Tuesday, June 30, 2015

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.

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