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Sep-03-2014 19:10printcomments

Six Forest Fires in Oregon Still Raging

No new fires 10 acres or larger were reported on lands protected by ODF in the past 24 hours.

oregon forest fires
Map: Northwest Interagency Coordination Center

(SALEM, Ore.) - Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) is responsible for fire protection on about 16 million acres of private and state-owned forest and grazing land, and certain other public forestlands including those owned by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management in western Oregon.

Fires may cross ownerships, and because of the need to share firefighting resources, agencies work closely together.

This update focuses primarily on firefighting activity on Oregon Department of Forestry-protected lands involving fires 10 acres or larger in size or of other significance. It also reports on ODF's major actions as a partner with other agencies.

To that effect, no new fires 10 acres or larger were reported on lands protected by ODF in the past 24 hours.

The Lost Hubcap Fire was reported around 1:30 p.m. on August 29th, and quickly burned on Bureau of Land Management and private forestlands protected by ODF. On August 29, 2014, Oregon Department of Forestry Incident Management Team 2 (Incident Commander Chris Cline) was deployed to the Lost Hubcap Fire, assuming command of the fire from the local ODF unit of the Central Oregon District at 1200 hours PDT on Saturday.

The fire is burning in timber, grass and sagebrush and total acreage is currently estimated at 2,984 acres.

A predicted cold front passed over the fire Tuesday. This change in weather brings increased winds that will intensify fire behavior and test firelines.

"Today the wind will challenge our fireline, we have prepared, are set up and ready to meet that challenge" said Joe Hessel, day operations chief. The fire is 40 percent contained.

Resources assigned include 6 helicopters, 19 engines, 5 bulldozers, 9 water tenders and 622 personnel including 21 crews. Estimated costs to date: $1.71 M. Cause is under investigation. The incident command post is located at 289 East Hardisty St. (in the community center), Long Creek, OR.

The Deception Complex Fire (USFS) two miles west of the community of Oakridge is now 2,278 acres. The complex is now 55 percent contained.

The Deception Complex is currently under unified command between PNW Team 2(IC - Chris Schulte) and Oregon Department of Forestry (Ross Holloway). The Complex includes a group of fires that were started by lightning strikes on August 12 just west of Oakridge, OR.

The Bald Sisters Fire, 12 miles east of Prairie City, was started by lightning on August 2. It has taken 1238 acres, and is being monitored by firefighters; updates will be provided by the Forest if conditions and status of this incident change. With recent rains and fire line construction completed, many firefighting resources have returned home or have moved on to help with wildfires in other areas.

Some crews remain to complete suppression repair, including rebuilding parts of Forest Service fence that had to be removed to build the fireline. Firefighters will continue to monitor fire activity. A weekly update will be provided by the local Incident Management Team at the end of the week, until the fire is declared out.

The 790 Fire is 30 miles NE of Medford/10 miles southeast of Prospect, and is burning in the Sky Lakes Wilderness, 2300 acres so far. The fire is being fought with the objective of immediate full suppression, using tactics suitable to management objectives in the wilderness including utilizing natural barriers and containment lines.

Yesterday, the fire continued to burn with isolated areas of intense heat. Helicopters were very effective in keeping these areas from developing into larger, faster moving fires, allowing firefighters to continue with direct attack on the perimeter. Firefighters completed portions of the east and south lines. Crews are working their way around the western flanks on both sides, securing the fire as they go.

Helicopters continued to supply water to several mobile pump/tank combination modules, allowing firefighters to avoid using water from sensitive lakes that are already drought stressed. Clearing of material continued on indirect contingency lines in areas to the west and east outside the wilderness.

The majority of firefighters remained “spiked out” in the wilderness—living in very elementary temporary camps—around the perimeter of the fire close to the fire line.

Helicopters supported firefighters in the wilderness by dropping water on hotspots and supplying seven of the ten spike camps. Firefighters are also being supplied by hand carry and mule pack strings. The Somers Fire is 15 miles east of Imnaha, OR; west of Pittsburg Landing, spanning 36185 acres. The fire activity is being monitored, but no suppression actions are planned. Smoke remains on the interior portion of the fire in the north piece where the area closure is in place. Visitors should refrain from entering the fire area and be cautious in the burned area for snags and other fire debris. Cooler weather and reduced fire behavior was conducive for crews to make good progress on managing the fire. As a result, fire crews have been able to accelerate the pace of work on the fire.

South Fork Complex Fire 20 miles south of John Day has destroyed two residences, and has burned 66179 acres. Good progress has been made in securing the perimeter and with suppression repair. Murderer's Creek and Deer Creek recreation facilities remain closed.

FIRES ON OTHER JURISDICTIONS IN OREGON More information on these fires can be found at: http://nwccweb.us/index.aspx and http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/ Statewide air quality index readings are available at http://www.deq.state.or.us/aqi/index.aspx.

OTHER FIRE INFORMATION & LINKS ODF maintains a blog at http://wildfireoregondeptofforestry.blogspot.com/. It includes breaking news on wildfires that occur on ODF's fire protection jurisdiction and also fires on other lands that potentially threaten, along with current fire statistics, and a frequently updated Twitter feed at https://twitter.com/ORDeptForestry.

The Lost Hubcap Fire information: 541-421-3039 and http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/4096

The Deception Complex Fire information: 541-782-5359 http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/4093/




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