Saturday, July 19, 2014

Type 2 Incident Management Team To Take Command of Ochoco Complex

Type 2 Incident Management Team will take command of Ochoco Complex

PRINEVILLE – A group of fires started by the July 13 lightning storm will now be managed as the Ochoco Complex.

High winds and low humidity coupled with very dry fuel conditions over the last week increased fire activity in Central Oregon, causing four of the fires to flare up and become very active on Thursday, July 17.

Great Basin Incident Management Team 6, under the direction of Incident Commander Tracy Dunford, will assume command of the fires at 6 p.m. today. Their incident command post will be located at Crook County Middle School, 100 SE Knowledge Street in Prineville.

The Ochoco Complex consists of four wildfires on the Ochoco National Forest, and the Oscar Canyon fire burning on Prineville BLM land within the North Fork Wilderness Study Area.

Fire sizes are based on yesterday’s estimates; however, weather conditions yesterday afternoon created very active fire behavior and acreages are likely larger today.

Incident #301, called the "Oscar Canyon fire," is located 17 miles east of Post, Ore. It is currently about 315 acres and 80 percent contained. 

Incident #386, called the "Fox fire," is located approximately 3 miles northwest of the North Fork Wilderness Study Area, near Forest Road 4230. It is currently estimated at 400 acres. The Fox fire is believed to have burned into the Oscar Canyon fire in what is generally very steep, rocky, and inaccessible terrain.

Incident #308, called the "Lava fire," is located near the junction of Forest Road 22 and Forest Road 4210, near the northwest corner of Big Summit Prairie. It is currently estimated at 180 acres.

Incident #381, called the "Antelope fire," is located near Antelope Spring, about 3 miles east of Forest Road 22 along Forest Road 900, near the forest's northern border. It is currently estimated at 12 acres.

Incident #384, called the "Broadway fire," is located south of Forest Road 2630, near Peterson Lava. It is currently estimated at 10 acres. The fire is located two miles from the nearest road, making it difficult to access on the ground.
All fires will be suppressed using containment lines and strategies where firefighters can safely engage the fires.

For more information, please visit Inciweb at, follow us on Twitter @CentralORFire, or call the Central Oregon Fire Information Media Desk at (541) 416-6811.


Highway 26 remains closed to public traffic 15 miles east of Prineville to 8 miles west of Mitchell. The Bailey Butte fire continues to burn actively in the area. Hazard trees falling along the road, smoke, and firefighter activity present a safety concern to motorists.

A National Forest closure remains in effect for a section surrounding the Bailey Butte fire, including Walton Lake campground, Ochoco Divide campground, Whistle campground, Wildwood campground, Cougar East trailhead, and Crystal Springs Organization Camp.

More National Forest closures are expected today due to increased fire and firefighter activity within the Ochoco Complex.

Crook County has evacuated private residences in the Mark’s Creek area near Ochoco Summit and Wheeler County has evacuated residents along West Branch Road south of Mitchell.

For more information on the Bailey Butte fire and Waterman Complex, visit, or follow on Twitter @WatermanCmplx, or on the Waterman Complex Facebook page.


Local communities are experiencing high levels of smoke due to multiple wildfires burning throughout Central Oregon.

Yesterday, the air quality in Madras was rated as “very unhealthy” and the air quality in Prineville was rated as “unhealthy” by the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality.

For more information about wildfire smoke and air quality, visit

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