Northwest Interagency Incident Management Team 8 Incident Commander Doug Johnson assumed management of the Wilson Prairie Fire Thursday morning at 6 a.m. The fire is burning in timber and grass on private lands, protected by Oregon Department of Forestry, and the Umatilla National Forest, according to a Forest Service press release. The incident command post and helibase are located at the Morrow County OHV Park northeast of Spray.
Firefighters with support of air tanker retardant and helicopter water drops checked the forward spread of the fire on the southeast and south flanks of the fire yesterday. Today’s operations will focus on holding the fire in the current footprint with improvement to line along the southeast and southern flanks. Hose lays are in place on the northwest, north and northeast flank to begin mop-up operations. Firefighters will remain diligent to hold the lines against the local “sundowner” wind event. Safety concerns to firefighters include snags, high temps and driving.
A community meeting is planned for Friday, July 27, at 5 p.m. at the Heppner City Hall at 111 N. Main St. Fire managers will provide a fire update with maps and an opportunity for questions and answers at the end of the presentations.
Acreage: 437; a helicopter flight of the fire boundary yesterday provided a clear view of the perimeter, and the size of the fire has been updated.
Containment: 10 percent
Air Quality: Visit the following air quality website for current and predicted information on possible smoke impacts http://www.oregon.gov/DEQ/AQ/Pages/index.aspx
Fire Information: Christie Shaw, Oregon Department of Forestry, 541-263-0661 or Darcy Weseman, Umatilla National Forest 541-278-3722 Available 8:00 am to 5:00 pm.
Information Websites: Inciweb – https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/6028
ODF Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/ODFCentralOregon/.
The firefighter morning operational briefing may be viewed at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W7zbo5h3DxM
Resources: Total personnel assigned – 275: 10-type 2 hand crews, 2- medium helicopters, 1- light helicopter, 12-engines, 4-dozers, 4 water tenders. Additional resources have been ordered and continue to arrive.
Air Operations: A temporary flight restriction (TFR) is in place over the fire area restricting aerial public access. Please check the NOTAMs prior to flying. The public is reminded all air operations are grounded any time a drone is sighted within the TFR, delaying fire suppression efforts. Flying within the TFR is prohibited and against the law.
Weather: Today will be mostly sunny with max temperatures forecast for 89 - 92 degrees with relative humidity to 7-12 percent. Winds will be 6-12 mph from the northwest increasing to 20 plus mph in the late afternoon.
Closures: The Umatilla National Forest implemented a Forest Closure including a large area, trail and road closure within the vicinity of Bull Prairie Lake and the Wilson Prairie area. A map and detailed description of the area closure is available at any Umatilla National Forest office and on Inciweb.
The closure reads: Starting at State Highway 207 at its junction with the Forest Boundary in T7S, R25E, Section 3, South to Forest Service Road (FSR) 24, then follow FSR 24 east to its junction with FSR 23, then follow FSR 23 east to FSR 2128, then follow FSR 2128 north to the Forest Boundary at T7S, R26 Section 2, then following the Forest Boundary west to State Highway 207.
In addition, the following roads are closed:
National Forest System Road (NFSR) 2039000 - From the Junction of Highway 207 easterly to Morrow County Road Wilson Creek Road 732 - 5.0 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 System Road (NFSR) 2307000 - From the Junction of National Forest System Road 2300000, northeasterly to Bull Prairie Campground National Forest System Road (NFSR) 2300000 – 8.5 miles
National Forest System Road (NFSR) 2307035 - From the Junction of National Forest System Road 2307000, north to Bull Prairie Campground National Forest System Road (NFSR) 2039030 – 0.8 miles.
The Morrow County Off-Highway Vehicle Park and Campground is currently open, however some 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. 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 A of the Public Use Restrictions (PURS) for the Umatilla National Forest is in effect. An increase in restrictions is scheduled for implementation at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, July 27. For more information regarding these and other restrictions on the Umatilla National Forest visit bmidc.org.