CENTRAL OREGON— Crews in the Maury Mountains are engaged in a fire suppression effort today after a wind event yesterday afternoon pushed a prescribed burn outside planned containment lines.
The Ochoco National Forest had been conducting a prescribed burn to improve the natural resources within a 333-acre unit near Elkhorn campground and Forest Road 16.
Around 4 pm yesterday, an unexpected reversal of wind direction associated with a storm system from the south pushed fire north of the burn unit and carried it onto private ranch lands. Firefighters are working with the private land owners, Oregon Department of Forestry, and the Post-Paulina Rural Rangeland Protection Association to suppress the fire on both public and private land.
The fire size is currently about 1,200 acres with an estimated containment of 20 percent. Roughly 150 acres is on private land.
Following a report of the prescribed burn moving outside planned lines, the Forest Service declared it a wildfire and responded with aggressive suppression tactics. Firefighters worked until 4 am this morning with an effort that included two heavy air tankers, two single engine air tankers, a Type 1 helicopter, and multiple crews, engines, and dozers.
The suppression effort continues today with special emphasis on implementing aggressive tactics on private land to stop the fire spread while continuing to provide safety for our firefighting personnel.
The Forest Service plans to implement an area closure on National Forest System lands to protect hunters and other visitors from entering the suppression area. The closure order and updated fire information will be released as soon as they are available.