Oregon Department of Forestry Fire Update – Sunday, August 27

www.tillamookcountypioneer.net

ODF dispatches Incident Management Team 3 to manage the Horse Prairie Fire in Douglas County

ODF’s Incident Management Team 3 takes command at noon today of the Horse Prairie Fire, following briefings by the Douglas Forest Protective Association, which requested the team.
 
The Horse Prairie Fire started Saturday afternoon 12 miles west of Riddle and eight miles southeast of Camas Valley, where the incident command post will be located. The fire’s size is estimated at about 450 acres. The fire is burning on both private industrial forest lands and Bureau of Land Management forest lands, which including stands of young trees, second growth timber and logging slash.  No homes are currently threatened by the fire. 
 
Overnight, fire crews from multiple agencies, industrial landowners and logging companies worked on suppression efforts. Crews focused their efforts in creating fire trails around the perimeter of the fire, utilizing bull dozers and hand crews. As of Sunday morning, approximately three quarters of the fire has been trailed. In addition to the wildland fuels burned by the fire, several pieces of logging equipment in a nearby operation were destroyed by the Horse Prairie Fire.
 
Today, firefighters will work on creating fire trails around the southern edge of the fire, which is currently uncontained. Additional crews will work to improve and secure existing fire trails around the remaining portions of the fire. Fire resources assigned to the Horse Prairie Fire today include 173 firefighters, six water tenders, four bull dozers, one excavator, four type 2 helicopters and one type 3 helicopter.
 
The National Weather Service has issued a Red Flag Warning for the area, due to the predicted hot, dry and unstable atmosphere conditions over the fire. These atmospheric conditions have the potential to influence fire growth on the Horse Prairie Fire or any new fire start.
 
Safety for both the public and firefighters remains the number one priority. Fire officials are asking the public to stay out of the fire area and be aware of the increase in fire traffic in the Tenmile and Camas Valley areas.

Fire forecast
An upper level ridge of high pressure will continue to build over the state, bringing hot, drying weather with little chance of rain. East to northeast winds and instability are expected over western Oregon, triggering flareups on existing fires in southwest Oregon and over the Cascades. Fire restrictions and closures remain in effect. To find those for ODF-protected lands, go to http://www.oregon.gov/ODF/Fire/Pages/Restrictions.aspx 

Updates on existing Oregon wildfires
 
ODF has personnel engaged in or closely monitoring a significant number of fires on lands not protected by ODF. Their primary mission is to help coordinate and ensure the protection of nearby ODF-protected lands.
 
Chetco Bar Fire – Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest
Yesterday aerial support was hindered by poor visibility from smoke over the fire, which has grown to 107,993 acres. Most active burning on the fire occurred on the north, with the smoke column reaching 20,000 feet in the Johnson Butte area.There was also active fire in the Tin Cup area and around the East Fork of the Pistol River. Firefighters built and improved both direct and indirect fireline, scouted for opportunities for alternate firelines and improved roads to be used as firelines. They continued with structure protection efforts, including installing and maintaining hoselays, thinning and pulling flammable materials back from homes and structures.

Today, structural protection work will continue. Crews will also keep strengthening and mopping up containment lines on the southwestern corner of the fire. To the north and south, crews are scouting for and building direct and indirect fireline using existing roads, sparsely vegetated ridgetops and previously burned areas.
 
A community fire briefing will be held tonight (Sunday) at 6 p.m. at the Brookings-Harbor High School, 625 Pioneer Road in Brookings.

Milli Fire – Deschutes National Forest
This fire has grown to 15,509 acres this morning. Located just outside Sisters, the fire is still reported as 32 percent contained. More than 670 personnel are engaged on the fire. Work continues with clearing fuels along strategic roadways as well as mop up along the fire’s edge. A public meeting to answer questions about the fire is scheduled for Monday, Aug. 28 at 6 p.m. at Sisters High School, 1700 McKinney Butte Road in Sisters.
 
Falcon Complex – Umpqua National Forest
Containment is still reported as 35 percent but the size has been reduced now to 2,772 acres. Ten of the 15 fires in this Complex now in patrol status. The fires are burning in timber roughly 17 miles north of Prospect in southern Oregon. The incident management team has successfully kept these fires from spreading to ODF- protected lands.
 
High Cascades Complex – in and around Crater Lake National Park
This is a group of fires, most of which have been contained and are in patrol status. Overall, the Complex is considered 60 percent contained. The fire has grown to 16,400 acres. The number of personnel assigned to the fire has also increased to more than 520, including over 100 Oregon National Guard members. Road, trail and area closures are still in place. An emergency closure of the Pacific Crest Trail has been extended from the southern boundary of Crater Lake National Park to its Junction with the Sevenmile Marsh Trail. Helicopters and scooper aircraft will continue to drop water to hold the fire from spreading further east and to the bottom of Red Blanket Creek. Hand crews will be prepping indirect line to the east of the fire.
 
Jones Fire – Willamette National Forest
This lightning-caused fire showed only modest growth to 5,627 acres, with containment still at 30 percent. About 720 personnel assigned to the fire. An ODF branch is integrated with the interagency incident management team on this fire protecting private lands. The fire is located east of Springfield and about 10 mile northeast of the town of Lowell.
 
Miller Complex – Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest
This group of fires remains at 14,066 acres burned, with containment slightly increased to 48 percent. The Complex is burning in timber in southwest Jackson County about 17 miles east of Cave Junction. More than 590 personnel are assigned to these fires. ODF continues to actively engage here to prevent these fires from spreading to ODF-protected lands.
 
North Pelican Fire – Fremont-Winema National Forest
This lightning-caused fire is burning in timber and brush patches about 28 miles northwest of Klamath Falls, . The fire’s size stands at 1,525 acres. Containment stands at 18 percent. More than 160 personnel are working on the fire. There are road, trail and area closures in effect.
 
Rebel Fire – Willamette National Forest
This fire 13 miles south of McKenzie Bridge is burning in the Three Sisters Wilderness. It has burned 2,940 acres and is 17 percent contained. Road, trail and area closures are in effect.

Staley Fire – Willamette National Forest
This lightning-caused fire is burning just a few miles from ODF-protected land 23 miles south of Oakridge. The fire has increased by more than 100 acres to 1,272 acres. Containment has jumped to 35 percent. More than 470 personnel are deployed on this fire. They have made good progress in reducing the threat of this fire spreading to ODF-protected lands. 
 
Umpqua North Complex – Umpqua National Forest 
Douglas Forest Protective Association is in Unified Command with the U.S. Forest Service on this group of fires, located roughly 50 miles east of Roseburg. Total acres burned stand at 14,817 based on infrared data from an overflight, with 7 percent containment. The number of personnel stands at about 1,030. Firefighters continue building and strengthening control lines by employing tactical firing operations, opening previously used dozer lines, brushing out forest roads and prepping alternative contingency lines. Campground, road and area closures and evacuation notices are also in effect. 

The Fall Creek Fire on the west end of the complex is closest to ODF-protected lands. That fire is reported at 2,667 acres. The primary containment lines to the south are prepared for burnout once the conditions allow. This fire is now 32 percent contained. 
 
Whitewater Fire – Willamette National Forest
Started by lightning back in late July, this fire’s size has grown by only three acres, standing now at 9,871 acres. The ODF branch that was on this fire completed its work., The incident management team now in place has been building on that work by conducting burnout operations as weather permits. Containment on this fire burning east of the town of Detroit is still at 30 percent.  The Little Devil Fire is located north of the Whitewater Fire three miles southeast of McKenzie Bridge. It is burning eastward and has affected 282 acres.

For more information on wildfires and wildfire readiness, please go to the department’s wildfire blog.