Tuesday, June 30, 2015

6/30/15 Sugarloaf Fire Evening Update

Oregon Department of Forestry
Incident Management Team 1
John Buckman, Incident Commander
Contact: Brian Ballou, Information Officer, (541) 621-4156
5,016 acres
20 percent contained
Night Shift Resources:
3 crews
2 engines
2 water tenders
75 personnel
Fire activity was moderate on the Sugarloaf Fire today, with little additional acreage burned outside of the previous fire perimeter. Some interior pockets of unburned fuels were consumed, reducing the chance of a reburn later. Crews were able to establish a fire line along part of the north to northeast edge of the fire. More mopup was completed around the structures along Dick Creek Road.
A Hot Shot crew worked on the Blue Basin Fire near State Route 19, maintaining containment of the fire without damaging any sites in the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument. A crew also suppressed a small lightning fire discovered today, about four miles north of Sugarloaf Mountain. Today this fire team also assumed responsibility for the Schoolhouse Gulch Fire. It is about 2 miles east of Dayville, roughly 100 acres in size, and relatively quiet.
Tonight the fire personnel will lay hoses along the fire lines that the day shift completed on the northeast part of the fire. This area has more trees and other heavy fuels which burn more intensely. The hose lays will be needed to supply enough water to extinguish this part of the fire. Other night shift personnel will continue to patrol the fire, watching for hot spots to extinguish. They will concentrate their efforts near the structures and along Dick Creek Road. A “heavy” helicopter will be available to help with water drops if needed until about 9:00 p.m.
On Wednesday, this fire team will be assuming suppression responsibility for the Corner Creek Fire. It is burning on the west side of the South Fork John Day River about 11 miles south of Dayville. This fire grew several thousand acres today.
The forecast for the rest of the week is for continuing hot weather with low humidity. Winds are a concern, especially in the evenings when “sundowner” winds have been gusting to 20 mph. Some nights the winds haven’t abated until 2 a.m.

Central Oregon Fire EVENING Update, 6/30

Central Oregon Fire EVENING Update

PRINEVILLE, Ore. – Firefighters on the Corner Creek Fire (formerly Incident #297) continued to be challenged by high temperatures and low relative humidity today which contributed to rapid wildfire growth.

The Corner Creek Fire located 11 miles south of Dayville, Oregon near the Black Canyon Wilderness, experienced significant growth and is estimated to be 2,500 acres with no containment. A VLAT (Very Large Air Tanker), three tankers, 4 SEATs (Single Engine Air Tankers), and three helicopters have been working on structure protection where the fire has threatened cabins and various outbuildings along Wind Creek. The fire is continuing to push south and west burning in light grass and brush.

At 6:00 a.m. tomorrow morning, Oregon Department of Forestry Team 1 will assume command of the Corner Creek, Sugarloaf and #296 fires. The Sugarloaf Fire is still the largest fire in Central Oregon at 5,016 acres and 20% containment. Incident #296 burning about 1 mile south of Dayville grew to about 65 acres. Firefighters are working on containment.

Firefighters were able to respond quickly to lightning start (#283) on the east end of the Maury Mountains east of Prineville this morning, keeping it under ¼ acre. This fire was a “holdover” from lightning storms that have tracked through Central Oregon in the past week. These holdovers can ignite fires up to 2 weeks after the initial lightning strike so fire crews will remain stationed around Central Oregon to respond as quickly as possible to any new fires.

Red Flag Warnings remain in effect through 9 p.m. tonight for lightning, primarily in areas east of Prineville.



VLAT Headed to Corner Creek Fire

A VLAT (Very Large Air Tanker) will be joining the structure protection efforts on the Corner Creek Fire this afternoon. The VLAT is joined by 3 tankers, 4 SEATs (single engine air tankers), and 3 helicopters.

Fire Officials Urge Caution for Holiday Weekend

Fire Officials Urge Caution For Holiday Weekend

BEND– With the Fourth of July holiday fast approaching, firefighters and land managers would like to remind the public to recreate safely on federal public lands this weekend.

Continued hot and dry conditions have contributed to an increase in human caused wildfire activity and a HIGH fire danger rating. Visitors to the national forest are reminded to be “Fire Safe” this holiday and throughout the summer, which includes leaving the fireworks at home.

Fireworks and other exploding targets are prohibited on federal public lands in Central Oregon, including the Deschutes and Ochoco National Forests, the Prineville BLM, and the Crooked River National Grassland. 

“There’s an appropriate time and place for fireworks—but that’s not on federal lands during fire season,” said Alex Robertson, Fire Staff Officer for the Central Oregon Fire Management Service. “Fireworks are restricted on federal lands and we ask that people respect that. Already we are seeing abnormal fire growth in wildfires across Central Oregon with fires growing bigger, faster. So while we want the public to enjoy a fun and safe holiday and summer, we also will continue to work closely with our partners at state and local levels to ensure that when it becomes necessary, we implement precautionary measures to protect our forests and communities.”

National Forest System lands in Central Oregon are not under public use restrictions right now but campers are reminded to never leave their campfire unattended and to fully extinguish campfires with water and shovel until the coals are cool to the touch. Fires that appear to be out may smolder for several days and pick up again during the next wind event. The smallest spark has the potential to cause significant damage.

Always crush cigarettes dead out, ensure that your vehicle has a properly installed spark arrester that is operational, and stop and park only in areas clear of vegetation.

Discharging fireworks on federal public lands is punishable by a fine of up to $5,000 and a sentence of up to six months in jail. 


6/30/15 - Sugar Loaf Fire Update

Oregon Department of Forestry                                                                                     
Incident Management Team 1                                                                                          
John Buckman, Incident Commander                                                                                    
Contact: Brian Ballou, Information Officer, (541) 621-4156                                                

 5,016 acres
20 percent contained
7 crews
12 engines
2 bulldozers    
2 water tenders
232 personnel
The Sugarloaf Fire is expected to burn more intensely today. The moisture from Sunday’s thunderstorms has dissipated, resulting in drier fuels and lower relative humidity. The amount the fire spreads will be largely influenced by winds and topography. The primary fuels inside the fire perimeter are grasslands and juniper trees in the low country and pine and fir stringers on the upper slopes. This lightning-caused fire covers 5,016 acres and is 20% contained.  There are 232 persons assigned to day shift on the fire.
On Monday, progress was made on extinguishing areas around structures on Dick Creek Road.  Helicopters were used to cool an area with steep slopes and heavy fuels above Johnny Creek on the north edge of the fire. Dozers worked on creating and improving fuel breaks along the north and east edges of the fire.
Steep slopes and limited access are restricting the suppression efforts on several areas of the fire. Due to steep, broken terrain, fire lines are being dug by hand along parts of the northeast and south edges of the fire. Unburned pockets of fuel inside the current fire area also continue to burn. Engines are patrolling the perimeter roads and the Dick Creek Road to extinguish hot spots near structures. Approximately 12 structures in the Dick Creek Road area were threatened by the fire.
Yesterday this fire team assumed command of a new fire that started to the west of the Sugarloaf Fire. The Blue Basin Fire burned about 400 acres east of State Route 19, largely within the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument. Fire personnel will be working to control this fire without damaging the special resources in the Monument.  This is a human caused fire, under investigation.
The Oregon Department of Forestry’s Incident Management Team 1 assumed command of the Sugarloaf Fire at 6:00 a.m. yesterday. The team is working for the Bureau of Land Management, the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument and ODF’s Central Oregon District. The fire is located approximately 8 miles north of Dayville. This incident is being managed as a full suppression fire. Efforts are being made to contain the fire and minimize private acreage burned.
Sensitive sites within the fire area include nationally recognized fossil beds, anadromous fish spawning beds and golden eagle nesting sites. Firefighters are using care to minimize suppression impacts in these areas while they take the actions necessary to contain the fire.
Hazards confronting firefighters include rattlesnakes, lightning, and hot, dry weather. High winds around thunderstorms may cause erratic fire behavior and rapid movement.

6/30/15 Central Oregon Morning Fire Update

Fire crews continued to work on several fires burning around Central Oregon and firefighters remain vigilant for any holdover fires from the lightning storms that moved through the area last weekend and early this week. Ten new fires were reported yesterday, with two growing larger.

The largest of the new fires is the Corner Creek Fire (Incident #297), burning 11 miles south of Dayville, Oregon near the Black Canyon Wilderness. The fire, burning in light grass and brush, grew to 850 acres overnight. In addition to firefighters on the ground, suppression efforts will be helped by heavy airtankers, single engine air tankers (SEATs) and helicopters today. Firefighters will be challenged today by high daytime temperatures and steep slopes with limited access. The cause is lighting.

The second fire, Incident #296, burning about 1 mile south of Dayville grew to about 65 acres yesterday. The Type 2 team currently managing the Sugar Loaf Fire has assumed command of this incident.

The largest fire in Central Oregon is the Sugar Loaf (incident #268), which continues to be managed by a Type 2 Incident Management Team. Information on Sugar Loaf will be provided on Inciweb.

As temperatures increase through the week, firefighters expect more lightning holdover fires. These fires occur when lightning strikes a tree and starts a fire that smolders in the needles and debris underneath the tree where it’s protected from any rain that falls. As temperatures increase and nearby ground dries out, the fire flares up and can spread. Holdover fires commonly occur up to two weeks after a storm.

With the potential for fighters to be busy with lightning fires, fire officials want to remind everyone to be extremely cautious with fireworks, and to use care when recreating on public land. Make sure campfires are allowed, and always put them out when you leave or before you go to bed. Avoid traveling on roads with vegetation down the middle – this can accumulate underneath a vehicle and cause it to catch fire.

Monday, June 29, 2015

6/29/2015 - Central Oregon Evening Fire Update

FIRE NEWS--Central Oregon Interagency Dispatch Center
For Immediate Release: June 29, 2015 8:00 p.m.

Central Oregon Fire EVENING Update

PRINEVILLE, Ore. – Firefighters are continuing to respond to several fires across Central Oregon tonight, the largest fire is 100 acres on the southeast border of Black Canyon Wilderness with no containment at this time.

As afternoon winds picked up, firefighters engaged numerous fires on and near the Ochoco National Forest and Prineville BLM. The second largest wildfire of the day is Incident #296, which was originally reported at 30 acres 1 mile south of Dayville, Oregon. Several engines and single engine air tankers are working to stop forward progress at the head of the fire and protect structures.

Crews also responded to a 7 acre fire 4 miles west of Mill Creek Wilderness that has been lined by firefighters who have progressed into mop-up.

The largest fire in the area is still Sugarloaf (incident #268), which remains at 4,612 acres. Crews continue to make progress constructing a fireline and the incident remains 20 percent contained. The fire is located about 8 miles north of Dayville, OR and is burning in a combination of shrub and light grass. This incident also absorbed a new start outside of the fire area immediately north of John Day Fossil Beds National Monument. No further information on this incident is available this evening.

All other starts, including two on the Deschutes National Forest, have been held to under half an acre.