FIRE RESTRICTIONS: - Fire Season terminated October 24, 2020
FIRE RESTRICTIONS: - Regulated Closure terminated October 14, 2020
MH1 (Wasco County) IFPL: - IFPL Terminated October 17, 2020 MH4 (Hood River County) IFPL: - IFPL Terminated October 17, 2020
ADDITIONAL INDUSTRIAL FIRE PRECAUTIONS: - Terminated September 25, 2020

Thursday, October 22, 2020

Fire Season Terminated For John Day Unit of Central Oregon District

[John Day, Ore.]  Oregon Department of Forestry will terminate Fire Season in the John Day Unit of the Central Oregon District at 12:01 a.m. Saturday October 24, 2020.  Cooling temperatures and increased humidity have reduced the fire danger and potential for rapid spread of fire due to fuel conditions.  Additional precipitation is needed before burn permits for logging slash will be issued in the Central Oregon District.    

Yard debris, burn barrels, and other open burning should follow local and county fire restrictions.  Prior to any burning landowners should plan for safe burning practices including monitoring current weather conditions and future forecasts.  Safe burning practices also includes clearing flammable debris from the burn pile or burn area, having a water source nearby, having tools such as a shovel handy while burning, not burning in windy conditions, and never leave a fire unattended.  Continue to check the fire area for residual heat in the days after burning to ensure embers do not rekindle and spread to nearby fuels.

Year-to-date in the Central Oregon District firefighters have responded to 70 lightning fires burning 11,300 acres and 69 human caused fires burning 1,659 acres. The ten-year average for this time period is 63 lightning fires for 5,823 acres and 65 human caused fires for 2,192 acres.  Eighty-five percent of all fires were less than ten acres in size. 

ODF’s Central Oregon District continues to serve landowners and the public as an essential service for Oregonians.  Please call or email to talk with our staff or schedule an appointment.  For additional information on ODF’s Central Oregon District, including contact information and unit offices, please visit www.ODFcentraloregon.com.

Thursday, October 15, 2020

Fire Season Ends for Prineville and The Dalles Units of ODF’s Central Oregon District

[PRINEVILLE, Ore.]  Fire Season for Oregon Department of Forestry’s Prineville and The Dalles units in the Central Oregon District will end at 12:01 a.m. Saturday October 17, 2020.  Industrial Fire Precautions in MH-1 and MH-4 of The Dalles Unit are also terminated.  Fuel conditions do not pose a significant risk of fire ignition and rapid spread in these areas. 

Gordon Foster, Prineville Unit Forester, reminds the public, “Although conditions have minimized the threat of fire spread, people should take caution and monitor conditions prior to conducting any open burning”. 

The John Day Unit will remain in Fire Season until additional moisture has further mitigated fire hazards.  Lands within the John Day Unit include portions of Grant, Morrow, Wheeler, Gilliam, Malhuer, and Umatilla counties.  Open burning is not allowed at this time in the John Day Unit, including yard debris.

Burn permits for logging slash and debris will not be issued in The Dalles or Prineville units until additional precipitation is received.  Yard debris, burn barrels, and other open burning should follow local and county fire restrictions.  Safe burning practices include clearing flammable debris from the burn pile or burn area, having a water source nearby, having tools such as a shovel handy while burning, not burning in windy conditions, and never leave a fire unattended.  Continue to check the fire area for residual heat in the days after burning to ensure embers do not rekindle and spread to nearby fuels.

Since Fire Season began in the Central Oregon District on June 1st firefighters have responded to 62 lightning fires burning 11,300 acres and 52 human caused fires burning 1,643 acres.

ODF’s Central Oregon District continues to serve landowners and the public as an essential service for Oregonians.  Please call or email to talk with our staff or schedule an appointment.  For additional information on ODF’s Central Oregon District, including contact information and unit offices, please visit www.ODFcentraloregon.com.

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Regulated Closure Terminated For ODF’s Central Oregon District

[PRINEVILLE, Ore.]  Oregon Department of Forestry’s (ODF) Regulated-Use Closure in the Central Oregon District will be terminated at 12:01 a.m. on Wednesday October 14, 2020.  Fire managers have determined the recent cooler weather and widespread precipitation across ODF’s Central Oregon District have reduced the risk of rapid fire spread and these prevention measures are no longer necessary.  In addition to the removal of the Regulated-Use Closure for the District, the Industrial Fire Precaution Level for MH-1 (East of Hwy 35) will be reduced to Level 1.  Fire season remains in effect.

Open burning and debris burning without a permit is prohibited on ODF protected lands during fire season.  Additional county or local fire department restrictions may also be in effect.  Use of tracer ammunition or exploding targets during fire season is not allowed.

While campfires and warming fires are allowed, the public is reminded to never leave a fire unattended, clear the area around the fire of flammable material prior to lighting and keep the fire small.  Having a shovel and water nearby are also safe practices to limit risk of the fire escaping.  Be sure your campfire is DEAD OUT! by drowning with water and stirring until there is no heat remaining. 

Use caution in all outdoor activities and follow ODF and local restrictions.  Current restrictions can be found at www.ODFcentraloregon.com.  Failure to follow current restrictions may result in a citation or liability for fire suppression work.  Wildfires cause damage to Oregon’s natural resources, including affecting water, soil and air quality and impact local communities.  These restrictions affect Central Oregon District protected lands in Crook, Deschutes, Gilliam, Grant, Hood River, Jefferson, Lake, Malheur, Morrow, Umatilla, Wasco, and Wheeler counties.

ODF’s Central Oregon District continues to serve landowners and the public as an essential service for Oregonians.  Please call or email to talk with our staff or schedule an appointment.  For additional information on ODF’s Central Oregon District, including contact information and unit offices, please visit www.ODFcentraloregon.com.

Thursday, October 8, 2020

Fire Season Remains on ODF Protected Lands In Central Oregon District

[PRINEVILLE, Ore.]  Fire Season in Oregon Department of Forestry’s (ODF) Central Oregon District remains in effect across private ownership, as well as state and municipal lands.  Cooler recent temperatures may give a false sense that fire danger is no longer present.  However, vegetation conditions are well above average across the District, and in many places are near where they were in August.  This assessment is based on the ability of fuels to burn, fuel moisture content, the heat potential of the fire front, and the rate of spread.   Fire managers are regularly reviewing the conditions and evaluating the need for restrictions.

“Cooler days and increased humidity recovery at night are moving us toward reducing some of our prevention measures, but what we really need to see is significant widespread precipitation across the District before we can make that decision,” says Rob Pentzer, Assistant District Forester for the Central Oregon District.

Open burning without a permit is prohibited on ODF protected lands as part of the Fire Season Declaration.  Additional county or local fire department restrictions may also be in effect.  Upcoming rain in the forecast will not eliminate the risk associated with debris burning with the current fuel conditions and wind associated with the storm may increase the risk of fire escaping.

Regulated-Use Closure restrictions are in place to reduce human caused fires on the landscape.  Campfires and warming fires, including charcoal fires are prohibited by the Regulated-Use Closure.  Additionally, a shovel and fire extinguisher (or a gallon of water) is required while traveling on forest roads. Chainsaw use and mowing of dried grass is prohibited between 1 p.m. and 8 p.m.

Current restrictions can be found at www.ODFcentraloregon.com.  Failure to follow current restrictions may result in a citation or liability for fire suppression work.  Wildfires cause damage to Oregon’s natural resources, including affecting water, soil and air quality and impact local communities.  These restrictions affect Central Oregon District protected lands in Crook, Deschutes, Gilliam, Grant, Hood River, Jefferson, Lake, Malheur, Morrow, Umatilla, Wasco, and Wheeler counties.

ODF’s Central Oregon District continues to serve landowners and the public as an essential service for Oregonians.  Please call or email to talk with our staff or schedule an appointment.  For additional information on ODF’s Central Oregon District, including contact information and unit offices, please visit www.ODFcentraloregon.com.

Saturday, September 26, 2020

Fire Restrictions Eased for Department of Forestry Protected Lands

[PRINEVILLE, Ore.]  Recent cooler temperatures, increased humidity and precipitation within Oregon Department of Forestry’s (ODF) Central Oregon District has reduced fuel hazards and the risk of rapid fire spread.  Lands protected by the Central Oregon District are at a high fire danger.  While the current fall weather trend, combined with shorter days has not eliminated the risk of wildfire the reduced risk allows fire managers to ease restrictions.

The Regulated-Use Closure in effect for public activities within the District will return to a 1 p.m. – 8 p.m. restriction for high risk activities such as mowing dry grass and chainsaw use.  While traveling in forested areas a fire extinguisher/gallon of water and a shovel are required.  Details for the Regulated-Use Closure are available at www.odfcentraloregon.com.  All open burning is prohibited. 

“We ask the public to be patient and continue to follow the restrictions to reduce the risk of fires at this point,” says Gordon Foster, Prineville Unit Forester.

Additional Industrial Precautions in the John Day and Prineville units are terminated as of September 25, 2020.  Fire season requirements remain in place, including the need for a fire watch following industrial activities.  This applies to lands in Deschutes, Jefferson, Crook, Wheeler, Morrow, Umatilla, Grant, Lake, and Malheur counties protected by the Central Oregon District.  Beginning September 28, 2020 lands in MH-1(Wasco County) will move to Industrial Fire Precaution Level 2 and MH-4 (Hood River County) will move to Industrial Fire Precaution Level 1.

ODF’s Central Oregon District continues to serve landowners and the public as an essential service for Oregonians.  Please call or email to talk with our staff or schedule an appointment.  For additional information on ODF’s Central Oregon District, including contact information and unit offices, please visit www.ODFcentraloregon.com.

Saturday, September 19, 2020

Restrictions for Industrial Operations Reduced on ODF Protected Lands

[THE DALLES, Ore.]  Industrial Fire Precaution Levels for Oregon Department of Forestry lands in Hood River and Wasco counties (MH-1 and MH-4) will be reduced to Level 3 at 12:01 a.m. September 21, 2020.  This will allow industrial operations to resume, but operators must follow restrictions including suspension of most activities between 1 p.m. and 8 p.m. and conducting a firewatch following daily operations.  The full close down order is available at www.odfcentraloregon.com

“The rain was a welcome sight, however fuel conditions remain dry,” says Kiel Nairns, Wildland Fire Supervisor for The Dalles Unit.  “This was not a season ending event, but does allow us to resume limited industrial operations at this time.”

A regulated-use closure remains in effect for activities such as mowing of dry grass, chainsaw use, and open fire restrictions.  The closure also requires those traveling on forest roads to carry a shovel and a fire extinguisher (or one gallon of water).  Visit www.odfcentraloregon.com for full details.  The public is asked to be aware of any actions which could cause a wildfire.

ODF’s Central Oregon District continues to serve landowners and the public as an essential service for Oregonians.  Please call or email to talk with our staff or schedule an appointment.  For additional information on ODF’s Central Oregon District, including contact information and unit offices, please visit www.ODFcentraloregon.com.

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Increased Restrictions for Industrial Operations on Private Lands in Hood River and Wasco Counties

[THE DALLES, Ore.]  Industrial Fire Precaution Levels for Oregon Department of Forestry lands in Hood River and Wasco counties (MH-1 and MH-4) increased to Level 4 at 5:00 p.m. September 8, 2020.  This increase is a complete shut-down of all industrial activities without a valid waiver from the State Forester.  The intent of the shut-down is to reduce the risk of potential fires ignited from equipment or other industrial activities.

Fuel conditions are extremely dry at this time, with no precipitation in the forecast.  “Fire activity across the state is at historic levels and fire resources are stretched to capacity,” says Brian Reel, Acting Unit Forester for ODF’s The Dalles Unit.  “It is our focus to limit activities that could add another fire to the landscape.”

A regulated-use closure remains in effect for activities such as mowing of dry grass, chainsaw use, and open fire restrictions.  The closure also requires those traveling on forest roads to carry a shovel and a fire extinguisher (or one gallon of water).  Visit www.odfcentraloregon.com for full details.  The public is asked to be aware of any actions which could cause a wildfire.

ODF’s Central Oregon District continues to serve landowners and the public as an essential service for Oregonians.  Please call or email to talk with our staff or schedule an appointment.  For additional information on ODF’s Central Oregon District, including contact information and unit offices, please visit www.ODFcentraloregon.com.

Friday, August 28, 2020

White River Fire Update:  Thursday, Aug. 28, 2020

The White River Fire moved significantly yesterday, crossing control lines to the east and spotting across the river to the south. It moved from national forest land to state and private lands. The fire threatened structures in Pine Grove, leading to a Level 3 “GO” Evacuation Order from the Wasco County Sheriff. A Level 3 Order means EVACUATE NOW.

Yesterday several crews on the ground and aircraft moved to initial attack, working spot fires lofted embers out to 2000 feet.  Fire managers used several firefighting aircraft to help suppress fire where conditions allowed and were effective. Local firefighting resources assisted with structural protection near the community of Pine Grove.

Because of the fire’s proximity to Pine Grove, the Governor declared a Conflagration Act enabling the State Fire Marshall to bring 15 structural protection engines to the fire. Also, the incoming Type 1 team (PNWIIMT 3) has added capacity including structural protection managers.

In addition to  initial attack on the fire yesterday, fire crews continued to scout, evaluate, and implement primary control line options and evaluate and implement alternative opportunities. They will continue those activities today. The fire is now 9,791 acres.  There are 614 personnel working the fire.

Air quality:   The monitor in Madras, OR shows moderate air quality for the area.  With increased fire activity during athe day, air quality may move from moderate to poor. 

Flight Restriction:   A Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR) is in effect prohibiting people from flying in the area.

White River Fire Closures:   The Mt Hood National Forest increased the closure area around the fire.  For the latest closure information and specifics on closed campgrounds, recreation areas, trails and roads, see the forest Facebook page and Inciweb https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/closures/7013 /

 

Evacuations:   The Wasco County Sheriff has issued the following Evacuation notices as of Thursday night, Aug. 27, 2020:

n  Level 3 – GO: The area east from Bear Springs Ranger Station along Hwy 216 through Pine Grove to the intersection of Endersby Rd and 216, also included are all of Endersby Rd, Linns Mill Rd and Kelly Springs Rd, including the community of Pine Grove.  EVACUATE NOW. 

n  Level 2 – GET SET Area from Back Walters Rd / Walters Rd / Kelly Springs Rd Intersection to Eldersby Rd / 216 Intersection along Victor Rd to the Claymier Lane/ Old Wapinita Hwy Intersection to Old Wapinita Hwy/ Wapinita Hwy/Reservation Road to Reservation Rd/Back Walters Rd Intersection.

n  Level 2 – Get Set: All residences on Smock Road west of the intersection of Smock Road and Ayres Road to include all residences on Barber Lane and Farlow Road.

n  Level 1 – Be Ready: The area east from Bear Springs Ranger Station along Hwy 216 through Pine Grove to the intersection of Endersby Rd and 216, also included are all of Endersby Rd, Linns Mill Rd and Kelly Springs Rd.

n  Level 1 – Be Ready: All residences on Smock Road west of the intersection of Smock Road and Ayres Road to include all residences on Barber Lane and Farlow Road.

n  Level 1 – Be Ready: The Sportsman’s Park.

Thursday, August 27, 2020

Mosier Creek Fire

[THE DALLES, Ore.]  The Mosier Creek Fire is now in patrol status as mop-up activities were completed over the weekend.  Firefighters have established a 300 foot “black” area adjacent to the fire edge and any homes within the fire area.  Fire personnel used a grid system to eliminate any smoke or heat adjacent to the fire edge.  Firefighters from the Oregon Department of Forestry and Mosier Fire regularly patrol the fire to look for smoke or fire within this edge area. 

As fire consumes areas of un-burned fuel within the interior of the fire smoke may be visible to the public.  This will likely continue until significant precipitation occurs in the region to dampen fuels and put the fire completely out.  These flare ups, in the fire interior, usually pose little risk of fire movement outside the containment lines.  However, the public is encouraged to call The Dalles Unit, 541-296-4626 if they are concerned about fire activity inside the fire perimeter.

ODF’s Central Oregon District continues to serve landowners and the public as an essential service for Oregonians.  Please call or email to talk with our staff or schedule an appointment.  For additional information on ODF’s Central Oregon District, including contact information and unit offices, please visit www.ODFcentraloregon.com.

Thursday, August 20, 2020

Steet Mountain Complex & Laurel Fire

[JOHN DAY, Ore.]  Firefighters from Oregon Department of Forestry’s John Day Unit have responded to numerous wildfires ignited by passing thunderstorms since Sunday afternoon.  Most of these fires were caught during initial attack or a short extended attack.  On Wednesday fire activity increased in the area on both ODF protected lands and on adjacent federal lands.  These fires were primarily holdover fires from Tuesday’s thunderstorms which came with minimal rain.  Dry fuels combined with hot temperatures allowed fires to grow rapidly Wednesday afternoon pushing both ground and air resources.

Some of these fires are continuing to spread today, but most have been caught and have fireline around the perimeter.  There is significant work to be completed to secure the fires and mop-up the interior, in addition to suppression of the fires which continue to spread. 

Today ODF’s Incident Management Team 2 (IC Cline) is being in-briefed by the Central Oregon District in preparation to assume command of seven fires later this evening.  Six of the fires, burning on ODF protected lands, will be managed as a complex in the area around Monument, Oregon.  The Steet Mountain Complex includes Steet Mountain (~860 acres), Cochran (~110 acres), Two Cabins (~80 acres), Conger (~5 acres), Troff Canyon (~.25 acres), and Jones Canyon (~.25 acres).  The Team will also be managing the Laurel Fire (~2,000 acres), this fire is burning lands managed by Prineville BLM and ODF protected private lands six miles south of Spray in Wheeler County. 

Bringing in ODF Team 2 to manage resources and suppression activities for these seven fires will free up local resources for initial attack on new fires and provide better coordination of resource needs on the fires.  “We are really thankful to have the team come and help us with these fires,” District Forester Mike Shaw commented during the in-brief.  “We know you guys have the capacity to quickly get these fires off the landscape and free up resources for other fires”.

Firefighter and public safety is the priority during this incident, including COVID mitigation.  Personnel will be following Center for Disease Control guidelines to limit personal interactions both within camp and with the local community.  The incident command post and fire camp are closed to the public.  

Monitor ODF’s Central Oregon District social media (see side bar) for fire information updates.

Sevenmile Hill Road Fire Update

 [THE DALLES, Ore.]  Firefighters are continuing work today on the Sevenmile Hill Road Fire, which was reported just before 5 p.m. Wednesday evening.  The fire burned nearly 100 acres of grass, scrub oak, and brush before suppression efforts stopped the spread.  The fire is 50% contained.  Today resources from the Mosier Creek Fire will be staffing both incidents, with the goal to secure Sevenmile Hill Road and place it in patrol status at the end of shift today.  This will require gridding the fire for hot spots, with significant work in the areas of scrub oak and brush.  Steady winds are expected to continue today.   

The initial attack response included Mid-Columbia Fire and Rescue, Oregon Department of Forestry The Dalles Unit, US Forest Service, a structural response task force, a dozer, Mosier Fire, Dufur Fire, Dallesport Fire, and resources from the Mosier Creek Fire.  Local ranchers and landowners have been a critical asset in the coordinated fire response for both the Sevenmile Hill Road Fire and the Mosier Creek Fire. 

Level 1 and 2 evacuations are still in place in the fire area.  Details for these evacuations is available at https://www.facebook.com/WascoCountySheriff. 

The cause of the Sevenmile Hill Road Fire is under investigation.

Work on the Mosier Creek Fire continues to focus on increasing the cold black area adjacent to the fire’s edge and search for areas of heat in the interior.  Fire personnel are also working to remove hose and other equipment from the fire to return to the fire cache. 

A Regulated-Use Closure is in effect for ODF’s Central Oregon District.  This closure restricts activities which have the potential to ignite wildfires.  No open burning, including burn barrels is permitted at this time.  Please be aware of any activities which could start a fire as fuels are very dry at this time, with no relief in the weather forecast.  Information for the Regulated-Use Closure is available at www.ODFcentraloregon.com.

ODF’s Central Oregon District continues to serve landowners and the public as an essential service for Oregonians.  Please call or email to talk with our staff or schedule an appointment.  For additional information on ODF’s Central Oregon District, including contact information and unit offices, please visit www.ODFcentraloregon.com.

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Fir Mountain Fire Update--Final

[THE DALLES, Ore.]  The Fir Mountain Fire reached full containment this afternoon and has transitioned to patrol status with The Dalles Unit.  Resources on the fire were released to their home unit late this afternoon.

Monday night crews used handheld infrared cameras across the fire to find any remaining heat sources.  Crews worked on these hot spots yesterday and will continue to identify heat and smoke today to secure the fire.  Hose and other supplies continue to be removed from the fire and returned to the fire cache for clean-up and re-supply.

All road closures and evacuations for the fire area have been lifted in both Wasco and Hood River counties. 

The Fir Mountain Fire is 313 acres and was first reported late on August 1, 2020.  The fire is human caused and under investigation.  Anyone with information which may help investigators find the person responsible for the fire is asked to call the Oregon State Police Tip Line, 1-800-452-7888.

ODF’s Central Oregon District continues to serve landowners and the public as an essential service for Oregonians.  Please call or email to talk with our staff or schedule an appointment.  For additional information on ODF’s Central Oregon District, including contact information and unit offices, please visit www.ODFcentraloregon.com.


Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Fir Mountain Fire Update

[THE DALLES, Ore.]  Firefighting activities on the Fir Mountain Fire today will focus on mop-up and continuing to secure the fire in preparation to transfer the fire back to The Dalles Unit.  Extinguishing heat near the perimeter and any hot spots in the interior is needed so the fire can be placed into patrol status and monitored in the coming days by local fire resources.  The fire is 90% contained, with full containment expected Wednesday.

A Red Flag Warning has been issued by the National Weather Service for the fire and surrounding area for critical fire weather, breezy winds and low humidity.  Resources on the fire will be available for initial attack and to support the local unit in fire suppression activities.

The Fir Mountain Fire is 313 acres and was first reported late on August 1, 2020.  The fire is human caused and under investigation.  Anyone with information which may help investigators find the person responsible for the fire is asked to call the Oregon State Police Tip Line, 1-800-452-7888.

The Wasco County Sheriff removed all evacuations from the east side of the fire and reopened Godberson Road to public travel on Monday.  Details are available on the Wasco County Sheriff’s Facebook page:  www.facebook.com/WascoCountySheriff.  Fir Mountain Road and associated side roads in Hood River County were also reopened Monday to public travel.  For public and firefighter safety the speed limit for the road is reduced.  The road is a single lane road in many places, the public is reminded to use caution in the area and watch for activity associated with firefighting operations.

ODF’s Central Oregon District continues to serve landowners and the public as an essential service for Oregonians.  Please call or email to talk with our staff or schedule an appointment.  For additional information on ODF’s Central Oregon District, including contact information and unit offices, please visit www.ODFcentraloregon.com.

Monday, August 10, 2020

Fir Mountain Fire-Public Outreach

[THE DALLES, Ore.]  The Oregon Department of Forestry is seeking information related to finding the individual responsible for starting the Fir Mountain Fire.  Investigators were able to locate the point of origin for the fire and have determined it to be human caused.  Fire danger in The Dalles Unit is EXTREME, and restrictions associated with public activities are in place.

The Fir Mountain Fire was reported on August 1, 2020 on private lands in Hood River County along Fir Mountain Road.  Fire suppression activities continue on the fire with full containment expected Wednesday, August 12, 2020. 

Suppression efforts have cost landowners and the citizens of Oregon more than $3 million.

Anyone with information which could be used to find the person responsible for causing the fire can call the Oregon State Police Tip Line, 1-800-452-7888.

Fir Mountain Fire Update

[THE DALLES, Ore.]  Sunday evening the Central Oregon Fire Management Service transferred command of the Fir Mountain Fire back to Oregon Department of Forestry’s (ODF) The Dalles Unit.  Approximately 130 firefighters continue to staff the Fir Mountain Fire as a Type 4 organization.  Operations continue to focus on mop-up of the interior of the fire and locating any hot spots near the perimeter.  Resources include local contract hand crews and engines from ODF’s Northwest Oregon Area.  Full containment of the fire is expected Wednesday.

Helicopters assigned to the fire will be released mid-day today to return to home areas or staff other fires.  Local aircraft is available if air support is needed on the fire.  Engines assigned to the fire are available to respond to new fires if the need arises.

The Fir Mountain Fire is 313 acres and was first reported late on August 1, 2020.  The fire is human caused and under investigation.  Anyone with information which may help investigators find the person responsible for the fire is asked to call the Oregon State Police Tip Line, 1-800-452-7888.

The Wasco County Sheriff has removed all evacuations from the east side of the fire and reopened Godberson Road to public travel.  Details are available on the Wasco County Sheriff’s Facebook page:  www.facebook.com/WascoCountySheriff.  Fir Mountain Road and associated side roads in Hood River County have also been reopened to public travel.  For public and firefighter safety the speed limit for the road has been reduced.  The road is a single lane road in many places, the public is reminded to use caution in the area and watch for activity associated with firefighting operations.

ODF’s Central Oregon District continues to serve landowners and the public as an essential service for Oregonians.  Please call or email to talk with our staff or schedule an appointment.  For additional information on ODF’s Central Oregon District, including contact information and unit offices, please visit www.ODFcentraloregon.com.

Sunday, August 9, 2020

Fir Mountain Fire Update

THE DALLES, ORE. -  Work on the Fir Mountain Fire Saturday increased the containment to 80%.  Today firefighters will continue mop-up operations working from the perimeter into the interior of the fire.  Firefighters use a grid system to locate any areas of heat, then cool these spots with water and dirt as they pull the material apart.  Fire behavior on the fire Saturday was minimal.  Full containment of the fire is expected Wednesday.  The Central Oregon Fire Management Service Type 3 Team will transition command this evening back to Oregon Department of Forestry’s The Dalles Unit.  A Type 4 organization will shadow the team today in preparation for the transition.

Saturday, Wasco County Sheriff’s Department reduced the Level 3 evacuation notice for 2900 Godberson Road to a Level 1.  The Level 1 evacuation notice for Mosier Creek Road area from 3475 Mosier Creek Road to 3950 Mosier Creek Road to 1 mile south of 8020 Ketchum Road to 2000 Ketchum Road is still in effect as well. Evacuation information is available at https://www.facebook.com/WascoCountySheriff.

Road closures are still in place for Godberson Road and Fir Mountain Road for public and firefighter safety. Fire engines, water tenders, heavy equipment and supply vehicles continue to utilize these narrow, steep roads to support fire suppression activities.

The fire was first reported August 1, 2020 and remains under investigation.

ODF’s Central Oregon District continues to serve landowners and the public as an essential service for Oregonians.  Please call or email to talk with our staff or schedule an appointment.  For additional information on ODF’s Central Oregon District, including contact information and unit offices, please visit www.ODFcentraloregon.com.

Saturday, August 8, 2020

 Fir Mountain Fire

Morning Update

THE DALLES, ORE. -  Yesterday firefighters increased containment of the Fir Mountain Fire to 70%. The fire remains 313 acres and within its current footprint with a combination of dozer line, handline and roads around the perimeter.

Fire resources continue to conduct mop-up operations utilizing hose lays to increase the depth of cold ground interior of the fireline to further secure the perimeter of the fire. Additionally, the incident management team continues to use aerial and ground infrared technology to detect interior hot spots and check for spot fires. Fire behavior remains minimal.

Yesterday, Wasco County Sheriff’s Department reduced the Level 3 evacuation notice for 2900 Godberson Road to a Level 1.  The Level 1 evacuation notice for Mosier Creek Road area from 3475 Mosier Creek Road to 3950 Mosier Creek Road to 1 mile south of 8020 Ketchum Road to 2000 Ketchum Road is still in effect as well. Evacuation information is available at https://www.facebook.com/WascoCountySheriff.

Road closures are still in place for Godberson Road and Fir Mountain Road for public and firefighter safety. Fire engines, water tenders, heavy equipment and supply vehicles continue to utilize these narrow, steep roads to support fire suppression activities.

The fire was first reported August 1, 2020 and remains under investigation.

ODF’s Central Oregon District continues to serve landowners and the public as an essential service for Oregonians.  Please call or email to talk with our staff or schedule an appointment.  For additional information on ODF’s Central Oregon District, including contact information and unit offices, please visit www.ODFcentraloregon.com.


Friday, August 7, 2020

 Fir Mountain Fire

Morning Update

 

THE DALLES, ORE. -  The Fir Mountain Fire remains 313 acres with a combination of dozer line, handline and roads around the perimeter and is now 60% contained. Yesterday’s storm front produced minimal precipitation over the fire, but did bring significant winds. Firefighters maintained the fire within its current footprint.

 

Today firefighting resources continue mop-up operations utilizing hose lays. Resources are increasing the depth of cooled ground interior of the fireline to further secure the perimeter of the fire. Fire behavior remains minimal.

 

The Wasco County Sheriff’s Department has reduced the Level 3 evacuation notice for 2900 Godberson Road to a Level 1.  The Level 1 evacuation notice for Mosier Creek Road area from 3475 Mosier Creek Road to 3950 Mosier Creek Road to 1 mile south of 8020 Ketchum Road to 2000 Ketchum Road is still in effect as well. For public safety road closures are in place for Godberson Road and Fir Mountain Road due to fire suppression activity. Evacuation information is available at https://www.facebook.com/WascoCountySheriff.

 

The fire was first reported August 1, 2020 and remains under investigation.

 

ODF’s Central Oregon District continues to serve landowners and the public as an essential service for Oregonians.  Please call or email to talk with our staff or schedule an appointment.  For additional information on ODF’s Central Oregon District, including contact information and unit offices, please visit www.ODFcentraloregon.com.

Thursday, August 6, 2020

Fir Mountain Fire Morning Update

THE DALLES, ORE. -  Firefighters continue to make good progress on the Fir Mountain Fire. The fire remains 313 acres and is now 50% contained. By the end of yesterday’s day shift, the fire was lined around it’s perimeter by dozer line, handline and roads. Last night’s breezy conditions produced new interior consumption of previously unburned pockets within containment lines; however, firefighters held the fire within its existing footprint.

Today fire resources will continue strengthening the perimeter by increasing the depth of cooled ground interior of the fireline. Resources will utilize hose lays to conduct mop-up operations. As windy conditions are expected to remain over the incident today, firefighters will be gridding the perimeter of the fire for potential spot fires.

For public safety road closures are in place for Godberson Road and Fir Mountain Road due to fire suppression activity.  Evacuation information for the eastern flank of the fire is available at https://www.facebook.com/WascoCountySheriff.

The fire was first reported August 1, 2020 and remains under investigation.

ODF’s Central Oregon District continues to serve landowners and the public as an essential service for Oregonians.  Please call or email to talk with our staff or schedule an appointment.  For additional information on ODF’s Central Oregon District, including contact information and unit offices, please visit www.ODFcentraloregon.com.

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Fir Mountain Fire--Morning Update

THE DALLES, ORE. -  Firefighters continue to make progress on the Fir Mountain Fire.  Overnight the fire was held within the existing footprint and this morning the fire has fireline around 75% of the perimeter.  Today fire resources will focus on completing construction of containment lines using existing roads and heavy equipment.  Crews will continue developing hoselays for water distribution throughout the fire.  Strengthening firelines and securing the perimeter is a priority today, as winds are expected to increase throughout the day.  Helicopters will be available today to drop water on hot spots as needed by ground crews.  Mop-up activities will progress from the fire perimeter into the interior to further secure the fire.  The fire is 313 acres with 30% containment.

For public safety road closures are in place for Godberson Road and Fir Mountain Road due to fire suppression activity.  Evacuation information for the eastern flank of the fire is available at https://www.facebook.com/WascoCountySheriff.

A vehicle accident involving a firefighter, not engaged on the fireline, occurred Tuesday evening.  The firefighter was not injured and will return to duty on the fireline today.

The fire was first reported August 1, 2020 and remains under investigation.

ODF’s Central Oregon District continues to serve landowners and the public as an essential service for Oregonians.  Please call or email to talk with our staff or schedule an appointment.  For additional information on ODF’s Central Oregon District, including contact information and unit offices, please visit www.ODFcentraloregon.com.


Tuesday, August 4, 2020

FIR MOUNTAIN FIRE—EVENING UPDATE


NOTE—THIS WILL BE THE LAST EVENING UPDATE UNLESS CONDITIONS CHANGE

THE DALLES, ORE. -  Despite breezy afternoon winds Tuesday, firefighters on the Fir Mountain Fire held the fire within the perimeter and only saw activity from the consumption of unburned fuels within the interior.  Fire behavior moderated from the last few days and fire resources were able to focus on establishing and reinforcing firelines.  Containment for the fire has increased to 30% this evening.  The fire is 313 acres.
Today operations used helicopters to drop water and cool the spot fires on the eastern flank to allow ground resources to build fireline on the edge of the fire.  Heavy equipment is being used to build fireline as possible while hand crews are being used in the more difficult terrain.  Heavy fuels have continued to hamper fireline construction and mop-up activities.  On the east flank of the fire firefighters were able to begin construction of hoselays to deliver water to this area of the fire.
Additional resources arrived on the fire today bringing the total assigned resources to 400.    
For public safety road closures are in place for Godberson Road and Fir Mountain Road due to fire suppression activity.  Evacuation information for the eastern flank of the fire is available at https://www.facebook.com/WascoCountySheriff.
The fire was first reported August 1, 2020 and remains under investigation.
ODF’s Central Oregon District continues to serve landowners and the public as an essential service for Oregonians.  Please call or email to talk with our staff or schedule an appointment.  For additional information on ODF’s Central Oregon District, including contact information and unit offices, please visit www.ODFcentraloregon.com.


FIR MOUNTAIN FIRE—MORNING UPDATE

THE DALLES, ORE. -  Late Monday night an infrared camera was flown over the Fir Mountain Fire.  This flight provided valuable information to firefighters as to the location of spot fires and the intensity of heat in the fire perimeter.  Firefighters on the line can use this information to focus efforts and secure areas which pose the greatest risk for spotting outside the existing fireline.  The perimeter was mapped using this information and the acreage has been updated to 313 acres.  This includes areas of unburned fuels within the perimeter between spot fires.  Containment for the fire is 15%.
Today firefighters will continue to use direct and indirect tactics to construct fireline on the perimeter of the main body of the fire and the spot fires.  Aircraft will be used to cool the east side of the fire to allow firefighters to build fireline in these areas.  The heavy fuel load within the fire perimeter and the unburned fuel between spot fires creates a significant workload because of the intense heat in the large fuels, increased fireline needed along the perimeter of each “spot”, and difficulty in constructing fireline to mineral soil in areas with vegetation.  Crews are working to continue construction of hoselays from the western part of the fire to distribute water for mop-up and to use for cooling the fire edge as needed.
There are approximately 200 fire fighters assigned to the fire.  Resources include dozers, skidgens, excavators, tenders, feller bunchers, wildland fire engines, Type 1 and Type 2 hand crews, helicopters, and air tankers.  Resources assigned to the night shift have focused on mop-up work, opening roads for better access to the east side of the fire and containing any additional spotting.
For public safety road closures are in place for Godberson Road and Fir Mountain Road due to fire suppression activity.  Evacuation information for the eastern flank of the fire is available at https://www.facebook.com/WascoCountySheriff.
ODF’s Central Oregon District continues to serve landowners and the public as an essential service for Oregonians.  Please call or email to talk with our staff or schedule an appointment.  For additional information on ODF’s Central Oregon District, including contact information and unit offices, please visit www.ODFcentraloregon.com.

Monday, August 3, 2020

Fir Mountain Fire--Evening Update


[THE DALLES, Ore]   Today firefighters on the Fir Mountain Fire battled winds and humidity similar to what they experienced Sunday.  Air resources were again used to slow the spread of the spotfires in area east of the main fire while crews and equipment were kept busy working to contain any additional spotfires.  Winds blowing embers outside the fireline rapidly ignited the dry fuels and challenged firefighters.    
Initial mapping work today from helicopter platforms and ground truthing identified the perimeter of several of the spotfires on the eastern edge of the fire area.  Fire operations worked with the Wasco County Sheriff who determined the need for a Level 3 Evacuation (GO!) for three residences on Godberson Road.  This evacuation notice is not due to fire growth.  Additionally a Level 1 Evacuation (BE READY!) has been issued for other residences on the eastern flank of the fire.  The details of the evacuation area are available on the Wasco County Sheriff’s Facebook Page:  https://www.facebook.com/WascoCountySheriff.
With preliminary mapping of the larger main fire and identification of the numerous spotfires the incident management team estimates the total fire acreage to be 200 acres.  Spotfires between the main fire and Godberson Road range in size from a quarter acre to nearly ten.  Sunday night firefighters  completed fireline construction with a bulldozer of a ~2 acre spotfire adjacent to Godberson Road, today this fire was kept within the fireline.  Resources today were successful in minimizing growth of the spotfires using heavy equipment and hand crews in coordination with helicopter bucket drops, water from the fireboss tankers, and large air tanker retardant drops. 
Crews also constructed hoselays to disburse water throughout the fire area for mop-up and to extinguish hot spots and fire outside the fire line.  The heavy fuel in the fire area is hampering efforts to extinguish the fire, as well as making it difficult to secure the line and mop-up the interior.  The fire is estimated to be five percent contained this evening.
The fire was reported late in the night August 1 and remains under investigation.
ODF’s Central Oregon District continues to serve landowners and the public as an essential service for Oregonians.  Please call or email to talk with our staff or schedule an appointment.  For additional information on ODF’s Central Oregon District, including contact information and unit offices, please visit www.ODFcentraloregon.com.

Fir Mountain Update--Morning August 3, 2020


[THE DALLES, Ore.]  Oregon Department of Forestry’s The Dalles Unit in-briefed a Type 3 Team from Central Oregon Fire Management Service (COFMS) Sunday evening, providing current situation and suppression objectives for the Fir Mountain Fire.  Overnight the COFMS Team worked with fire personnel, transitioning this morning to assume command.  The fire is estimated to be 250 acres, burning in logging slash (from an old logging operation), timber and younger reproduction.
Sunday was a challenging day on the fire as wind pushed the smoke column over the fire, obscuring what was happening on the ground from air resources which are used to provide critical information back to fireline leadership.  Reduced winds Sunday evening and night allowed firefighters to gain a clear view of fire behavior and fire location across the fire area.  Fire leadership determined that besides the main body of the fire there were numerous spotfires to the east of the original fire.  Some of these spotfires are estimated to be up to ten acres in size.  The furthest “spot” is near Godberson Road in Wasco County nearly a mile east of the main fire, as of this morning this fire has a dozer line around the perimeter.  This morning the Team is working to map spotfires based on information reported back from fire resources. 
Last night fire personnel were able to complete dozer line around the main body of the fire and will work today to secure the fireline.  Firefighters will work inward from the perimeter to cool any hotspots with water and dirt to reduce the risk of fire spreading outside the fireline.  Several of the other spot fires also have dozer line or handline around the perimeter or portions of the perimeter.
There are approximately 200 fire personnel assigned to the Fir Mountain Fire.  Aircraft will continue to be critical in slowing the spread of fire today to allow ground personnel to engage directly with the fire.  Today winds are expected to be similar to what firefighters experienced on Sunday.
The fire was reported late Saturday night and is currently under investigation.
ODF’s Central Oregon District continues to serve landowners and the public as an essential service for Oregonians.  Please call or email to talk with our staff or schedule an appointment.  For additional information on ODF’s Central Oregon District, including contact information and unit offices, please visit www.ODFcentraloregon.com.

Sunday, August 2, 2020

Fir Mountain Fire Evening Update


[THE DALLES, Ore.]  Today firefighters on the Fir Mountain Fire were challenged with wind and dry vegetation as they used dozers and hand crews to construct fireline on the fire perimeter.  Air resources, including large air tankers and water scooping aircraft were used throughout the day to support ground resources in efforts to control the spread of the fire.  The fire has grown to approximately 250 acres this evening, burning on private forestland and Hood River County ownership.
The fire is located eight miles southeast of Hood River, burning east from Fir Mountain Road toward Godberson Road.  Single tree torching and spotting across the fireline has hampered efforts to secure the perimeter in some areas.  Dozers are being used to construct fireline where the terrain allows, and hand crews are working in areas where slope limits access for equipment.
In addition to the fixed wing aircraft and helicopters working on the fire today resources included three dozers, four tenders, six hand crews, five wildland fire engines, and numerous overhead.  These include contract resources, Wy’East Fire, Mosier Fire, Hood River Fire, Parkdale Fire, Mount Hood National Forest, and Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area.  The Hood River and Wasco County Sheriff’s offices are working with incident command to ensure public safety in the fire area.
A Type 3 Team from Central Oregon Fire Management Service will take command of the fire this evening.  Resources will staff the fire tonight, taking advantage of cooler temperatures and humidity recovery but will continue to experience strong winds on the exposed ridgetops. Firefighters will be focusing to secure existing fireline and minimize spread of the fire.
The fire was reported late Saturday night and is currently under investigation.
ODF’s Central Oregon District continues to serve landowners and the public as an essential service for Oregonians.  Please call or email to talk with our staff or schedule an appointment.  For additional information on ODF’s Central Oregon District, including contact information and unit offices, please visit www.ODFcentraloregon.com.

Fir Mountain Fire


[THE DALLES, Ore.]  Late Saturday night firefighters from Oregon Department of Forestry’s The Dalles Unit responded to a fire burning on private timberland along Fir Mountain Road in Hood River County.  The fire is located approximately eight miles southeast of Hood River and is estimated to be seventy acres this morning.  There are no structures threatened at this time, however roads in the area may be impacted by firefighting activities.  The cause of the fire is under investigation.
The fire is burning in slash piles from recent logging, as well as adjacent standing timber and smaller replanted trees.  Overnight firefighters were able to complete dozer line around portions of the fire, however wind has pushed fire outside the line in some areas.  Today additional dozers and equipment will work to build fireline, pull apart areas of intense heat, and remove fuels from the fires edge. Water tenders will be used to distribute water and cool hot spots.
Contract hand crews are on scene this morning, with more expected to arrive later today.  A Type 2 helicopter with bucket is dropping water on the fire this morning with additional air resources on order.  Weather today is expected to bring strong winds and warm temperatures which will continue to challenge firefighters. 
Firefighters from Parkdale Fire, Mosier Fire, Hood River Fire, Wy’East Fire, the Mount Hood National Forest and the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area are assisting Oregon Department of Forestry in suppression activities.
ODF’s Central Oregon District continues to serve landowners and the public as an essential service for Oregonians.  Please call or email to talk with our staff or schedule an appointment.  For additional information on ODF’s Central Oregon District, including contact information and unit offices, please visit www.ODFcentraloregon.com.

Friday, July 31, 2020

MH-4 Increases to IFPL 3

With the increasing fire danger MH-4 will be increasing its Industrial Fire Precaution Level, IFPL 2 to an IFPL 3 Saturday August 1st 2020 at 12:01 AM.  This effects all operations WEST of Hwy 35 within the Oregon Department of Forestry’s fire protection The Dalles Unit.  There will be a 2 hour fire watch required after operations are complete.

All lands protected by the Central Oregon Protection District, in regulated use area MH-4 and all forestland within one-eighth mile thereof.
                                                                              
Under Industrial Fire Precaution Level 3, the use of fire or power-driven machinery in any operation area is unlawful unless such use is in compliance with the following:

Restricted Shutdown: The following activities are not permitted at any time, except as noted:

Cable yarding systems, except that gravity operated logging systems using non-motorized carriages or approved motorized carriages may operate between 8:00 p.m. and 1:00 p.m., when all blocks and moving lines are suspended at least 10 feet above the ground (except the line between the carriage and the chokers). An approved motorized carriage is defined as a cable yarding system employing a motorized carriage with two fire extinguishers, each with at least a 2A:10 BC rating, mounted securely on opposite sides of the carriage, an emergency motor cutoff, and an approved exhaust system.

      The following are permitted to operate between the hours of 8 P.M. and 1 P.M.: 
  • Power saws at loading sites;
  • Loading or hauling of any product or material;
  • Blasting;
  • Welding, cutting, or grinding of metal;
  • Any other spark emitting operation not specifically mentioned. 
In addition, the following are permitted to operate between the hours of 8 P.M. and 1 P.M. where mechanized equipment capable of constructing fire line is immediately available to quickly reach and effectively attack a fire start:
  • Ground-based operations (tractor/skidder, feller-buncher, forwarder, or shovel logging operations);
  • Power saws on ground-based operations;
  • Rotary head saw feller-bunchers with a continuous Firewatch;
  • Non-rotary head saw feller-bunchers;
  • Tethered logging - winch-assisted, cable-assisted, traction-assisted, etc. systems, which enable ground-based timber harvesting machines to operate on steep slopes.

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Fire Activity Increases With Lightning on ODF Lands


[PRINEVILLE, Ore.]  Fire danger in Oregon Department of Forestry’s (ODF) Central Oregon District moved to “extreme” Monday based on fuel conditions and potential rate of spread of wildland fires.  Additional fire prevention measures were implemented to reduce potential human starts across ODF protected lands.  Red Flag Warnings issued by the National Weather Service for lightning, wind, and high temperatures starting Monday heightened fire manager’s concern for increased fire activity. 
Today, ODF and federal partners have reconnaissance aircraft flying throughout central Oregon to detect fires from lightning.  Locating fires while they are small and taking aggressive initial attack on the fires is critical for reducing wildfire impacts to landowners and smoke effects.  ODF’s multi-mission aircraft, a Partenavia Observer, equipped with infra-red and Electro-optical cameras, will also be flying areas across the District that have received lightning the last few days.
ODF firefighters and partners have taken action on three lightning fires on ODF protected lands since Monday.  The largest was the four acre Little Grizzly Fire on the Prineville Unit.  All fires on ODF protected lands have been caught during initial attack.  Mop-up continues on Little Grizzly and Cat Mountain (1.5 acres) fires today.  Air resources such as Single Engine Air Tankers and helicopters were crucial in supporting ground resources in slowing the fire and allowing firefighters to construct fireline.
The Black Mountain smoke detection camera was used to locate the Matlock Fire on the Umatilla National Forest near Ukiah, Oregon Tuesday afternoon.  The ODF detection center for all cameras located in Central Oregon and Northeast Oregon districts is located at Central Oregon Interagency Dispatch Center in Redmond.
Firefighters across the Central Oregon District have also responded to escaped debris burns in recent days.  Debris burning is not allowed within the District at this time.  Fire season restrictions, regulated-use closure, and industrial forestry operation requirements are in effect.  Full details are available at www.ODFcentraloregon.com. 
ODF’s Central Oregon District continues to serve landowners and the public as an essential service for Oregonians.  Please call or email to talk with our staff or schedule an appointment.  For additional information on ODF’s Central Oregon District, including contact information and unit offices, please visit www.ODFcentraloregon.com.

Sunday, July 26, 2020

Increased Restrictions for ODF Protected Lands in Central Oregon District


[PRINEVILLE, Ore.]  Oregon Department of Forestry’s (ODF) Central Oregon District will be increasing restrictions for forest operations and the public beginning July 27, 2020 at 12:01 a.m.  These restrictions are intended to reduce the risk of fire ignition on lands within the Central Oregon District in Lake, Harney, Deschutes, Crook, Wasco, Hood River, Grant, Wheeler, Gilliam, Jefferson, Morrow, and Umatilla counties.  Minimal precipitation combined with increasing hot temperatures has continued to dry wildland vegetation and fuels, increasing the potential for rapid fire spread.
The Regulated-Use Closure, affecting recreational and non-industrial landowner activities, restricts many high-risk activities between the hours of 10 a.m. and 8 p.m., prohibits activities such as blasting, in addition to restricting other activities.  Anyone traveling on forested roads is required to have one shovel and one gallon of water (or a 2 ½ pound fire extinguisher).
In addition to the Regulated-Use Closure, ODF will be moving the Industrial Fire Precaution Level in MH-1 (portion of The Dalles Unit east of Hwy 35) to Level 3 and MH-4 (portion of The Dalles Unit west of Hwy 35) to Level 2.  A two hour fire watch is required after industrial operations are complete in both areas.  Activities included in these restrictions are power saw use, loading or hauling of material, cable yarding systems, blasting, welding, cutting, and grinding of metal, rotary head saws, and other spark emitting activities.  Any questions regarding these restrictions should be directed to Brian Reel, The Dalles Unit Stewardship Forester.
Industrial forest operations in the John Day and Prineville Units of the Central Oregon District will have “Additional Fire Prevention Requirements” in place to reduce the risk of fire ignition.  Mechanized harvesters with rotary saws, chainsaws, tracked felling and skidding equipment, slash buster/mastication equipment, and cable yarding systems will be restricted during the hours of 1 p.m. and 8 p.m.  Watchman service is required for all industrial operations.
All other fire season restrictions remain in effect.  Full details of the closure and restrictions of industrial activities are available at www.ODFcentraloregon.com. 
ODF’s Central Oregon District continues to serve landowners and the public as an essential service for Oregonians.  Please call or email to talk with our staff or schedule an appointment.  For additional information on ODF’s Central Oregon District, including contact information and unit offices, please visit www.ODFcentraloregon.com.