FIRE RESTRICTIONS: - Fire Season in effect as of June 1, 2018
FIRE RESTRICTIONS: - Regulated Closure in effect as of June 29, 2018 - Modified July 20, 2018
MH1 and MH4 IFPL: - IFPL 3 as of July 16, 2018
ADDITIONAL INDUSTRIAL FIRE PRECAUTIONS: - Effective July 22, 2018

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Restrictions tighten on ODF protected lands in Central Oregon


Regulated Closure Link
[Prineville, Ore,] Prompted by fuel conditions and weather trends, the Oregon Department of Forestry’s Central Oregon District is increasing restrictions for lands within their protection boundary.  The District will implement Regulated Closure-Phase 2 as of 12:01 a.m. Friday July 20, 2018.  This Closure will modify the timeframe when some high risk activities are prohibited.  All other restrictions remain in effect.  The restricted timeframe is now 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. for mowing of dried grass, chainsaw use and cutting or grinding of metal.  Leadership within the District considered current fire activity in Oregon, limited resources due to the increased fire activity, and the risk of rapid fire spread in current fuel and weather conditions. Acting District Forester Rob Pentzer explains, “It just made sense to make changes to our restrictions that will limit potential ignitions.”  Fewer ignitions reduces risk to firefighters and the public, limits damage to natural resources and limits financial impact to landowners and all Oregonians.
Activities below are restricted by the Regulated Closure.  Additional restrictions and 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.
·      Chainsaw use is prohibited, between the hours of 10:00 a.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 dried grass with power driven equipment is prohibited, between 10:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m., except for the commercial culture/harvest of agricultural crops.
·      Cutting, grinding & welding of metal is prohibited between 10:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m
·      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.
·      The use of fireworks and blasting is prohibited.
The use of tracer ammunition or exploding targets is illegal within the District during fire season.  As of January 1, 2017 sky lanterns and other luminaries are prohibited in Oregon.
In addition to the public use restrictions the District is also implementing additionalFire Prevention Requirements for Industrial Operations in the Prineville and John Day Units effective July 22, 2018 at 1:00 a.m.  Regulated Closure Areas MH-1 and MH-4 in The Dalles Unit are currently in Industrial Fire Precaution Level 3. 
More information on these restrictions and closures as well as additional information on ODF’s Central Oregon District, including contact information, please visit www.ODFcentraloregon.com.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Memaloose Park Fire Update


News Release:  Memaloose Park Fire
Monday July 10, 2018
11:00 a.m.

Contact:  Christie Shaw, Oregon Department of Forestry
                541-263-0661
             
[Hood River, Ore.]  Firefighters on the Memaloose Park Fire continue to make progress mopping-up fuels within the fire perimeter.  This morning the fire is 90% contained, with the final acreage mapped at 74 acres.  Incident Commander Kiel Nairns anticipates containment to reach 100% by end of shift today, “Crews made really good progress late yesterday afternoon, and I think we will be able to put the fire into patrol status after today’s work.”  Early this morning the Bureau of Land Management, through a drone testing project, used infra-red imagery to find hot spots in the fire area.  Firefighters will use this information to focus efforts in the final gridding of the fire today. 
This morning the west bound Memaloose Rest Area reopened for travelers on Interstate 84, after being closed since the fire ignited Friday night.   Memaloose State Park will also be open to visitors again this morning.

Agencies throughout the Columbia River Gorge participated in the suppression efforts of the fire, quickly responding Friday night with numerous engines, personnel and aircraft.  This cooperative response allowed firefighters to stop spread of the fire Friday night and limit the threat to the community of Rowena Dell, critical infrastructure in the area, and damage to natural resources and private property.  Responding agencies include Wasco County Sheriff, Hood River County’s Immediate Needs Task Force, Klickitat County (Washington) Rural Fire Department Engine Strike Team, fire departments from Wasco and Sherman counties, Mosier Fire Department, Mid-Columbia Fire and Rescue, Hood River County Sheriff, Bureau of Land Management, Oregon State Police, Oregon Department of Transportation, Oregon Travel Experience, Oregon Parks and Recreation Department, U.S. Forest Service, Washington Department of Natural Resources, and Oregon Department of Forestry.   

The fire burned lands within Memaloose State Park, Oregon Travel Experience’s Memaloose Rest Area, and private lands protected by Oregon Department of Forestry, Mid-Columbia Fire and Rescue protection, and some lands managed by the U.S. Forest Service.  The fire is human caused and under investigation.

Regulated-Use Closure is in effect within Oregon Department of Forestry’s Central Oregon District.  These restrictions are intended to reduce wildfires from human activities.  More information for these restrictions can be found at www.odfcentraloregon.com. 

Monday, July 9, 2018

Memaloose Park Fire Update


News Release:  Memaloose Park Fire
Monday July 9, 2018
9:00 a.m.

Contact:  Christie Shaw, Oregon Department of Forestry
                541-263-0661
              
[Hood River, Ore.]  The Memaloose Park Fire, located along Interstate 84 ten miles east of Hood River, is 70% contained this morning.  Crews made significant progress mopping-up the heat and flames within the fire perimeter on Sunday.  Kiel Nairns, Incident Commander is confident containment lines are holding, “Yesterday’s heat and afternoon winds tested the containment lines.  They held and we didn’t see any fire activity that concerned us.”  Firefighters will continue working today to find heat or flames within the fire perimeter, using tools to expose these areas and dousing with water to extinguish any hot spots.  The weather forecast for this afternoon calls for warm temperatures and increasing winds.  This will again test the fireline and expose any hidden interior fire.  Crews will continue working within the fire over the next few days until the fire is 100% contained.  Firefighters were able to use GPS to map the fire perimeter on Sunday, updating the acreage to 74 acres. 

Over the weekend the fire threatened homes in the Rowena Dell area.  The Wasco County Sheriff lifted all evacuations Monday morning at 8 a.m.   Memaloose State Park is currently closed to new campers entering the campground.  This closure is in place to ensure firefighter and public safety during firefighting activities.  The westbound Interstate 84 Memaloose Rest Area will remain closed until repairs can be made to the electrical system which were damaged by the fire.

The fire burned lands within Memaloose State Park, Oregon Travel Experience’s Memaloose Rest Area, and private lands protected by Oregon Department of Forestry, Mid-Columbia Fire and Rescue protection, and some lands managed by the U.S. Forest Service.  The fire is human caused and under investigation.

Regulated-Use Closure is in effect within Oregon Department of Forestry’s Central Oregon District.  These restrictions are intended to reduce wildfires from human activities.  More information for these restrictions can be found at www.odfcentraloregon.com. 

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Memaloose Park Update


News Release:  Memaloose Park Fire
Sunday July 8, 2018
11:00 a.m.

Contact:  Christie Shaw, Oregon Department of Forestry
                541-263-0661
                Stan Hinatsu, U.S. Forest Service
                541-490-0961
 
[Hood River, Ore.]  Firefighters worked on Saturday to complete fireline around the sixty-five acre Memaloose Park Fire, located ten miles east of Hood River, Oregon.  This morning the fire is 35% contained after work yesterday and the night shift.  Firefighters from Mosier Fire Department, Mid-Columbia Fire and Rescue, and the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area continue to assist in the suppression effort providing water tenders, fire engines and fire fighters.  Today firefighters will be working to mop-up heat and flames within the fire area.  Acting Unit Forester for The Dalles, Brian Reel explains, “This is an early season fire, we will be mopping-up 100% so we can focus efforts on future fires as we continue into the heart of fire season.”  Firefighters will systematically grid the fire, digging into the ground to expose burning material in the soil, using water to put the fire out and dousing any burning vegetation.  Firefighters will be supported by a Type 2 helicopter dropping water on hot spots.

The fire threatened homes in the Rowena Dell area.  Current evacuation information can be found on the Wasco County Sheriff’s facebook page:  www.facebook.com/WascoCountySheriff/.  Highway 30 re-opened late Saturday, however fire activity and suppression actions can rapidly evolve, please use www.tripcheck.com to verify road closures. 

Memaloose State Park is currently closed to new campers entering the campground.   This closure is in place to ensure firefighter and public safety during firefighting activities.  The westbound Interstate 84 Memaloose Rest Area will remain closed until repairs can be made to the electrical system which were damaged by the fire.

The fire burned lands within Memaloose State Park, Oregon Travel Experience’s Memaloose Rest Area, and private lands protected by Oregon Department of Forestry, Mid-Columbia Fire and Rescue protection, and some lands managed by the U.S. Forest Service.  The fire is human caused and under investigation.

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Memaloose Park Fire Update


News Release:  Memaloose Park Fire
Saturday July 7, 2018
5:00 p.m.

Contact:  Christie Shaw, Oregon Department of Forestry
                541-263-0661
                Stan Hinatsu, U.S. Forest Service
                541-490-0961
 
[Hood River, Ore.]  Firefighters on the Memaloose Park Fire worked today on strengthening the existing containment lines which were built last night to check the fire spread.  The sixty-five acre fire remains at 25% containment this evening.  Within the fire perimeter unburned fuels have slowed efforts to fully contain the fire.  Gordon Foster, Incident Commander for the Oregon Department of Forestry describes the fire as “a dirty burn with lots of potential risk due to the adjacent homes and campground facilities.”   Firefighters will work overnight continuing mop-up activities and looking for areas of heat and flames.

An Oregon state legislature severity funded Type 2 helicopter has been used to drop water on the fire today, focusing on heat and flames near the fire perimeter.  Funding for this helicopter is intended to reduce wildfire impacts to Oregon residents from fire, smoke, reduced water quality and other damages to natural resources.  Additional aerial resources are available to support the firefighters on the ground if needed.

The fire is threatening homes in the Rowena Dell area and Highway 30 is closed from Marsh Cutoff Road east to the Rowena interchange.  Current evacuation and closure information can be found on the Wasco County Sheriff’s facebook page:  www.facebook.com/WascoCountySheriff/.  This evening the Highway 30 closure will be evaluated for possible re-opening.  www.tripcheck.com will be updated as soon as this decision is made.  Memaloose State Park is currently closed to new campers entering the campground.   This closure is in place to ensure firefighter and public safety during firefighting activities.

Friday evening the fire burned through the westbound Memaloose Rest Area, managed by Oregon Travel Experience, causing minor damage to one of the buildings and burning the power transformer for the site.  The westbound rest area will remain closed until the electrical unit can be repaired.  The eastbound rest area is open.  No other buildings were damaged by the fire.

The fire burned lands within Memaloose State Park, Oregon Travel Experience’s Memaloose Rest Area, and private lands protected by Oregon Department of Forestry, Mid-Columbia Fire and Rescue protection, and some lands managed by the U.S. Forest Service.  The fire is human caused and under investigation.

Memaloose Park Fire -Update


News Release:  Memaloose Park Fire
Saturday July 7, 2018
9:00 a.m.

Contact:  Christie Shaw, Oregon Department of Forestry
                541-263-0661
                Stan Hinatsu, U.S. Forest Service
                541-490-0961
              

[Hood River, Ore.]  Firefighters continued to make progress overnight on the Memaloose Park Fire, located along Interstate 84 approximately ten miles west of Hood River. Firefighters held the fire within the perimeter and worked on building and strengthening containment lines, focusing on the eastern edge of the fire.   Crews also worked to knock down hot spots within the fire perimeter and began mop-up adjacent to the fire line.  Firefighters will continue this work today with additional resources arriving.  The fire is being managed under unified command between the Oregon Department of Forestry and Mid Columbia Fire and Rescue.

A Type 2 helicopter will be working with the ground resources to extinguish hot spots.  FireBoss scooper tankers from Washington Department of Natural Resources and heavy air tankers are also available if needed.

The fire is threatening the community of Rowena Dell.  Evacuation levels remain the same this morning.  Evacuation information can be found on the Wasco County Sheriff’s facebook page:  www.facebook.com/WascoCountySheriff/.  Highway 30 is closed from Marsh Cutoff Road east to the Rowena interchange.  Memaloose State Park is closed to new campers trying to enter the campground.  Campers who left the campground during the firefighting activity will be allowed to re-enter.

Reduced fire behavior overnight allowed firefighters to map the perimeter more closely.  The fire is currently estimated at 65 acres, with twenty-five percent containment.  This increase is not a result of fire growth, but better mapping.  The fire burned lands within Memaloose State Park and private lands protected by Oregon Department of Forestry, Mid-Columbia Fire and Rescue protection, and some lands managed by the U.S. Forest Service.  The fire is human caused and under investigation.

Friday, July 6, 2018

Memaloose Park Fire


News Release:  Memaloose Park Fire
Friday July 6, 2018
11:00 p.m.

Contact:  Christie Shaw, Oregon Department of Forestry
                541-263-0661
                Stan Hinatsu, U.S. Forest Service
                541-490-0961
              

Late Friday afternoon firefighters responded to the Memaloose Park Fire near Rowena, Oregon.  The fire began in Memaloose State Park, quickly spreading east and jumping Interstate 84.  The fire is threatening the community of Rowena Dell.  Information for the current evacuation levels can be found on the Wasco County Sheriff’s facebook page:  www.facebook.com/WascoCountySheriff/.  Highway 30 is closed from Marsh Cutoff Road east to the Rowena interchange.  Memaloose State Park is closed to new campers trying to enter the campground.  Campers who left the campground during the firefighting activity will be allowed to re-enter.

Unified command has been established between Oregon Department of Forestry, Mid-Columbia Fire and Rescue and the U.S. Forest Service Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area.  The fire is currently being held at 45 acres with firelines and resources on scene.  Containment is estimated at twenty percent.  Tonight firefighters will work to strengthen and build containment lines around the fire perimeter.  Additional resources will be arriving on scene in the morning to continue the work the firefighters will be accomplishing overnight.

This evening’s resources included two heavy air tankers dropping retardant to aid engine and hand crews on the ground, as well as two FireBoss scooper air tankers from Washington Department of Natural Resources.  On the ground engines and crews came from Oregon Department of Forestry, U.S. Forest Service, Washington Department of Natural Resources, Mid-Columbia Fire and Rescue, and numerous area fire departments.

The fire is human caused and under investigation.