Crews make progress on local fires

notforsale

Firefighters continue to make progress on wildfires caused by the recent thunderstorms, according to a Umatilla National Forest press release Wednesday at noon. As expected, new smoke reports continue to be discovered and fire managers expect more throughout the next few days as the smoke in the area lifts and weather conditions continue to stay warm and dry.

The Harrison Fire remains 30 acres and is now 50% lined. 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. Yesterday fire behavior consisted of group torching that sent spots ahead of the main fire. Aerial resources were key in helping slow the fire’s spread as firefighters worked to complete fire line around the flanks of the fire. A spot fire was discovered today around 6 a.m. and estimated at a quarter of an acre in size. Firefighters are engaged in suppressing the spot fire while continuing to build and strengthen fire line around the main fire. A helicopter is supporting ground resources today by dropping water and cooling hot spots. Resources on scene include 20 firefighters, air attack and one helicopter. An area, trail and road closure within the vicinity of the Harrison Fire has been implemented as of today at 6 a.m. 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.

Fire lines held overnight on 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. The fire remains 950 acres in size and 35% contained. Today firefighters will continue to construct control lines and secure the perimeter of the fire to reduce the risk of fire moving outside the perimeter lines. Firefighters are focusing today on building fire line in the Ditch Creek area to keep the fire out of the bottom of the drainage. Two helicopters are on scene supporting ground resources today by dropping water and cooling hots spots. Currently 160 people are assigned to the fire, including several resources from the Oregon Department of Forestry. Grant County has issued a Level 1 Pre-Evacuation Fire Advisory for the area of Monument, Ritter, Dale and Middle and North Fork communities. The advisory area extends from Hwy 402, north to the Grant County line, and Hwy 395 west to the Grant County line. Residents in the area should make advance preparations and stay tuned for further updates. For additional information on this pre-evacuation fire advisory please visit gcoregionlive2.com and click on the emergency alert system link.

Firefighters were successful yesterday on the Mallory Creek Fire, which is now 100% contained. Fire crews are continuing mop up today and securing containment lines. This fire is a half of an acre in size and located 5 miles south of Penland Lake on the Heppner Ranger District.

Fire lines held overnight on the Low Ridge Fire, which consists of two fires located within the Mill Creek Watershed near Indian Ridge approximately 17 miles SE of Walla Walla, Washington on the Walla Walla Ranger District. Low Ridge Fire 1 remains at 2.5 acres and is 90% contained. Firefighters will be mopping up hot spots today within the fire perimeter. Fire managers anticipate that mop up activities will take several days to secure, due to the steep, rocky terrain in the area and heavy brush and snags. Resources on scene include five smokejumpers, five firefighters from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife, and a 10-person hand crew from Alaska. The Low Ridge 2 Fire is a tenth of an acre in size and fully contained.

The Pomeroy Ranger District picked up one new fire, the Hardy 2 Fire, which is less than a tenth of an acre in size located near Hard to Get to Ridge, 20 miles south of Pomeroy, Washington. The fire was reported on Aug. 21 at 5:45 p.m. and is burning in grass and timber near the location of the Hardy Fire, which was declared out yesterday. Three firefighters are on scene and the fire is 100% lined.

Weather conditions continue to be warm and dry over the next few days. Fire officials want to remind everyone that the current fire danger rating remains at EXTREME 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/.

For more information regarding Restrictions, please contact:

Umatilla National Forest:

Information Hotline: Toll-Free (877) 958-9663

www.facebook.com/UmatillaNF

Twitter: @UmatillaNF

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/.

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The area closure includes:

The area within following the following boundary; starting at the Ben Harrison Trail Head heading north/north east 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 west 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 access or use of the 10 road.

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

[Condon, Oregon] Firefighters continued to make excellent progress on each of the four fires being managed under unified command by the Oregon State Fire Marshal’s Blue Team and Northwest Team 7. The Stubblefield and Seale Fires have grown together and in the future will be reported as the Stubblefield Fire. Structural firefighting crews from Oregon State Fire Marshal’s Office have worked hard since Friday night, August 17, to assess, prepare and protect your homes in Gilliam County while working alongside our wildland firefighting partners to minimize the impact of the fires on your community. Because of that work, the risk has diminished to a level that enables us to send crews back to their home jurisdictions. Our mission to protect the community and the surrounding area remains the same. If conditions change, our structural resources are always a phone call away.

Stubblefield Fire – The fire is currently 50% contained and grew to 23,150 acres. Burn out operations, supported by heavy helicopter bucket drops, on the northwest corner of the fire were successful in establishing containment line in this area of the fire. All other established containment lines held, and crews continued to mop up any hot spots. Today’s operations will focus on establishing a line down Buckskin Road toward the John Day River to check the spread of uncontained fire embedded in the Potlatch Creek drainage.

Seale Fire – This fire is 40% contained and 23,600 acres. Yesterday the fire made a run on the south flank that was slowed by the use of air tankers and rapid action by the firefighters on the ground. Firing operations managed to cut off its advance and tie the fires edge into the John Day River to the west. Today firefighters will continue to strengthen control lines.

Lonerock Fire – This fire is now 60% contained and grew minimally to 5,056 acres. Crews worked on the eastern flank of this fire to establish containment lines and continued to mop up and patrol the established lines on the north and west flanks. Today the focus will again be on completing containment lines and mopping up on the eastern flank.

Jennie’s Peak – This fire is 40% contained and 38,000 acres. The fire perimeter has been secured along the east flank and along the south and up the western flanks of the fire along the John Day River. Successful burnout operations took place yesterday on the northeast corner of the fire as firefighters are steering the fire toward the northwest toward the Porcupine Fire burn scar. Preparation of the Rhodes Road as a fireline on the northwest flank of the fire will continue today.

All Evacuation levels and closures related to these fires currently remain unchanged and will be evaluated daily.

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