Friday, September 22, 2017

9/22/2017 Horse Creek Complex Fire Update


September 22, 2017 - 9:00 a.m.


Fire Information: 541-719-8371 or email: WillametteWildfires2017@gmail.com


Rebel Fire:  8,653 acres
Horse Creek Complex: Olallie Lookout Fire, 1,572 acres; Roney Fire, 3,548 acres; Avenue Fire, 2,962 acres; Separation Fire, 17,747 acres; Nash Fire, 6,738 acres.
Total all fires: 41,220 acres (The last infrared flight was conducted on 9/15. No change in acreage has been measured since 9/15.)

Resources:  Personnel, 403; Crews, 7; Helicopters, 1; Engines, 24; Water Tenders, 4; Skidgen, 1.

Weather: Remote weather stations in the area of the Horse Creek Complex and Rebel fire measured precipitation from 4 to nearly 6 inches since Sunday night. Thursday brought fewer showers and diminished clouds with occasional sunshine. A warming and drying trend will continue through the weekend with each day gaining a few degrees until temperatures in the 70s return early next week. Fire spread is still not anticipated to occur even with a return of warmer and dryer weather.

Next Steps: Firefighter crews have transitioned from protecting the public from fire to removing equipment from the field and repairing fire lines and other disturbances left by suppression efforts. Fire managers use the term “suppression repair” to describe efforts taken after a fire to repair impacts to the land. Before leaving the fire, crews may construct berms and spread brush and rocks onto the cut lines and bare ground that were created during firefighting efforts. Water bars may be constructed on hand and dozer lines to divert water to reduce soil erosion and prevent gullies from forming. Also, crews will remove refuse, flagging, and other equipment as part of their efforts to restore the land to a more natural condition.

Current Situation: Crews are currently being limited by their ability to get into work areas due to snow, mud and soft roads. Where access was possible, crews pulled hose, flagging and excess equipment, scattered debris and repaired hand lines. Rocks and logs that had rolled out of burns were removed from roads. Equipment was removed from Camp Malakwa and structure protection is being lifted throughout the complex. Roads are currently too soft to support heavy equipment that is needed to repair fire lines. Complete access won’t be possible until roads are dryer.

Chipping equipment that has been ordered will arrive beginning Friday and crews will be trained on equipment operation. Some slash piles built during firefighting efforts will be chipped, others have been burned. Survey flights are planned for Friday if weather permits. Firefighter and public welfare and safety remains a priority. Slash removal is continuing along the Cascade Lakes Highway.

National Forest Closure Orders:  Fire restrictions have been lifted in Willamette and Deschutes National Forests, and campfires are now allowed. Current information about closures on the Willamette and Deschutes National Forests is available at: https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/willamette/fire/?cid=fseprd552029
http://www.fs.usda.gov/alerts/Deschutes/alerts-notices.

Flight Restrictions: A Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR) remains in place over the fires to provide a safe environment for firefighting aircraft operations. It is not legal to operate any aircraft (including drones) within a TFR. More information on the TFR is available at http://tfr.faa.gov/tfr2/list.html

Upper Beaver prescribed burn planned for Ochocos this week

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Friday, September 22, 2017
Upper Beaver prescribed burn planned for Ochocos this week

PRINEVILLE, Ore.— Fire managers on the Ochoco National Forest will take advantage of recent moisture to start working on the Upper Beaver prescribed burn next week on the Paulina Ranger District, a project to reduce hazardous fuels and improve habitat across 3,800 acres just south of Black Canyon Wilderness.

Ignitions are expected to begin around 11 am Tuesday and last 2 to 3 days with smoke lingering in the area for the rest of the week.

“We realize most people are just now breathing a sigh of relief that fire season is winding down,” said Paulina District Ranger Gary Asbridge. “But this is our opportunity to reduce hazardous fuels and improve forest health during a time of our choosing, rather than waiting for a lightning strike or an escaped campfire to burn those fuels during the summer.”

Objectives for the burn are to improve natural resources within the unit by reducing hazardous fuels and improving big game habitat while restoring fire to a fire-adapted ponderosa pine ecosystem. The unit is just west of the 2015 Corner Creek Fire that burned nearly 30,000 acres.
The prescribed burn is planned to fall in between archery and rifle deer hunting seasons, in order to impact hunters as little as possible. Smoke will be visible from Paulina, 13 miles to the southeast, and from Mud Springs and Frazier Campgrounds, but is not expected to close any roads to motorized traffic.

This is a continuation of a project started last year. Firefighters completed blacklines around the unit last October and then heavy precipitation prevented them from actually starting any interior ignitions. Next week, fire managers plan to use aerial ignitions delivered from a helicopter to create low-intensity interior burns while strengthening control lines around the burn to prevent it from moving outside the planned unit.

Prescribed burning is part of a Forest Service program to remove hazardous fuels in order to reduce the potential for high-intensity uncharacteristic fire, while restoring low-intensity fire to a fire-adapted ecosystem and improving range and forest health.

Prescribed burning is a proactive approach to fire management, reintroducing fire in a planned, low-intensity manner that benefits the resources, instead of waiting for an unplanned ignition, such as lightning, to start a wildfire that requires an expensive suppression response and can burn with destructive intensity.


The Forest Service appreciates public tolerance of increased smoke and vehicle traffic in support of these restoration goals.


Thursday, September 21, 2017

Desolation Fire Evacuation Level 1 Cancelled

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Re:         Press Release – For immediate distribution
From:    Crook County Sheriff’s Office

Desolation Fire Evacuation Level 1 Cancelled

The Crook County Sheriff’s office has cancelled all fire evacuation notices in the Marks Creek area based on reports from the Fire Service of normal conditions and no increase in fire behavior on the Desolation fire. 

A temporary road closure order remains in effect for all of Mill Creek Wilderness and Forest Service land north of the wilderness up to and including Forest Roads 27, 2730 and 2745.  The Forest Service indicated that the road closures will end in the next few days as well.

In the event of an actual EMERGENCY:  Please Dial 911

For more information please contact:
Crook County Public Information Officer
Crook County Health and Human Services / Emergency Preparedness Coordinator
541-233-8504 – Work Cell

9/21/2017 Horse Creek Complex Update


September 21, 2017 - 9:00 a.m.

Fire Information: 541-719-8371 or email: WillametteWildfires2017@gmail.com

Rebel Fire:  8,653 acres
Horse Creek Complex: Olallie Lookout Fire, 1,572 acres; Roney Fire, 3,548 acres; Avenue Fire, 2,962 acres; Separation Fire, 17,747 acres; Nash Fire, 6,738 acres.
Total all fires: 41,220 acres (The last infrared flight was conducted on 9/15. No change in acreage has been measured since 9/15.)

Resources:  Personnel, 449; Crews, 8; Helicopters, 2; Engines, 21; Dozers, 2; Water Tenders, 6.

Weather: Widespread rain and snow continued to fall on Wednesday, bringing the total amount of precipitation over the fire area to 4-5 inches in the past four days. Scattered rain and snow showers were expected to continue into Wednesday night, with skies beginning to clear after midnight. Temperatures were forecast to drop into the upper 20s overnight. Scattered rain and snow showers will continue Thursday before skies begin to clear in the afternoon and evening.

The precipitation and cold weather the last few days has severely dampened fire activity and presented a new set of challenges for firefighters and fire managers. The biggest concerns now are the increased potential for falling trees, hazardous driving conditions and rock fall caused by the snow and rain. The Oregon Department of Transportation has assisted firefighting efforts by clearing snow and rocks off roads, providing access for firefighters in several areas. As always, firefighter and public safety remains the primary concern.

Current Situation: Despite the severe weather, it was a productive day for firefighters on Wednesday. Crews spent much of the day pulling fire hose and retrieving pumps that had been strategically placed along firelines in the event they were needed. Firefighters have pulled approximately 15 miles of fire hose from the Avenue, Nash, Rebel and Separation fires and that work will continue today. Crews are also removing other equipment that is no longer needed and hauling it back to fire camps.

With the change in the weather, the emphasis is now on suppression repair and rehabilitation.  Agency Administrators, Resource Advisors and fire managers are collaborating on a plan that will guide those efforts over the next week. The main focus is repairing and rehabilitating hand and dozer lines that were constructed to contain and confine fires in the Horse Creek Complex. In other areas, crews are chipping slash that was cut and building water bars to prevent erosion due to runoff. In many areas the ground is too wet to run heavy equipment and will have to dry out before it can be worked on. In the meantime, fire managers are assessing work that needs to be done and placing orders for the equipment to do it. “The weather and availability of equipment are the limiting factors right now,” Operations Planning Chief Karen Scholl said.


Evacuations:  All evacuation orders in Lane County (Zones 1-10 and Camp Malakwa) and in Deschutes County have been lifted. All U.S. Forest Service closures remain in effect.

National Forest Closure Orders:  Fire restrictions have been lifted in Willamette and Deschutes National Forests, and campfires are now allowed. Current information about closures on the Willamette and Deschutes National Forests is available at: https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/willamette/fire/?cid=fseprd552029
http://www.fs.usda.gov/alerts/Deschutes/alerts-notices.

Flight Restrictions: A Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR) remains in place over the fires to provide a safe environment for firefighting aircraft operations. It is not legal to operate any aircraft (including drones) within a TFR. More information on the TFR is available at http://tfr.faa.gov/tfr2/list.html

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Public Use Restrictions and the Industrial Fire Precaution Level Will Drop on Wednesday

Redmond, Oregon – With consistently cooler nights and reduced fire activity around the Pacific Northwest, the Prineville District Bureau of Land Management, the Deschutes and Ochoco National Forests and the Crooked River National Grassland are lifting campfire restrictions effective 12:01 a.m. September 20, (Wednesday) on public lands in Central Oregon. The Industrial Fire Precaution Level will drop to Level 2, which means that personal firewood cutting is again allowed between the hours of 8:00 p.m. and 1:00 p.m.

For the reduction in Public Use Restrictions, open fires, including charcoal fires, will be allowed. Be aware that some federal sites still have campfire restrictions such as Hosmer Lake, and that the seasonal restrictions on BLM-administered lands in the following areas remain in effect:

Until September 30, 2016:
On public lands within 1/4 mile of the river’s edge in the following locations:
Mainstem John Day River from Tumwater Falls (River Mile 10) upstream to Kimberly (River Mile 185);
North Fork John Day River, from the confluence with the mainstem at Kimberly (River Mile 0) upstream to the Umatilla National Forest boundary (River Mile 62);
South Fork John Day River from Smokey Creek (River Mile 6) upstream to Malheur National Forest boundary (River Mile 47).

 Until October 15, 2016:
 Crooked River - Within ½ mile of the river’s edge along the Lower Crooked River from the Highway 97 Bridge to Lake Billy Chinook.
Deschutes River - Within ½ mile of the river’s edge from the Highway 20 bridge to Lake Billy Chinook; including all BLM-administered lands north of the Jefferson county line and between the Deschutes River and
Crooked River. Within ½ mile of Lake Simtustus (between Round Butte Dam and Pelton Dam)
Within the Lower Deschutes National Wild and Scenic River corridor (Pelton Dam to the Columbia River)
Lake Billy Chinook - Those public lands located within ½ mile of Lake Billy Chinook; including BLM Beach dispersed recreation site located approximately ½ mile east of the Three Rivers Recreation Area on the south shore of the Metolius River Arm of the lake.
White River - Within ½ mile of the river’s edge from its confluence with the Deschutes River upstream to the eastern boundary of the Mount Hood National Forest.

At the same time, the Industrial Fire Precaution Level (IFPL), which regulates permitted and commercial activities on federal lands, will drop to a Level II (called a Partial Hootowl). Under this level, commercial and personal woodcutting, welding, cable yarding and blasting is allowed, where authorized, between the hours of 8:00 p.m. and 1:00 p.m. with a minimum of a one-hour fire watch following activity.

Officials want to remind the public that using explosive target material, such as Tannerite, explosives, and fireworks continue to be prohibited on all federal lands.

Officials carefully consider the current fire situation, fuel moisture and predicted weather before making the decision to lift fire restrictions. Fire Officials want to remind people recreating on public lands to continue to use caution even though fall is approaching and temperatures are cooling down; wildfires are still possible. All campfires, including warming fires used by hunters, should be cold to the touch when not being watched. Every fire that’s prevented protects our communities and helps our firefighters remain available, rested, and safe.

For Central Oregon Fire Information Fire hotline, please call 541-316-7711 or keep up-to-date on fire activity by following us on Twitter at @CentralORFire.


-End-

Nash Fire Update, September 19

Crews removed wildfire shelter wrap from the Forest Service guard station along Cascade Lakes Highway. Crews also pulled sprinklers, hoses, and pumps that were protecting cabins at Elk Lake. Crews are removing and cleaning up slash along the Cascade Lakes Highway.  Drivers are cautioned to drive safely in areas where firefighters and heavy equipment are working.

Monday, September 18, 2017

9/18/2017 All Evacuation Levels Dropped for the Nash Fire


ALL NASH FIRE EVACUATION NOTICES DROPPED
 

News Release from Deschutes Co. Sheriff's Office Posted on FlashAlert: September 18th, 2017 2:40 PM Released by: Sgt. Nathan Garibay, Emergency Services Manager
 

The Deschutes County Sheriff's Office has continued to coordinate with fire managers on the Nash Fire, which is part of the Horse Creek Complex. After discussion with the incident management team and the Deschutes National Forest; the Sheriff's Office will drop all pre-evacuation notices around Elk Lake due to the Nash fire at 3 PM today (Monday, September 18th).

This includes the following areas: Elk Lake Resort, Elk Lake CG, Point CG, Little Fawn CG, Mallard Marsh CG, Sunset View Day Use Area, Beach Day Use Area, and Quinn Meadows Horse Camp.

This does not affect any area closures implemented by the United States Forest Service. Please check the following links for more information on trail and area closures.
 
Deschutes National Forest Trail Closures:
https://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/fseprd557599.pdf

 Willamette National Forest Trail Closures:
https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/willamette/fire/?cid=fseprd552029#ave
 
The Sheriff's Office will continue to coordinate with the United States Forest Service and the incident management team assigned to the fire.

Contact Info:
SheriffPIO@deschutes.org<mailto:SheriffPIO@deschutes.org>