The Rail Fire near Unity continues to grow as firefighters build contingency lines and conduct burnout operations.

The fire, which started July 31 about 10 miles southwest of Unity, has grown to 6,543 acres as of Thursday morning and is 5-percent contained, according to Incident Information Officer Mary Bean.

“Firefighters made significant progress Wednesday when the break in the weather provided conditions conducive to preparing and beginning burnout operations,” Bean said in a statement Thursday morning. “Today crews continue to build contingency lines, as well as conducting burnout operations. As a result, expect increased visible smoke today.”

More than 500 people — 18 hand crews, six bulldozers, 27 engines, 10 water tenders and six helicopters — are assigned to the fire burning in rangeland, grass and timber in a mix of moderate and steep terrain.

The Level 2 evacuation notice — “set” in the “ready, set, go” system — issued by Baker County Sheriff’s Office Tuesday remains in effect.

Northwest Incident Management Team 12 assumed command of the fire Aug. 1. The team will host a conference call public information forum at 5 p.m. Friday. The team will share information on the call and answer questions by email afterward. Questions can be submitted to railwildfire@gmail.com. The conference call number is 1-888-844-9904, and the access code is 2651088#.

Recommended for you

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.