We don’t want to see people become complacent just because it is fall,” says Braden Britt, John Day Assistant Unit Forester.  “Everyone should continue to be cautious with their actions.” 
Year to date the Central Oregon District has had 74 human caused fires, up over 20% compared to the ten year average of 61.  These fires have burned over 8,000 acres of land.
The information below provides specific restrictions in place within the Central Oregon District.
Prineville-Sisters Unit—No open burning is allowed on lands within the Prineville-Sisters Unit, including burn barrels.
The Dalles Unit—The seasonal burn ban in Wasco and Hood River counties remains in effect.  At this time, all open burning, including burn barrels is prohibited. MH-1 and MH-4 are currently at Industrial Fire Precaution Level 1.  Information for these restrictions can be found at https://gisapps.odf.oregon.gov/firerestrictions/ifpl.html.  
John Day Unit—All open burning, including burn barrels, is not allowed for lands protected by the John Day Unit during Fire Season. 
If you are unsure of any restriction or have questions please contact your local Oregon Department of Forestry Office.  Contact information is available at www.odfcentraloregon.com.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Reduced restrictions for lands protected by Department of Forestry in Central Oregon District


[Prineville, Ore.] – Regulated Closure restrictions on lands protected by Oregon Department of Forestry’s Central Oregon District will be reduced as of 12:01 a.m. on September 12, 2018.  These restrictions are intended to limit human caused fires, which represent nearly 60% of the fires in the District this year.  Fuel conditions are still very dry for this time of year and have the potential for rapid fire growth as recent fires have exhibited.  Cooler temperatures, increased humidity, and shorter days have significant influence on fire behavior and the ability of firefighters to control wildfires.  “Our concern now, is that people become complacent and don’t recognize that the fire risk remains just because it feels like fall,” says Kristin Dodd, Unit Forester in The Dalles Unit.  “We need everyone to remain vigilant and follow the restrictions.”
The primary change to the Regulated Closure is mowing of dried grass, chainsaw use, and welding/cutting of metal is now restricted between the hours of 1 p.m. and 8 p.m.  All of the restrictions can be found at www.odfcentraloregon.com and are listed at the bottom of this news release.

In addition to reducing the Regulated Closure there are some changes and conditions specific to each unit within the Central Oregon District.  These details are explained below.
Prineville-Sisters Unit— Fuel conditions in the Unit remain extremely flammable.  The additional restrictions in place on industrial operations remain in effect.  No open burning is allowed on lands within the Prineville Unit, including burn barrels.
The Dalles Unit— The current burn ban in Wasco and Hood River counties remains in effect.  All open burning, including burn barrels is prohibited. Industrial Fire Precaution Levels in MH-1 and MH-4 will be reduced to Level 2 at 12:01 a.m. on September 12, 2018.  Information for these restrictions can be found at https://gisapps.odf.oregon.gov/firerestrictions/ifpl.html.
John Day Unit— All open burning, including burn barrels, on lands protected by the John Day Unit is prohibited during Fire Season.  Additional restrictions on industrial operations remain in effect.     
The weather forecast calls for continued dry conditions with a slight chance of precipitation later this week.  Managers will continue to evaluate fire danger and adjust restrictions as conditions allow.  If you are unsure of any restriction or have questions please contact your local Oregon Department of Forestry Office.  Contact information is available at www.odfcentraloregon.com
Activities below are restricted by this closure.  The full proclamation can be accessed at www.Oregon.gov/ODF/Fire/Pages/Restrictions.aspx

·       Possession of the following firefighting equipment is required while traveling in a motorized vehicle, except on federal and state highways, county roads and driveways: one shovel and one gallon of water or one operational 2½ pound or larger fire extinguisher, except all-terrain vehicles and motorcycles which must be equipped with an approved spark arrestor in good working condition.
·       Smoking is prohibited while traveling, except in vehicles on improved roads.
·       Open fires are prohibited, including campfires, charcoal fires, cooking fires and warming fires, except in designated areas.  Portable cooking stoves using liquefied or bottled fuels are allowed. Open fires are allowed if conducted in compliance with a valid Burning Permit issued pursuant to ORS 477.515.
·       Chainsaw use is prohibited, between the hours of 1:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m.  Chainsaw use is permitted at all other hours, if the following firefighting equipment is present with each operating saw: one axe, one shovel, and one operational 8 ounce or larger fire extinguisher.  In addition, a fire watch is required at least one hour following the use of each saw.
·       Mowing of dried grass with power driven equipment is prohibited, between the hours of 1:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m., except for the commercial culture and harvest of agricultural crops.
·       Cutting, grinding and welding of metal is prohibited between the hours of 1:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m.  At all other times the area is to be cleared of flammable vegetation and the following fire equipment is required: one axe, one shovel, and one operational 2 ½ pound or larger fire extinguisher in good working order. 
·       Use of motor vehicles, including motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles, is prohibited, except on improved roads and except for vehicle use by a landowner and employees of the landowner upon their own land while conducting activities associated with their livelihood.
·       Use of fireworks is prohibited.
·       Blasting is prohibited.
·       Any electric fence controller in use shall be: 1) Listed be a nationally recognized testing laboratory or be certified by the Department of Consumer and Business Services; and 2) Operated in compliance with manufacturer’s instructions.

Aside from these restrictions, also prohibited throughout fire season is backyard debris burning, the use of exploding targets and tracer ammunition.

Monday, August 20, 2018

Westcliff Fire Update


[Hood River, Ore.]  Steep, rugged terrain has slowed mop-up work on the Westcliff Fire.  Today firefighters held the fire within the containment lines, and were able to improve control to 75%.   Evacuation orders were reduced today, however some areas remain under a Level 1 (Be Ready) evacuation.  Updates are available from the Hood River County Sheriff at www.facebook.com/hrcso/.
Safety is the highest priority.  Because of the cliffy nature of the terrain firefighters are being extra cautious in their actions on the fire.  Potential rolling debris is a concern as crews grid through the fire interior.  They must constantly be watching for crew members below and hazards above.  During mop-up they dislodge material and mix water with dirt and burning fuels, thus increasing the potential for hazards to shift downslope.   
Type 1 Helicopter using bucket to
drop water on hots spots
Today timber fallers were able to fall several trees which still had live fire burning within the canopy.  A Type 1 helicopter was then used to drop water on the flames to reduce the heat and allow firefighters to fully extinguish the heat.  The trees fell within the existing fire perimeter. 
Resources on the fire today were four wildland engines, a pair of timber fallerss, and a 20-person crew.  Two helicopters, a Type 1 and Type 3 were available as needed to support the suppression activities. The engines and crew will return to the fire tomorrow.
Union Pacific train traffic is moving through the area slowly, coordinating with firefighters as it enters the area.  Firefighters are also watching to ensure no debris has rolled onto the tracks. 
The fire was reported around midnight Saturday night.  It is located northwest of Hood River near Westcliff Drive, between Interstate 84 and the Columbia River.   
The weather forecast calls for continued dry hot days.  Please remember that wildland fuels are extremely flammable under these conditions.  Regulated Closure is in effect for ODF’s Central Oregon District.  Specific restrictions can be found at www.ODFcentraloregon.com.  

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Westcliff Fire


[Hood River, Ore.]  This morning firefighters from Oregon Department of Forestry, Hood River Fire and Rescue, and Mosier Fire are working to contain the Westcliff Fire.  The fire is located northwest of Hood River near Westcliff Drive, between Interstate 84 and the Columbia River.  Hood River County Sheriff has implemented evacuations for residents in the area of the fire.  Visit www.facebook.com/hrcso/ for updates.
The fire was reported just after midnight Sunday morning, spreading from a structure into the wildland.  Currently the fire is estimated at approximately five acres.  Cool temperatures, low wind, and increased humidity moderated fire behavior through the night and this morning.  Rising temperatures and gorge winds will increase fire behavior today, challenging firefighter’s efforts to control the fire.  The fire is burning in a rugged area of cliffs, making firefighter access difficult.  Steep terrain on the east flank of the fire, with large trees and snags and significant down woody material is a safety concern for firefighters working below as rolling debris moves downslope.
Resources on the fire include structural and wildland engines and structural tenders.  A Type 1 helicopter will arrive this morning, focusing on getting water on the east flank of the fire in the cliffy area where access is difficult.  A Type 3 helicopter will also be using a bucket to drop water on hot spots in the fire.  Oregon Department of Forestry is being assisted by the U.S. Forest Service Mt. Hood National Forest and Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area and Washington Department of Natural Resources.
Union Pacific has closed the railroad lines north of the fire as a precaution.  Firefighters are working near the tracks to establish containment lines.     
The weather forecast calls for continued dry hot days.  Please remember that wildland fuels are extremely flammable under these conditions.  Regulated Closure is in effect for ODF’s Central Oregon District.  Specific restrictions can be found at www.ODFcentraloregon.com.   

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Memaloose #2 Fire

News Release:  Memaloose #2
Saturday August 11, 2018
11:00 a.m.

Contact:  Christie Shaw, Oregon Department of Forestry
    541-263-0661
     
The Memaloose #2 Fire was reported late Friday evening burning on the south side of Interstate 84 near the eastbound Memaloose Rest Area.  Initial attack resources worked through the night as the wind pushed the fire east in light fuels.  Unified command has been established between Oregon Department of Forestry, Mosier Fire and Rescue and the U.S. Forest Service Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area.  Firefighters from the US Forest Service, Mosier Fire and Rescue, Mid-Columbia Fire and Rescue, Hood River Structural Task Force, and the Oregon Department of Forestry are continuing work to establish containment lines this morning. 

US Highway 30 is closed from the Memaloose Overlook (MP 61.5) to the Rowena I-84 interchange (MP 66.5). The fire is threatening homes in the Rowena Dell community and evacuations are in place for the area.  Information for current evacuation levels can be found on the Wasco County Sheriff’s facebook page:  www.facebook.com/WascoCountySheriff/. 

The fire is currently estimated at 175 acres.  Today firefighters are working to stop the fire spread to the east using dozers to establish firelines and aircraft to cool hot spots and any fire spotting outside the fire perimeter.  Two FireBoss air tankers (water scooping airplanes) from the Washington Department of Natural Resources are available to support the firefighters on the ground as needed.  Additional resources will be arriving on scene today to relieve personnel who have been on the fireline overnight and to bolster suppression efforts.

Governor Kate Brown invoked the Conflagration Act at 8:55 a.m. Saturday morning, providing additional resources to protect lives and homes in the area.  Oregon State Fire Marshal’s (OSFM) Blue Incident Management Team (IC Walker) will be in-briefing today at 12:00 p.m.  Following the in-brief OSFM unified command will be established between ODF, OSFM, and USFS Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area.  In addition to the overhead personnel from the Incident Management Team four structural task forces will be arriving today and two additional task forces will be arriving for night shift. 

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Allen Creek Fire Update


Prineville, OR –This morning firefighters on the Allen Creek Fire are reporting 100% containment for the fire.  Yesterday crews focused on finding and extinguishing heat and flames adjacent to the fireline to keep the fire inside the existing perimeter.  In many areas they were able to mop-up more than 100 feet into the interior of the fire.  With a forecast of increasing heat this week fire managers are focusing efforts on the fire to ensure that the fire will not rekindle or move outside containment lines.  Gordon Foster, Prineville Unit Forester, commented on the great work from firefighters on Allen Creek, “Crews did some great work today, although fuels were light they worked hard throughout the day to ensure good containment. 

Last night’s shift included two 5-person crews and one engine, these resources used infra-red cameras to detect heat sources underground.  These “hot spots” are identified so crews can follow up with water and tools to extinguish the burning material.  

Today two 20-person crews, four engines, and two tenders will be continuing mop-up activities.  Fire managers are looking to have 100% mop-up completed for the fire by end of shift on Wednesday.  Aircraft is available to support the fire if it is needed.  The fire will continue to be in patrol status after the mop-up work is complete.

Reported around 11:30 a.m. on August 5, 2018, the fire burned primarily grass and brush on steep and rocky terrain near Allen Creek Road in northwest Crook County. Heavy use of aircraft and a surge of ground resources during initial attack checked the spread of the fire at approximately 27 acres.  The fire is under investigation.


For additional information on ODF’s Central Oregon District, including contact information and unit offices, please visit www.ODFcentraloregon.com.

Monday, August 6, 2018

Allen Creek Fire Update

Public information contact for the Allen Creek Fire is Laura York-541-447-5658

Prineville, OR – Firefighters responded to a new incident located approximately 10 miles north of Prineville, near Allen Creek Road.  The fire, burning in grass and brush, was reported at 11:23 a.m. on August 5, 2018.  The fire is currently under investigation.

Local resources responded with initial attack that included, four Oregon Department of Forestry engines, two U.S. Forest Service engines, four hand crews, four dozers, three water tenders, two Single Engine Air Tankers (SEATs), three heavy air tankers, and four helicopters.  Crook County Fire and Rescue assisted, providing multiple engines and a water tender, along with the Crook County Sheriff who provided additional overhead resources.  The landowner provided two skidgines and one dozer.

Aggressive initial attack held the fire at approximately 27 acres.   The dozers and skidgines were able to tie in the fire line, and hose was laid allowing crews to begin mop up by 7:00 p.m.   Overnight, three 5-person crews, one engine, two water tenders, and one 20-person crew continued working on the fire.  Crews will continue mopping up today with Type 4 Incident Commander Jones, one other overhead person, two tenders, three crews and two engines. Fire is currently 100% lined and 40% containment.

During the initial attack, as a precautionary measure, Level 1 (Get Ready) evacuation notices were issued by the Crook County Sheriff’s office for the Lofton Creek area, which included approximately half a dozen residences.  Evacuation Level 1 was lifted at 6:00 p.m. on August 5, 2018. 


For additional information on ODF’s Central Oregon District, including contact information and unit offices, please visit www.ODFcentraloregon.com.

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Wilson Prairie Fire Update


Contact:  Christie Shaw, Oregon Department of Forestry
                   541-263-0661
                   Darcy Weseman, Umatilla National Forest
                   541-278-3722

[Morrow County, Ore.] Firefighters have completed mop up operations on the Wilson Prairie Fire located near the Morrow County Off Highway Vehicle Park in southern Morrow County.  The fire was initially reported on July 23, 2018 and burned 405 acres.  The fire is in patrol status as of Saturday, August 4, 2018.  Firefighters will continue to monitor the fire during the heat of the day when any potential smoldering fire may become more active.
There are unburned areas of fuel within the interior of the fire with smoldering and creeping fire.  These areas are well interior of the fireline with minimal risk of the fire moving outside the lines.  Some hose remains on the fireline to be used if fire or heat is discovered near the line.
The Umatilla National Forest Area and Road Closure around the fire was rescinded as of Friday afternoon. 
Information for the fire is available on InciWeb:  https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/6028/
The weather forecast for the region will return to a hot and dry trend over the next few days.  Please follow restrictions to limit potential human wildfire ignitions.
·        Regulated Closure is in effect for ODF’s Central Oregon District.  Specific restrictions, intended to reduce human caused fires, can be found at www.ODFcentraloregon.com.  
·        Phase B of the Public Use Restrictions (PURS) for the Umatilla National Forest is in effect.  For more information regarding these and other restrictions on the Umatilla National Forest visit www.bmidc.org.

Wednesday, August 1, 2018


South Valley Fire

[Dufur, Ore.] The South Valley Fire was reported Wednesday afternoon around 1:30 p.m., burning in ponderosa pine, oak, and wheat, southwest of Dufur, Oregon on Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) protected lands.  Dry fuels and steady winds have contributed to the fire’s spread.   It is currently estimated at 10,000 acres.  The cause of the fire is under investigation.
Governor Kate Brown has invoked the Conflagration Act in response to the fire’s threat to homes and infrastructure. Tonight Oregon State Fire Marshal (OSFM) mobilized resources to the fire and is in Unified Command with ODF.  Tonight firefighters will take advantage of increased humidity and reduced wind to engage the fire and build fireline while the fire behavior is moderated.      
Evacuation information for the fire can be found on the Wasco County Sheriff’s Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/WascoCountySheriff/
The fire originated approximately five miles southwest of Dufur, and spread to the southeast, crossing Highway 197 south of Dufur. Potential spread of the fire overnight toward the Deschutes River prompted the Bureau of Land Management to implement a Level 3 evacuation order in Segment 3 of the river corridor from Sandy Beach to Mack’s Canyon.
Resources on the fire today included large air tankers, very large air tankers, Washington Department of Natural Resources FireBoss scoopers, ODF Single Engine Air Tankers (SEATs), several helicopters, ground crews and engines from ODF and the U.S. Forest Service, additional engines from Mid-Columbia Fire and Rescue and other local rural fire departments, and contract dozers.  Approximately 150 fire personnel have engaged in the fire this afternoon and evening, with more resources arriving tonight with OSFM.  Additional resources have been ordered and will arrive tomorrow.  Aerial resources will be supporting ground suppression activities Thursday morning.
Year-to-date the District has responded to 48 human caused fires, burning nearly 350 acres.  This is nine more than the ten-year average for this time period.  Fuel conditions throughout the region continue to be very dry with the potential for rapid fire growth from every spark.  Regulated Closure is in effect for ODF’s Central Oregon District.  Specific restrictions can be found at www.ODFcentraloregon.com.   

Wilson Prairie NWIMT8 Thank You Video

Northwest Incident Management team 8 would like to thank publics, cooperators, agency administrators and firefighter for their assistance in the suppression of the Wilson Prairie Fire.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pImZygNFJXw


News Release:  Area and Road Closures Reduced on the Wilson Prairie Fire
Wednesday, Aug. 1, 2018

Contact:  Christie Shaw, Oregon Department of Forestry
                   541-263-0661
                   Darcy Weseman, Umatilla National Forest
                   541-278-3722

[Morrow County, Ore.] Umatilla National Forest officials have re-opened Bull Prairie Lake Campground and reduced the closure area associated with the Wilson Prairie Fire to provide access to National Forest lands not impacted by the wildfire or wildfire suppression efforts. A description of the updated closure area is at the bottom of the news release.

“We know Bull Prairie Lake Campground is an important area for our communities and visitors,” said Brandon Houck, Heppner District Ranger. “Suppression efforts have held the fire within its current footprint and we feel we can thoughtfully make some adjustments to the closures while keeping firefighters and the public safe.”

The Wilson Prairie Fire is currently 405 acres and 75% contained. A local Type 4 organization took command of the fire today at 6 a.m. Firefighters are continuing mop up within the fire perimeter and completing suppression repair activities, including water barring (an angled trench, to direct water off the fireline to prevent erosion), removal of hose, and removal of trash from the fire line.  Firefighters also continue to make repairs to OHV trails impacted by fire line.

The Morrow County Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) Park, restaurant, and campground remains open, however some OHV trails may be impacted by the fire activity.  Please observe all trail and area closures.

The weather forecast for the region is a continued hot and dry trend with poor humidity recovery.  Any spark landing in light fuels (grass) has a 100% potential to start a fire so please follow restrictions to limit potential human wildfire ignitions. Please follow restrictions to limit potential human wildfire ignitions.

·        Regulated Closure is in effect for ODF’s Central Oregon District.  Specific restrictions, intended to reduce human caused fires, can be found at www.ODFcentraloregon.com.  
·        Phase B of the Public Use Restrictions (PURS) for the Umatilla National Forest is in effect.  For more information regarding these and other restrictions on the Umatilla National Forest visit www.bmidc.org.

A map and detailed description of the reduced area closure is available at all Umatilla National Forest offices as well as on the Umatilla National Forest website: www.fs.usda.gov/umatilla/.  

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Area Closure Description:
Starting at Forest Service Road (FSR) 2000350 at its junction with the Forest Trail 2000320 east to its junction with FSR 2039000, then east on FSR 2039000 to Forest Boundary at T7S, R26 Section 6, then following the Forest Boundary north then west to Forest Trail 2000320, then follow Forest Trail 2000320 south to FSR Road 2000350.

Additionally, the following roads are closed:
       National Forest System Road (NFSR) 2039000 - From the Junction of NFSR 2000350 easterly to Morrow County Road Wilson Creek Road 732 – 2.5 miles. 
       National Forest System Road (NFSR) 2000350 - From the Junction of Highway 207, easterly to National Forest System Road (NFSR) 2039000 – 4.6 miles . 
       National Forest Trail (NFT) 2000320 - From the Junction of National Forest System  Road 2003500, north to National Forest Boundary  – 0.6 miles

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Wilson Prairie Fire Update July 31, 2018


Wilson Prairie Fire Update
Northwest Interagency Incident Management Team 8, Incident Commander: Doug Johnson
July 31, 2018 - 9:00 A.M.

This will be the last update from the Northwest Interagency Incident Management Team 8 (NWIIMT8). This will be the last on the Wilson Prairie Fire unless conditions change.  The local units will provide any updated information. NWIIMT8 would like to take this opportunity to say “thank you” to the community, cooperators, agency staff, and firefighters for the unwavering support during our management of the Wilson Prairie Fire. 

The transfer of management of the Wilson Prairie Fire is in progress. A Type 4 incident commander (IC), Kristen Marshall, will arrive today to shadow the existing operations.  The proposed schedule is to turn over command of the Wilson Prairie Fire to IC Marshall and her organization on Wednesday morning at 6:00 am. 

Smoke from other fires remains in the local area.  Those with sensitivity concerns should take appropriate precautions.  For more information on air quality please visit: http://www.oregon.gov/DEQ/AQ/Pages/index.aspx 
http://www.airnow.gov/

The Morrow County Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) Park, restaurant, and campground remains open, however some OHV trails may be impacted by the fire activity.  Please observe all trail and area closures.

Current Fire Information: Suppression efforts continue to hold the fire within its current footprint.  Mop up progressed with special attention being paid to the Porter Creek area and the green interior islands of unburned fuel, which still contain hot spots and smoldering behavior.  Suppression repair activities continue, which includes water barring (an angled trench, to direct water off the fireline to prevent erosion), removal of hose, and removal of trash from the fire line.  Repairs to OHV trails impacted by fire line construction continue.  The entire firefighter operation briefing may be viewed at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sc-6fmeR3as

Acreage: 405, this will be the final reported acreage.
Containment: 75%
Fire Information Center:  Public Line 844-695-6542. Available 8:00 am to 9:00 pm.
Beginning Wednesday please contact: Christie Shaw – ODF – at 541-263-0661 or Darcy Weseman – Umatilla National Forest at 541-215-2224.

Information Websites: Inciwebhttps://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/6028
               ODF Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/ODFCentralOregon/

Resources:  Total personnel assigned – 422:  3-type 2 IA hand crews, 10-type 2 hand crews, 2-camp crews, 1- light helicopter, 6-engines, 1-dozers, 8-water tenders, 1- ambulance, 3-skidgens, and 103 overhead. Right sizing of the fire suppression resources continues with demobilization of resources in response to operational needs.
Air Operations:  The current temporary flight restriction in place over the fire area will be lifted at 8:00 pm today.
Weather:  Today will be partly cloudy with smoke haze settled into the area.  A Heat Advisory and Fire Weather Watch are both in effect for the area today.  Thunderstorms are predicted starting in the late afternoon and continuing into the night.  If thunderstorms develop, gusts of 40 mph winds are possible.  Max temperatures of 96 degrees with relative humidity to 12%.  Winds will be mostly upslope at 6 - 8 mph switching to the northwest 12-16 mph with gusts to 20 mph.   
Closures: The Umatilla National Forest implemented an area closure; including trails and roads within the vicinity of Bull Prairie Lake and the Wilson Prairie area.  A map and detailed description of the area closure is available on the Umatilla National Forest website at https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/umatilla/alerts-notices/?cid=stelprdb5286768 and on Inciweb.  Forest Service personnel will be located near the campground to assist recreational visitors with alternative locations to camp.  This closure will be evaluated daily for need as a safety precaution to firefighters and the public.  With the transition of management to a Type 4 incident, agency officials will be looking closely at removing the closure as soon as possible. 
The weather forecast for the region is a continued hot and dry trend with poor humidity recovery.  Any spark landing in light fuels (grass) has a 100% potential to start a fire so please follow restrictions to limit potential human wildfire ignitions.
  • Regulated Closure is in effect for ODF’s Central Oregon District.  Specific restrictions, intended to reduce human caused fires, can be found at www.ODFcentraloregon.com.  
  • Phase B of the Public Use Restrictions (PURS) for the Umatilla National Forest are in effect.   For more information regarding these and other restrictions on the Umatilla National Forest visitwww.bmidc.org