Tuesday, July 7, 2015

7/7 Corner Creek/Sugarloaf Fire Update

July 7, 2015 8:00 a.m.

Corner Creek Fire
Started: Monday, June 29th
Cause: Lightning
Current size:  26,517 acres
Percent contained:  15%
Total personnel: 1,100
Total cost to date:  $4,300,000
Update:  Fire is actively burning, spreading along its south and southwest flank and to the north.
o Private land allotments are threatened and firefighters continue to work to protect them.
o The South Fork Road/Hwy 42 has been closed to the general public from Dayville to the USFS 58 road junction. The 58 Road and 5820 Road are also closed due to active burning.
o A forest closure has been issued for part of the Ochoco National Forest near the Corner Creek Fire, including the Black Canyon Wilderness. Mud Springs and Frazier campgrounds are closed to the public.

Sugarloaf Fire
Started: Saturday, June 27th
Cause: Lightning
Current size:  4,740 acres
Percent contained:  98%
Total personnel: 174
Total cost to date:  $3,200,000
Update:  Most of the fire is in patrol status with minimal activity.
o The majority of the Sugarloaf Fire is in mop-up, with emphasis on the areas around the structures.
o Fire personnel and equipment are being reassigned as available to the Corner Creek Fire.

Additional fire and road closures information: by phone at (541) 987-2348,
by gmail at cornercreekfireinfo@gmail.com, by blogspot at www.centralorfireinfo.blogspot.com, and by internet at http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/4349/

Monday, July 6, 2015

7/6 Central Oregon Fire Update

Central Oregon Interagency Dispatch Center
4550 SW Airport Way
Prineville, OR  97754

Contact:  Media Desk:  541-416-6811           Email address:  Centralorfireinfo@gmail.com
Twitter:  @CentralORfire                              For more information visit: CentralORfireinfo.blogspot.com

FIRE NEWS--Central Oregon Interagency Dispatch Center
For Immediate Release:  July 6, 2015.

Central Oregon Fire Update

PRINEVILLE, Ore. – Parts of Central Oregon received much needed rain this afternoon in a storm that also brought 22 lightning strikes (as of 4:35 pm. PST) to the Sisters and Cascade Lakes area. Firefighters are currently responding to two smoke reports, one is the Black Fly Fire (Incident #330) five miles west of Squaw Creek. This is an Oregon Department of Forestry fire and is currently 1/10 of an acre. The second smoke report (Incident #331) is by Anns Butte, two miles southwest of Sunriver. The rain is expected to play a positive role in both incidents in helping firefighters keep fires small and mop up any hot spots.

There are no current updates on the Corner Creek Fire, 11 miles south of Dayville.

As a reminder, several closures are still in place for the Corner Creek Fire including an Ochoco National Forest area closure and the South Fork Road/Co. Rd. 42 which is closed to the general public from near Dayville to south of the US Forest Service 58 Road junction due to fire activity. To read the entire closure order and view a map of the area closure, please visit the Ochoco National Forest website at http://www.fs.usda.gov/alerts/ochoco/alerts-notices 

Information about the Sugarloaf and Corner Creek Fires, managed by the Oregon Department of Forestry Team 1, can be found at http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/


Corner Creek Fire July 6 update

Fire Information: (541) 987-2348                                                                                                   
Firefighters are continuing to make good progress on the Corner Creek Fire, located 11 miles south of Dayville on the Ochoco National Forest. The fire has grown to over 26,000 acres, but much of the new growth is from planned burnout operations.

Last night, firefighters took advantage of favorable weather conditions to complete several miles of burnout along the 5840 road on the west flank of the fire. By creating this fuel break ahead of the fire, firefighters hope to keep the Corner Creek Fire from expanding further west toward Tamarack Butte.

More than 400 firefighters are working on the south half of the fire, continuing an aggressive mop up operation. They are making a concerted effort to pin down this part of the fire over the next few days. 
As the weather has become less hot and dry, the fire behavior has moderated. This allows firefighters the opportunity to cool the existing fire edge, reducing the chance of flare-ups and spot fires. Containment on the fire has increased to 15%.

The north end of the fire is burning in the Black Canyon Wilderness, with rugged terrain and limited access. The management of this part of the fire has been split into a separate branch to maintain a safe span of control for the fire organization. Hot shot crews are evaluating containment options in this area using light-on-the-land suppression tactics. They are camping in a remote “spike” camp to the west of the wilderness to reduce travel times to their work areas.

Suppression operations are being supervised by the Oregon Department of Forestry’s Incident Management Team 1, led by Incident Commander John Buckman. Plans are being implemented to transition the Corner Creek Fire management to Oregon Interagency Incident Management Team 2, led by Incident Commander Brett Fillis.

Information about the Corner Creek Fire is posted online at: www.centralorfireinfo.blogspot.com


Fire Restrictions Begin in Central Oregon This Week


Central Oregon – Given the continued trend of hot and dry conditions, and fire suppression resources already responding to numerous wildfires around Central Oregon, the Prineville District Bureau of Land Management, the Deschutes National Forest and the Ochoco National Forest, including the Crooked River National Grassland, are implementing campfire restrictions, and further restricting industrial activity, this week.

Effective 12:01 a.m. on Friday, July 10, campfires, warming fires and cooking fires, including charcoal fires, portable propane campfires, biomass or particle wood-burning stoves, and wood pellet grills or smokers, are prohibited on Forest Service and BLM lands, except in established fire rings at designated campgrounds.

Wilderness: These campfire restrictions apply to all wildernesses on Forest Service and BLM lands. Please note that biomass or particle wood-burning stoves are not allowed in wilderness this year due to the severity of fuel conditions.

At the following campgrounds, campfires are still permitted within established fire rings:

Crescent Ranger District: Contorta Flat, Contorta Point, Crescent Lake, Princess Creek, Simax Group, Spring, Sunset Cove, Trapper Creek, Whitefish Horse Camp, Windy Group Site, Industrial Mushroom Camp (Little Odell Butte)

Bend-Ft. Rock Ranger District: Crane Prairie, Cultus Lake, Elk Lake, Fall River, Fall River Guard Station, Gull Point, Lava Lake, Little Cultus Lake, Little Fawn, Little Fawn Group, Little Lava Lake, Mallard Marsh, North Twin, Point, Quinn Meadow Horse Camp, Quinn River, Rock Creek, Sheep Bridge, South, South Twin, West South, Big River Group, Bull Bend, Wyeth, Cinder Hill, East Lake, Little Crater, Newberry, Ogden Group, Paulina Lake, Prairie

Sisters Ranger District: Allen Springs, Allingham, Blue Bay, Camp Sherman, Candle Creek, Cold Spring, Driftwood, Gorge, Graham Corral, Indian Ford, Jack Creek, Link Creek, Lower Bridge, Lower Canyon Creek, Perry South, Pine Rest, Pioneer Ford, Riverside, Scout Lake, Sheep Spring, Smiling River, South Shore, Suttle Lake, Three Creeks Lake, Three Creeks Meadow, Three Creeks Horse Camp, Whispering Pine

Paulina Ranger District: Sugar Creek, Wolf Creek

Lookout Mtn. Ranger District: Antelope Flat Reservoir, Deep Creek, Ochoco Divide, Ochoco Forest, Walton Lake and Wildcat

Crooked River National Grassland: Skull Hollow and Haystack Reservoir

Prineville BLM: Big Bend, Castle Rock, Still Water, Lone Pine, Palisades, Chimney Rock, Cobble Rock, Post Pile, and Poison Butte

In addition to campfire restrictions, smoking is restricted to an enclosed vehicle or building, in a designated campground, in boats on lakes and rivers, or while stopped in an area at least three feet in diameter that is clear of all flammable material.

Portable cooking stoves or lanterns using liquefied or bottled fuel may still be used in all areas.

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.

In addition to Public Use Restrictions, the Prineville BLM, Deschutes and Ochoco National Forests and Crooked River National Grassland will move to an Industrial Fire Precaution Level III (IFPL) as of 12:01 a.m. on Friday, July 10.

The IFPL applies to permitted and industrial operations, including woodcutting, on federal lands.

IFPL III is considered a “partial shutdown” and restricts the use of chainsaws to loading sites on tractor/skidder operations to between the hours of 8 p.m. to 1 p.m. Only cable yarding systems that use non-motorized systems are allowed. Industrial welding and mechanized loading operations are also restricted to the hours of 8 p.m. to 1 p.m.

Industrial and permitted operations may request a waiver from the Forest Service or BLM depending on land ownership at the activity location. It is the responsibility of all operators to know and follow the requirements of the current fire precaution level.

More information about both IFPL and Public Use Restrictions can be found at the Deschutes National Forest website here.

Public use restrictions are not put in place to ruin camping experiences. Officials carefully consider the current fire situation, fuel moisture and predicted weather before making the decision to implement fire restrictions.

Land managers will continue to monitor conditions and will rescind these restrictions as soon as it is safe to do so; however, restrictions may also increase if fire danger escalates.

Every year lightning-caused fires place a heavy demand on our firefighting resources, and put our wildlands, our firefighters, and our communities at risk. Fires caused through carelessness or negligence only increase the threat to life and livelihood, and place an even greater burden on already busy firefighters.

Every fire that’s prevented protects our communities and helps our firefighters remain available, rested, and safe.

About the BLM:  The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land, the most of any Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM's mission is to manage and conserve the public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations under our mandate of multiple-use and sustained yield. In Fiscal Year 2014, the BLM generated $5.2 billion in receipts from public lands.

The mission of the USDA Forest Service is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of the Nation’s forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations. The Agency manages 193 million acres of public land, provides assistance to State and private landowners, and maintains the largest forestry research organization in the world. The USDA is an equal opportunity employer.


Remembering Storm King

14 Firefighters Were Killed on Storm King Mountain 7/6/1994 including:
9 Prineville Hotshots, 1 Missoula smokejumper, 2 McCall smokejumper, 2 helitack crew members, 

Photo of the Prineville Interagency Hotshot Crew before they left Oregon for the fire in Colorado

7/6/94 14 Fallen Firefighters, South Canyon Fire on Storm King Mountain - Never Forgotten.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

7/5/15 Corner Creek/Sugarloaf Fire Update

Please note: unless conditions significantly change, this will be the only post for these fires this afternoon. Final evaluation of the infrared flight puts acreage at 26,000.                                                                                                                             
Oregon Department of Forestry
Incident Management Team 1
John Buckman, Incident Commander
Fire Information: (541) 987-2348
A minor change in the weather has made a significant difference for firefighters working to contain the 26,000-acre Corner Creek Fire, located 11 miles south of Dayville on the Ochoco National Forest. It has also helped to have assembled a sizeable fire suppression workforce supported by plenty of hardware.
Today, seven helicopters are poised to haul water buckets or sling equipment to firefighters in even the most remote portions of the fire. Air tankers are also available, if needed. Eight bulldozers and 28 20-person crews, including eight hotshot crews, are distributed along the south and west flanks of the Corner Creek Fire to construct containment line and respond to spot fires, should they occur. Thirty-five wildland fire engines patrol the South Fork John Day River road and other roads inside and outside of the burned area to extinguish hot spots near the fire’s edge.
And due to the slightly cooler, moister air, firefighters have spent more time lately on strengthening containment lines instead of chasing spot fires.
The average daytime temperature has dropped from 100-plus degrees to the mid-90s, and the humidity has climbed from single-digits into the teens. Overnight the humidity rises to nearly 50 percent. While this may seem insignificant for most people, this has been a dramatic change for firefighters toiling night and day to keep the fire from crossing containment lines. Lower temperatures and higher humidity means fire behavior is less intense.
This is a major change from last week. For several days in a row, the Corner Creek Fire slipped out of control and surged south across forests and rangeland, sometimes burning thousands of acres in a few hours.
Now, fire crews are making a bare-earth fireline around the southern-most three-fourths of the Corner Creek Fire, protecting valuable forestland, rangeland and sage grouse habitat from wildfire. The northern quarter of the fire, in the Black Canyon Wilderness, is being treated more tenderly by hotshot crews trained to slow the fire’s advance with light-on-the-land suppression tactics.
While the fire is only 10 percent contained, its chances for escape, particularly toward private lands and areas of sage grouse habitat, reduce hour-by-hour as containment lines grow ever longer. Final containment of this incident will take a significant amount of time and additional work.
Suppression operations are being supervised by the Oregon Department of Forestry’s Incident Management Team 1, led by Incident Commander John Buckman.

Niagara Fire uncontained along Hwy 22 near Detroit

July 5, 2015
Contact: Rod Nichols
503-508-0574, rod.l.nichols@oregon.gov

Firefighters continue to battle the 70-acre Niagara Fire in the Santiam Unit of Oregon Department of Forestry’s North Cascade District. Reported July 4 about noon, the fire is burning near Highway 22 in the vicinity of the Big Cliff Dam. ODF is being assisted by the U.S. Forest Service as well as local rural fire departments.

Approx. 100 personnel are fighting the fire today. ODF has increased the air attack and will have five helicopters dropping water today, along with large and small air tankers delivering fire retardant. Several private contract hand crews are on scene, for a total of 100 personnel fighting the fire.

The Niagara Fire is uncontained at present. The fire is burning on steep terrain in heavy timber. Hot, dry conditions persist in the area, which will challenge firefighters as they work to contain the blaze. Cause is under investigation.

Highway 22 remains open. Traffic is expected to be heavy today, with travelers returning from the Fourth of July holiday weekend, and firefighting equipment also moving along the major travel route.