Sunday, July 20, 2014

Waterman Complex Evening Update - 7/19

July 19, 2014 PM

Waterman Complex – Mitchell, Oregon
Information Center – 541-787-4321
Incident Commander Doug Johnson

Start Date
Percent Containment




Tentative plans are being made to open Highway 26 on Monday morning to one lane traffic, escorted by a pilot car during the daylight hours.  The plans are dependent upon fire behavior and the completion of felling of hazard trees along the route.

Evacuation Notices
The West Branch and Marks Creek areas remain under a Level III Evacuation Notice. A Red Cross Shelter is located at the Crook County High School in Prineville.

Current Situation
The Complex consists of four fires (Bailey Butte, Toney Butte, Junction Springs and Incident #376), three of which are now contained.  Oregon Department of Transportation assisted firefighters with felling of hazard trees along Highway 26.  More resources continue to arrive to assist with the firefighting effort, including those resources assigned to night shift which allows for staffing of the fire day and night.  Suppression actions for tonight’s shift include constructing and holding fire line, mopping-up hot spots, patrolling, and providing structure protection.  Firefighters are challenged tonight with steep terrain, poor visibility, and the threat of trees burned by the fire falling as snags.

Those seeking to travel to or from the Mitchell area are advised to check the Oregon Department of Transportation Trip Check website for open roads.  The Ochoco National Forest has expanded the closure area for public access due to another complex of fires burning to the south and east of the Waterman Complex.

This afternoon a public meeting was held in Mitchell.  Many concerned citizens and local, state and federal agencies attended the meeting, showing support of one another during the response to this wildfire event.  Over the last several days, everyone, public and agency alike, have been working side-by-side, sharing limited resources, including personnel, equipment and other services.  Oregon Interagency Incident Management Team 3 and other agencies expressed their appreciation for help the community of Mitchell and the surrounding neighborhoods have provided.

With several other fires in the local area besides the Waterman Complex, smoke may be heavy at times, causing an inversion; caution is urged when driving with limited visibility on roads.

Bailey Butte Fire – 8,415 acres, 20% contained.  Firefighters were able to make good progress today on the north and northwest sides of the fire, as well as start burn out operations in the south end of the fire. The fire was not as active today, allowing for continuation of burnout activities in the south part of the fire. Spot fires from yesterday’s activity were lined today and will be watched overnight and suppressed as needed.  Fireline was strengthened along the northeast part of the fire around to Courthouse Rock.  Structural protection engines remained in place.

Toney Butte Fire – 2,220 acres, 100% contained.  The fire experienced no growth but some interior smokes remain. Crews continued to cold trail, mop up hot spots, and patrol the fire perimeter.

Junction Springs Fire– 20 acres, 100% contained. This fire remains in patrol status and monitored by air.

Incident #376 - .25 acres, 100% contained.  This fire is cold and black.

Ochoco National Forest Closure Area:
Closure Order 06-07-01-14-001-01 was enacted today and is an expansion of the closure issued earlier this week.  The closure prohibits the public from entering the closure area except under special exemption.  The closure is due to firefighting activities taking place within the closure area, and for the protection of public and employee safety.  The public is encouraged to check with the Forest before they travel.  The expansion of the closure includes:

The north boundary of the Ochoco National Forest and Bear Creek, east along the north boundary of the Ochoco National Forest to its intersection with Forest Road (FR) 12, south along FR 12 to its intersection with FR 42 (known as Six Corners), south along FR 42 to its intersection with the south boundary of the Ochoco National Forest, then west along the south boundary of the Ochoco National Forest to its intersection with Highway 26, then northeast along Highway 26 to its intersection with Buck Creek, then west along Buck Creek to its intersection with the southeastern boundary of the Mill Creek Wilderness to its closest proximity to the intersection of FR 27 and FR 2730-250 at Grant Springs, then northwest along FR 2730-250 to its intersection with FR 2735, then north along FR 2735 to its intersection with Bear Creek at Cougar West Trailhead, then northeast along Bear Creek to the beginning.

Temporary Flight Restrictions (TFR): Two TFRs are in place over the Complex. One is located over the Bailey Butte Fire and the other over the Toney Butte Fire. Please check the NOTAM for current information.

For more information on the Waterman Complex visit:

Inciweb at

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