Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Ochoco Fire Complex Update, 7/29

Ochoco Complex Fire Update
July 29, 2014
Fire Information:  Patrick Lair (541)416-6647, (541)233-7770
Start Date
Percent Containment

July 13, 2014

Total Personnel

Summary: Lightning swept across the area July 13 starting many fires across the Forest and neighboring BLM land.  Four of these fires are now being managed as the Ochoco Complex. Great Basin Management Team 6, under the direction of Incident Commander Tracy Dunford assumed command of the fire at 6 pm, July 19, 2014. 
·        Antelope Springs, Broadway, and Lava Fires are 100 percent contained.
·        Fox Fire: Located approximately 3 miles northwest of the North Fork Wilderness Study Area, near Forest Road 4230 and 17 miles east of Post, Oregon -  9,848 acres, 94% contained;
Current Situation: Yesterday, suppression rehabilitation proceeded on the Antelope Springs and Lava fires, and will continue today. Additional mop up is needed on the Broadway Fire before rehabilitation begins. Mop up, patrol, and suppression rehabilitation will continue on the remainder of the complex.
Today cloud cover is expected to increase, with possible isolated dry afternoon thunder storms and lightning. Temperature will be in the mid 90s, relative humidity 10%-15%, and wind light and possibly gusting to 15 mph this afternoon. Fire activity has become minimal, although there is still potential for torching and spotting. Crews will be vigilant for any smoke near confinement and containment lines, mopping up a distance of 100 feet from the lines. Ground based PALM IR will be used to search for hot spots within the perimeter. Release of excess resources continues. All aircraft, with the exception of one helicopter, will be released today.
Closures: The closure order remains in effect, but the closed area has been reduced (for the full closure order and map, visit Inciweb at http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/3972/); and all open fires are now prohibited on the Prineville District of  BLM, Deschutes and Ochoco National Forests, and the Crooked River National Grasslands, except in designated campgrounds. See http://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/centraloregon/home/?cid_=fsbdev3_035880.  
This is the final update from this team for the Ochoco Complex. The Prairie Type 3 Multi Fire Support Team, under the leadership of Monty Edwards, will assume management of the Ochoco Complex at 6 A.M., Wednesday, July 30. Additional information on the fire can be found at http://www.fs.fed.us/r6/centraloregon/
See Article below on AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps
AmeriCorps (NCCC) Members Assist with Oregon Wildfires
Prineville OR - The Ochoco Complex has crews and support staff from all over the United States.  Four firefighters on the Virginia Interagency Hand Crew #1 are also part of the AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC) based out of Perry Point, Maryland. NCCC creates partnerships with non-profits—secular and faith based—local municipalities, state governments, federal government, national and state parks, Indian tribes, and schools. The NCCC members on the Ochoco Complex are trained in the same manner as other wildland firefighters and are sponsored by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). 
Based on the successful models of the Civilian Conservation Corps of the 1930s and the U.S. military, AmeriCorps NCCC is built on the belief that civic responsibility is an inherent duty of all citizens and that national service programs work effectively with local communities to address pressing needs.  Therefore, while other firefighters on the Virginia crew are receiving overtime and hazard pay for fighting fires, the NCCC members are essentially volunteering their time.  In the NCCC program, members are given a living allowance of approximately $4,000 for 11 months of service; housing; meals; and limited medical benefits.  For these members, this stipend goes into an education account that they can draw from for college expenses.  
Steve Hubner with the (USFWS) has been working with AmeriCorps members for eight years.  Hubner enjoys the fresh, new perspective that the AmeriCorps members bring to the fire crew.  NCCC team based organization is composed of members age 18-24 who desires to serve their country in a non-military capacity.  Members are able to gain knowledge through a variety of experiences.   
Team member Francisco Orellana from California, recruiter/spokesperson for the team, relates that team members become like family over the course of the 11 month program.  Alex Segerhieri from Maryland, plans to continue firefighting for a few years after completing the program to earn money for college.  Tyler Davis from North Carolina is interested in a career in the construction field.  Nicolay Petrov also, from North Carolina, holds two associates degrees and is searching for a career path.

On the Ochoco Complex, team members are receiving valuable experience while contributing their labor to the firefighting efforts.

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