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Thursday, September 18, 2014

9/18/2014 Freezeout Ridge Fire Update

A map of the trail closures will be available in tomorrow's update.
Pacific Northwest Region – Wallowa-Whitman National Forest
1550 Dewey Ave. Baker City, OR   97814,
Contact: Jodi Kramer 541-523-1246; 541-519-4623                                September 18, 2014

Freezeout Ridge Fire Update

Public Meeting:  Friday, September 19, 2014 – 6:30 (MDT) at
Salmon River High School, 711 Aces Place in Riggins, Idaho
Fire Information: Jodi Kramer 541-523-1246 or 541-519-4623; LaDawn Saxton 208-634-6566; Kathy Arnoldus 541-786-3694; Darcy Weseman 541-523-1302
Twitter: @WallowaWhitman
Members of the public interested in receiving fire information updates are asked to send an Email request to

Date Started:  09/05/14
Estimated Acreage:  3,199 acres
Location:  Hells Canyon National Recreation Area, Hells Canyon Wilderness in Idaho, on Freezeout Ridge, approximately ½ mile west of Horse Heaven Cabin, and approximately 11 miles southwest of Riggins, Idaho.
Management Strategy:  Monitor/Contain                                          Cause:  Lightning
Containment:  0%                                                                       
Terrain: Steep, rugged, inaccessible terrain, burning in timber and grass
Fire Activity:  Very Active
Resources Assigned:  Type 3 Incident Commander with seven fighters; 3 - Type 1 helicopters, 1 - Type 3 helicopter.
Weather:  Hot, dry, and windy conditions with no predicted precipitation expected over the next few days
Closures: The following Trail Closures are in effect for public and firefighter safety (look for map in tomorrow's update):
·         Trail #113:  Closed from Junction with Trail #62 (#625) southwest to Junction with Trail #192/#191
·         Trail #101 (#101A):  Closed from Junction with Trail #61 south to Junction with Trail #214 and #124
·         Trail #61:  Closed from Junction with Trail #101 east to Junction with Trail #55.
·         Trail #62 (#625):  Closed from Junction with Trail #101 East to Junction with trail #113.
·         Trail #192: Closed from Junction with Trail #189 at Stevens Saddle north to Junction with Trail #194/191/113.
·         Trail  #194 (#113):  Closed from Junction with Trail #214 east to Junction with Trail #191 (#113)
·         Trail #191: Closed from HCNRA Wilderness Boundary by Holbrook Saddle to Junction with Trail #113/192.
·         Trail # 214: Closed from Junction with Trail #101 south to Junction with Trail #218 at Purgatory Saddle.
·         Trail # 216:  Closed from Junction with Trail #214 west to Junction with Trail #215.
·         Trail #189:  Closed from Junction with Trail #214 east to Junction with Trial #191
·         Trail # 321:  Closed from Junction with Trail #189 to Ruth Lake.
·         Trail #124:  Closed from Junction with Trail #69 south to Junction with Trail # 214
·         Trail #114:  Closed from Junction with Trail 112 southeast to Junction with Trail # 214

Area Closures may be necessary, as well, so please continue to check Inciweb for current information at: public use restrictions apply in the Idaho side of the Hells Canyon National Recreation Area.
Resources/Structures Threatened:   Horse Heaven Historical Cabin and Jackley Lookout
Current Status:  Fire received a small amount of precipitation last night. The most active part of the fire continues to be the northeast corner. Fire is also burning in heavy fuels in the Horse Heaven Lake area.  Suppression efforts with helicopters, aimed at preventing the fire from spreading through old burn scars further to the north of Horse Heaven Lake and east, south of Mill Creek, and southwest of Dog Creek will be a focus again today.  The fire did continue to back down canyon along Anchor Creek toward Granite Creek, where helicopters were also used to slow fire spread. 

9/18/2014 OR/WA Large Fires to Date

9/18/2014 Deception Complex Fire Update

Yesterday, the Deception Creek Fire stayed within established control lines and continued to burn islands of unburned vegetation. This has produced periods of heavy smoke in the nearby communities of Oakridge and Westfir and dispersed smoke elsewhere depending on the transport winds at the time. An infrared flight over the fire area has been used on previous nights to determine the hot spots or heat signatures within the fireline. The burned acres have been increasing to reflect the additional areas burned. Todays estimate of acres burned has not increased because a the infrared imaging could not penetrate a heavy cloud cover over the fire last night.
This morning, light rain started to fall in Oakridge and over the fire. Predictions today are for continued sporadic showers dropping 0.1 to 0.2 inches of rain.
The Deception Creek Fire continues to be managed under a full suppression strategy which is designed to keep the fire size as small as possible while maintaining public and firefighter safety, and protecting natural resources.
No helicopters were utilized yesterday to drop water on the fire, due to minimal fire activity. Some additional heavy equipment will be used today to clean up cut vegetation from fire line construction efforts. Three to four large wood chippers will be used on recently cleared roads along the eastern perimeter of the fire. A wood grinder, capable of shredding large diameter material will also be used.
The 600 firefighters, 4 helicopters, 19 engines, 2 dozers, and 11 water tenders assigned to the Deception Complex are poised to respond if the fire escapes any containment line.
Air quality over the communities of Westfir and Oakridge is expected to be in the low to moderate range again today. For additional air quality information see the Lane Regional Air Protection Agency website at or
The closure order placed over the Staley Fire has been terminated by the Willamette National Forest and all roads, trails and area previously closed are now open for public use. Other public use restrictions, area, road and trail closures can be viewed at:
Willamette National Forest - or
Umpqua National Forest -
Fire Summary
Size: 5,960 acres
Containment: 80%
Personnel: 600
Location: 2 miles west of Oakridge, OR
Cause: lightning
Road Closures: Patterson Mountain Road and Forest Roads 2102, 5840, 5847, & 5850.
Trail Closures: Deception Trail #3466 and Lawler Trail #3473 are closed.

9/18/2014 36 Pit Fire Information

Excellent progress continues to be made by firefighters to contain the 36 Pit Fire. The northwestern portion of the fire which is closest to any homes or structures is becoming more secure. The northwestern and northern flanks of the fire are nearly completely lined. Firefighters are mopping up and putting out hot spots adjacent to the firelines, making the lines more secure. Last night, crews continued to mop up hot spots and secure the area of the fire closest to the Silver Fox RV Park. Yesterday, residents of the RV Park were escorted by Estacada Fire District and the Oregon State Fire Marshal’s IMT Blue Team personnel allowing residents to obtain necessities from their homes.
The fire is burning in extremely steep terrain presenting crews with hazards such as rolling debris. However, elite hot shot crews are building hand line at the fire’s southern perimeter from the ridge tops to the highway and Clackamas River. Today, crews also plan to build hand line directly adjacent to the southern perimeter of the fire located south of Highway 224. In addition, contingency containment lines are being “prepped” along roads located near the southern perimeter of the fire. “Prepping” of these roads consists of removing smaller understory trees and brush resulting in the roads becoming more defensible should the fire approach these roads.
Fire managers are evaluating whether the South Fork of the Clackamas River would serve as a good barrier to the fire. However, contingency plans are being developed to contain the fire should the fire move west of the South Fork. The fire has not moved appreciably in any direction since its initial spread last Sunday and Monday.
Due to the decreased threat to structures, the Oregon Fire Marshal Blue Team will be demobilizing at end of today’s shift. The Unified Command Team has been greatly appreciative of the team’s contribution to the suppression of this fire.
Weather conditions continue to assist firefighters in their efforts to suppress the fire. Cooler temperatures, light winds, and high humidity including some measureable rain are predicted through tomorrow. Fire managers intend to take advantage of the favorable weather to suppress the fire before the expected warm and dry weather on Saturday.
Local resource advisors have also been an integral component of the fire suppression team. Resource Advisors collaborate with fire managers to fight fire aggressively while protecting resources such as fisheries, cultural resources and wilderness values. If the fire moves into a congressionally designated wilderness area, minimum impact suppression tactics (MIST) will be implemented.
The public is urged to be aware of increased fire related traffic on local roads and to drive defensively. For information related to evacuations, please go to: or call 503-655-8224. Information related to smoke can be found at: For more information, please use the contact information listed above.

9/18/2014 36 Pit Fire Infrared Map

9/18/2014 NWCC Morning Brief

NWCC Morning Brief: Thursday, September 18, 2014

National Preparedness Level: 2
For the National Incident Management Situation Report (IMSR), see:

Summary: In the Northwest (last 24 hrs), 5 lightning strikes occurred in Southeastern Oregon. Widespread rain occurred along the west side of the geographic area.  One new team deployment; IMT2. OR Team 3 (D. Johnson, Keith) is mobilizing to the South Steens Complex.

National Fire Activity Initial attack activity: Light (57 new fires)
New large fires: *1
Large fires contained: 1
Uncontained large fires: *14
Area Command Teams committed: 0
NIMOs committed: 0
Type 1 IMTs committed: 3
Type 2 IMTs committed: 5
*Uncontained large fires include only fires being managed under a full suppression strategy.

Northwest Preparedness Levels: Today: 
33-Day: 3, 10-Day: 2, 30-Day: 1

Northwest Fire Activity
New fires and acres (Last 24 hrs)
: 7 fires for 25 acres (
8,318 acres growth on existing large fires*)
OR: 4 fires for 25 acres
WA: 3 fires for 0 acres
*[acreage reductions not included]

Northwest Large Fires
Uncontained Large Fires: *6 (OR:5, WA:1)
*[complexes tallied as 1 fire]

IMTs Committed in NW
NIMO Teams committed: 0
Type 1 IMTs committed: 0
Type 2 IMTs committed: 4

Incidents not Previously-Reported: 0

Incidents Previously-Reported: 7

36 Pit OR-MHF-000728. IMT2. WA Team 2 (Rabe/Holloway) / OSFM Blue Team (Magers). 10 mi SE of Estacada, OR. Start 9/13. Full Suppression. Timber. Cause human. 4,000 acres (+412 ac.). 30% containment. Minimal fire behavior. Area and road closures. Steep slopes. Values at risk; commercial and residential properties. Level 1 and 2 evacuations. Road and area closures in effect. Oregon State Conflagration Declared. Unified command with the Oregon State Fire Marshal’s office.

Onion Mountain OR-RSF-001146. IMT2. OR Team 1 (Williams). 15 mi W of Grants Pass, OR. Start 9/13. Full Suppression. Timber. Cause unknown. 3,800 acres (+120 ac.). 8% containment. Precipitation received, moderating fire behavior. Values at risk; residences, T&E species, lookout and communication sites. Area closure in effect. In Unified Command with the Oregon Department of Forestry.

Deception Complex OR-WIF-140274. IMT2. OR Team 4 (Watts). 2 mi W of Oakridge, OR. Start 8/13. Full Suppression. Timber. Cause lightning. 5,960 acres (+86 ac.). 80% containment. Interior creeping and smoldering. Fire growth in interior islands. Steep, rocky terrain.

South Steens Complex OR-BUD-004283. Includes Bone Creek Basin and Blitzen Crossing fires. IMT2. OR Team 3 (D. Johnson/Keith) is mobilizing to the complex. In-brief scheduled for 9/18 at 1000 hours.
Bone Creek Basin OR-BUD-004276. ICT3. 45 mi SW of Burns Junction, OR. Start 9/16. Full Suppression. Grass and Sage. Cause Lightning. 9,000 acres (+6,500 ac.). 0% containment. Active fire behavior. Structures threatened.
Blitzen Crossing OR-BUD-004282. ICT3. 50 mi W of Burns Junction, OR. Start 9/16. Full Suppression. Grass and Sage. Cause Lightning. 3,200 acres (+1,200 ac.). 0% containment. Structures threatened. Campers evacuated. Active fire behavior. Complex tallied as 1 fire in uncontained large fires count.

790 Fire OR-RSF-140790. IMT3 (Pingle). 30 mi NE of Medford, OR. Start 7/31. Full Suppression. Timber. Cause lightning. 3,023 acres (+0 ac.). 90% containment. Holding and mop up continues. Internal creeping and smoldering. Values at risk; T&E species habitat, timberlands, recreation and wilderness values. Area closures in effect.

Fork Peak WA-PCS-000105. IMT3 (Schmidt). 26 mi SW of Centralia, WA. Start 9/11. Full Suppression. Timber. Cause unknown. 117 acres (+0 ac.). 70% containment. 221 personnel on scene. Smoldering and creeping. Mop-up ongoing.

Glass Butte OR-BUD-004277. ICT3. 30 mi W Hines, OR. Start 9/16. Full Suppression. Cause Human. 600 acres (+0 ac.). 100% Dozer lined. The incident has been turned over to the Squaw Butte Experiment Station. Not tallied in uncontained large fires count. Final report unless conditions change.

Lists fires (of any size) that singly utilize Monitor, Confine, or Point Zone Protection suppression strategies, or use Multiple Suppression Strategies (which may also include a Full Suppression component).

Other Fires of Interest: 2

Founders Day OR-CLP-140625. ICT4. (Winkler). 7 mi NE of Crater Lake, OR. Start 8/25. Monitor. Timber. Cause Lightning. 195 acres. (+7 ac.). 0% containment. Active perimeter spread with torching and short range spotting. Fire is being managed for resource benefit. See “NW Fires Utilizing Monitor, Confine, Point Zone Protection Strategies (YTD)” link for future updates.

Freezeout Ridge OR-WWF-001151. IMT3 (Johnson). 29 mi E of Joseph, OR. Start 9/5. Timber. Cause unknown. Multiple Suppression Strategies (Monitor 75% / Confine 25%).  2,780 acres (+1,582 ac.). 0% containment. Active fire behavior with group torching and short range spotting.

Northwest RX Burning

Completed (Last 24 hrs): 1 fire for 4,388 acres
OR: 1 fire for 4,388 acres (OR-BUD)  
WA: 0 fires for 0 acres 
Planned (Next 24 hrs): 2 fires for 53 acres 

OR: 1 fire for 20 acres (OR-UMF)
WA: 1 fire for 33 acres (WA-YAA)

Northwest Weather Highlights / Fire Potential:

An upper trough will move through the region over the next 24 hours. It is expected to give some showers as well as a few wet variety thunderstorms to various parts of the region. A wetting rain is also possible in areas west of the cascades with best chances being in SW Oregon and NW Washington. A short-lived drier offshore flow will redevelop by the weekend.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

9/17/2014 South Steens Complex

September 15th's subtle evening thunderstorm left a clear presence Tuesday with new wildfire activity and smoke-filled skies. Five new wildfires erupted in a cluster in the southernmost area of Steens Mountain, with the two largest scorching over 2,000 acres each. The Bone Creek Basin fire is due west of Alvord Lake and the Blitzen fire is 5 miles southwest of South Steens campground.

Erratic, gusty winds and severely dry fuel conditions proved too much for firefighters from the Burns Interagency Fire Zone this afternoon. The Bone Creek Basin fire on the east side of Steens Mountain pushed significantly to the north and east during the heat of the day, forcing suppression resources away from the fire line and into direct structure protection around properties near the sparse settlement of Andrews. At last report, no structures were lost or damaged. The East Steens Road is closed from Andrews south to Fields, however, travelers are encouraged to avoid use on the entire East Steens Road until further notice. The Harney County Sheriff’s office is on scene supporting traffic control as needed.

The Blitzen fire also showed significant activity today, crossing the Steens Mountain Loop Road to the north and east near the Weaver Place. South Steens Campground and Riddle Brothers Ranch were vacated yesterday and remain closed. Visitors are discouraged from using the southern portion of the Steens Mountain Loop Road, from its intersection at Hwy 205 to the "turkey foot" junction near the East Rim Overlook until further notice.

A Type 2 Incident Management Team from Central Oregon will assume control of the Blitzen and Bone Creek Basin fires on Thursday, September 18. These incidents will be grouped by name into the “South Steens Complex.” Incident Base Camp will be on private property on the east side of Steens Mountain and will remain in place until conditions improve.

The Glass Butte fire - a prescribed burn on the Northern Great Basin Experimental Range west of Burns that escaped control efforts – was less active today, though quite a bit of smoke remains in the vicinity.

Fire danger is VERY HIGH and public use restrictions are in effect across Harney County. The Industrial Fire Precaution Level is a level three, which prohibits all personal woodcutting on public land. Use extreme caution when traveling through and recreating in the outdoors this time of year. To report a wildfire, call 541-573-1000. For fire information, call 541-573-4519.

9/17/2014 36 Pit Fire Update

September 17, 2014 – 1:00 PM
INFO PHONE: 360-280-4352 or 503-630-1711
Fire Information Office Hours: 8:00 am -8:00 pm

Excellent progress to contain the 36 Pit Fire occurred yesterday along the northern and western perimeters of the fire. Dozer and hand lines were constructed to contain portions of the fire’s northern perimeter. Natural features and Road 4610 are also being used to contain the fire on the northern flank. The highest priority is to continue to hold and contain the western and northern portions of the fire since these locations are closest to any structures, industrial forest land, and other resource values.

Yesterday, burn out operations went well in the vicinity of the Silver Fox RV Park creating a smoke plume that was visible to many residents of the Estacada area. Yesterday afternoon and through part of last night’s shift, fire crews burned out fuel located between Road 4610 and Highway 224 near the Silver Fox RV Park. However, last night, increased humidity caused burn out operations to be suspended. Today, as temperatures increase and relative humidities decrease, firefighters intend to complete the burn out near the Silver Fox RV Park. Burn out will continue to happen at the north and the northwest portions of the fire. Burn out of fuels is a fire suppression tactic used to reinforce fire lines and to consume fuels adjacent to structures. Residents of the Estacada area may see visible smoke as burn out operations proceed.

Along the southern perimeter of the fire, firefighters continue to identify roads and other locations where they can safely contain the fire. However, there may be opportunities to build containment directly adjacent to the fire dependent on favorable weather conditions. Firefighters are contending with very steep terrain and are evaluating locations where fire line can be safely constructed.
A Unified Command led by Incident Commander Russ Lane of the Oregon State Department of Forestry, Bruce Holloway of Washington Incident Management Team 2, and Scott Magers of the Oregon State Fire Marshal Blue Team are leading the fire suppression effort. The local Estacada fire District 69 has been heavily involved in the fire suppression efforts. Structure protection task forces and Blue Team management personnel mobilized under the Oregon State Conflagration Act continue to work on the north and west side of the fire, assisting with protection and mop up operations around those affected homes, including the Silver Fox RV Park. Structure protection resource needs will continue to be evaluated throughout today and will likely begin to demobilize over the next couple of days as the threat to those structures lessen.

The public is urged to be aware of increased fire related traffic on local roads, and to drive safely. For information related to evacuations instituted by the Clackamas County Sheriff, please go to their web site at: or call 503-655-8224.
The public may also obtain information on smoke by going to:

9/17/2014 36 Pit Fire Update

 The 36 Pit Fire Information Center has an additional phone number which the public can use to obtain information about the 36 Pit Fire.

The new phone number is: 503-630-1711.

People may also continue to use 360-280-4352.

From the Clackamas County  facebook page:

Weds. Sept. 17 11:15 a.m. UPDATE:
36 Pit fire update: All Level 3 evacuation areas downgraded to Level 2 -- EXCEPT Silver Fox RV Park, which remains Level 3

Following this morning's 10 a.m. meeting with fire personnel managing the response to the 36 Pit Fire, evacuation levels in nearby areas are being changed:

All Level-3 "immediate evacuation" recommendations are being downgraded to Level 2 ("Prepare for possible evacuation") -- EXCEPT for the Silver Fox RV Park, which remains at Level 3.

This means the evacuation level at SE Fall Creek Rd and Michaels Rd near the 36 Pit Fire is now Level 2.

A PDF on evacuation levels can be found here:,%20Set,%20Go!%20Evacuation%20Levels.pdf

This information is also pasted below.

For the latest information on the 36 Pit Fire from InciWeb:

And from Clackamas County Emergency Management:

Oregon Evacuation Levels: 1, 2, 3 = Ready, Set, Go
A Level 1 Evacuation means "BE READY" for potential evacuation.
Residents should be aware of the danger that exists in their area, monitor emergency services websites and local media outlets for information. This is the time for preparation and precautionary movement of persons with special needs, mobile property and (under certain circumstances) pets and livestock. If conditions worsen, emergency services personnel may contact you via an emergency notification system.
A Level 2 Evacuation means "BE SET" to evacuate.
YOU MUST PREPARE TO LEAVE AT A MOMENTS NOTICE This level indicates there is significant danger to your area, and residents should either voluntarily relocate to a shelter or with family/friends outside of the affected area, or if choosing to remain, to be ready to evacuate at a moment's notice. Residents MAY have time to gather necessary items, but doing so is at their own risk.
THIS MAY BE THE ONLY NOTICE THAT YOU RECEIVE Emergency services cannot guarantee that they will be able to notify you if conditions rapidly deteriorate. Area media services will be asked to broadcast periodic updates.
A Level 3 Evacuation means "GO" Evacuate NOW
LEAVE IMMEDIATELY! Danger to your area is current or imminent, and you should evacuate immediately. If you choose to ignore this advisement, you must understand that emergency services may not be available to assist you further. DO NOT delay leaving to gather any belongings or make efforts to protect your home.
(Also posted in our news-release feed: )

9/17/2014 Onion Mountain Fire Update

Fire Information Number: 

Fire Information E-Mail:

Fire Information Websites

Working from a secure anchor point on the southeast corner of the fire, crews and dozers made progress establishing and securing containment lines along the east flank.  Firefighters also began constructing direct and indirect lines along the southern and western flanks of the fire utilizing existing roads and a major ridge.

Helicopters dropped water and air tankers dropped retardant to assist firefighting efforts, but poor visibility due to smoky conditions limited the use of aircraft in some sections of the fire.  Lingering smoke may hinder air operations again today.

The fire grew about 600 acres to the north Tuesday.  An incoming low pressure system will bring cooler weather and showers are expected this afternoon and into Thursday.  High temperatures ranging from 70 to 80 degrees and minimum humidity around 35 to 40 percent are forecasted for today.

Fire personnel will take advantage of the weather by continuing to build containment lines as close to the fire’s edge as possible.  A structure protection group to assess home protection remains in place in the event the fire grows and threatens homes and businesses in the area.

A Level 1 Evacuation Notice, advising residents to be ready, remains in effect for residences in the Pickett Creek, Shan Creek, Riverbanks Road, and Taylor Creek Road areas.  Road, area and campground closures have been issued for public and firefighter safety. 

A public meeting will be held at Flemming Middle School,Thursday at 6:30 p.m. to provide information regarding the Onion Mountain Fire.  The school address is 6001 Monument Drive, Grants Pass, OR 97526. All interested persons are encouraged to attend.