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Crews contain Umatilla National Forest fires

Blue Mountain Eagle

Published on August 27, 2018 1:58PM

Firefighters have successfully contained all wildfires that have been reported on the Umatilla National Forest.

This will be the final daily update unless conditions change, according to a Forest Service press release. The weather will continue to be cooler this week with increased relative humidity, which will aid firefighting efforts in mop up efforts.

The Harrison Fire remains 30 acres and is now 100% contained. The fire is located 16 miles west of Sumpter, Oregon, within the Greenhorn unit of the North Fork John Day Wilderness on the North Fork John Day Ranger District. This section of the wilderness is remote and in steep terrain, making access difficult. Today firefighters will continue to conduct mop up activities on the fire. Mopping up includes searching for pockets of heat, digging out the heat source, and cooling with water. Resources on scene include a 20-person hand crew. An area, trail and road closure within the vicinity of the Harrison Fire is in effect. A map and detailed description of the area closure is available at any Umatilla National Forest office and at the bottom of this news release.

The Gilman Fire, located near Gilman Flats on the Heppner Ranger District and Prineville Bureau of Land Management lands that are protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry, is 954 acres in size and 100% contained. Today an engine will patrol the fire area to look for smoke and hot spots. Grant County has lifted the Level 1 Pre-Evacuation Fire Advisory for the area of Monument, Ritter, Dale and Middle and North Fork communities.

Fire officials want to remind everyone that the current fire danger rating remains at HIGH and Public Use Restrictions involving campfires and chainsaw use are in effect.

Similar restrictions may be in effect on State and private lands protected by the Washington Department of Natural Resources (WA-DNR). More information can be found on the WA-DNR website at: http://www.dnr.wa.gov.

The latest fire information will be posted on the Blue Mountains Fire Information Blog. To receive updates on fires in the Blue Mountains, follow our blog at http://bluemountainfireinfo.blogspot.com/.

Harrison Fire Closure Description

The area closure includes:

The area within the following boundary: starting at the Ben Harrison Trail Head, heading generally north along the North Fork John Day (NFJD) Wilderness boundary towards the junction of where the NFJD Wilderness boundary intersects the Lost Creek Trail (National Forest System Trail (NFST) 3002), then south along NFST 3002 to the junction of the Ben Harrison Trial (NFST 3173), then east along the NFST 3173 back to the Ben Harrison Trail Head. The area is approximately 6,575 areas in size. Prohibited access does not apply to use of Forest Road No. 10.

The trail closures include:

National Forest System Trail (NFST) 3173 - East of the Ben Harrison Trailhead on the Ben Harrison Trial to the Junction of NFST 3002 of Lost Creek Trail

National Forest System Trail (NFST) 3002 - Lost Creek Trail south of the Lost Creek Saddle Camp Trailhead

Public Use Restrictions eased on the Umatilla National Forest

Public use restrictions (PURs) on the Umatilla National Forest will drop to PHASE A as of 12:01 a.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 28, 2018. The Seasonal Campfire Restrictions will also be in effect as part of Phase A of the PURs. Fire managers have ease the public use restrictions due to cooler weather conditions and a decrease in fire danger.

Phase A is the second level of restrictions, generally implemented when the fire danger is moderate to high. PURS are phased in collectively, as conditions warrant, and may differ from Forest to Forest. These restrictions include:

Chainsaws may be operated only between the hours of 8 p.m. and 1 p.m. local time. A one hour fire watch is required after saw operations cease. Saw operators are required to have an axe (minimum 2 lb. head, 26” length), shovel (8” wide, 26” length), and fire extinguisher (minimum ABC 8 oz.) in their possession. **Chainsaw operation associated with commercial and personal use firewood permits are regulated under the conditions of the permit and are not impacted by this public use restriction.

Smoking is allowed only in enclosed vehicles, buildings or cleared areas.

No off-road/off-trail vehicle travel or travel on roads not cleared of standing grass or other flammable material; no vehicle travel on those FS roads where access has been impeded or blocked by earthen berm, logs, boulders, barrier, barricade or gate, or as otherwise identified in the Fire Order.

Seasonal campfire restrictions and requirements described for June 1- October 31 apply.

Campfires allowed only in fire pits surrounded by dirt, rock, or commercial rings and in areas not conducive to rapid fire spread. All flammable material shall be cleared within a 3-foot radius from the edge of the pit and free of overhanging material. Use existing pits wherever possible.

Campfires must be attended at all times, and completely extinguished prior to leaving.

Persons with campfires are required to have a tool that can serve as a shovel and one gallon of water in their possession. The intent of this requirement is to ensure individuals with a campfire to have the tools necessary to completely extinguish their campfire.

Portable cooking stoves using liquefied or bottled gas and wood burning stoves equipped with a chimney that is at least five (5) feet in length with a spark-arresting screen consisting of ¼ inch mesh hardware cloth are allowed.

Use of charcoal briquettes is permitted under the same restrictions as campfires described above.

The public’s awareness of the fire danger and cooperation is essential to a safe fire season. Recreationists, firewood cutters, hunters, and other forest users can all help by closely adhering to restrictions, operating safely and cautiously and keeping up-to-date on the latest orders and regulations.

Regulated closures are in effect on State and private lands protected by Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) in northeast and central Oregon. Please check with your local Oregon Department of Forestry office for public use restrictions on lands protected by ODF. For more complete information contact a local Oregon Department of Forestry office or visit one of the interagency dispatch center’s webpages:

John Day Interagency Dispatch webpage: http://bicc-jdidc.org/index.shtml

Blue Mountain Interagency Dispatch webpage: www.bmidc.org


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