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Thursday, July 2, 2015

7/2/2015 NW Wildland Fire Agencies Urge the Public

NORTHWEST WILDLAND FIRE AGENCIES URGE PUBLIC NOT TO FLY DRONES OVER OR NEAR WILDFIRES TO PREVENT ACCIDENTS AND DISRUPTION OF SUPPRESSION OPERATIONS

PORTLAND, OREGON – After members of the public flying drones disrupted wildfire operations in southern California twice recently, federal, state, and local wildfire managers in Oregon and Washington are urging the public not to fly Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), often referred to as “drones,” within or near wildfires to ensure firefighter safety and the effectiveness of suppression operations.
On Thursday, June 25th, airtanker operations were suspended on the Sterling Fire on the San Bernardino National Forest and on Wednesday, June 24th, airtanker operations were suspended on the Lake Fire on the San Bernardino National Forest, after drones flown by members of the public were detected in the fire areas.
“If a UAS is detected flying over or near a wildfire, we will stop airtankers from dropping fire retardant, helicopters from dropping water, and other aerial firefighting aircraft from performing wildfire suppression missions until we can confirm that the UAS has left the area and we are confident it won’t return,” said Steve Gage, U.S. Forest Service representative on the National Multi-Agency Coordinating Group (NMAC) at the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise, Idaho.  “Unfortunately, this could decrease the effectiveness of wildfire suppression operations, allowing wildfires to grow larger, and in some cases, unduly threaten lives and property, but firefighter and public safety are our top priorities in wildfire management.”
Aerial firefighting aircraft, such as airtankers and helicopters, fly at very low altitudes,
typically just a couple of hundred feet above the ground, the same as UAS flown by members of the public do, creating the potential for a mid-air collision that could seriously injure or kill aerial and/or ground firefighters.  In addition, a UAS flown by a member of the public that loses its communication link could fall from the sky, causing serious injuries or deaths of firefighters on the ground.

Temporary Flight Restrictions (TFRs) are typically put in place during wildfires that require aircraft, manned or unmanned, that are not involved in wildfire suppression operations to obtain permission from fire managers to enter specified airspace.  The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Department of the Interior, Washington Department of Natural Resources, Oregon Department of Forestry, and other wildland fire management agencies consider UAS, including those used by members of the public for hobby and recreation purposes, to be aircraft and therefore subject to TFRs.  Members of the public should not fly UAS over or near wildfires even if a TFR is not in place to prevent accidents and disruption of suppression operations.  Individuals who are determined to have interfered with wildfire suppression efforts may be subject to civil penalties and potentially criminal prosecution.
FAA guidance for members of the public flying UAS for hobby or recreation purposes is available online at http://www.faa.gov/uas/model_aircraft/
For more information or to set up an interview with the Regional Fire Aviation Director, please contact Jim Whittington, Public Information Officer with the BLM Oregon State Office & United States Forest Service Alaska and Pacific Northwest Regions, at 503-808-6414.  A Public Service Announcement can be found at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Aj0BJi9Hcg

7/2/15 8:15 am Paradise Fire Update

Paradise Fire Update 

July 2, 2015
For Immediate Release
360-797-5366

The warmest day of the week so far created more active fire conditions on the Paradise Fire on Wednesday. In addition to increased fire and smoke in the Paradise Creek drainage, a second area of active fire behavior showed up in the next drainage to the east. Both of these areas of fire activity are creeping up the flanks of Pelton Peak, and both created the most smoke seen in recent days. The Wildland Fire Modules on the ground utilized their recently delivered satellite communications unit to determine the location of a hot spot picked up by an overnight infrared flight. Air operations for the day consisted of shuttling one module out of the remote fire location and rotating a new module into the fire zone.

The hot and dry conditions are of concern to firefighters again today. Temperatures will be higher and relative humidity will be lower, resulting in more active fire behavior and additional smoke. Residents in the Forks area reported seeing more smoke on Wednesday, and that could happen again today. With multiple fires burning in the Pacific Northwest, including Alaska and British Columbia, it is often difficult to determine which fire is producing smoke in which areas. Residents with health conditions exacerbated by smoke should take precautions.

With the July 4th holiday weekend approaching, Olympic National Park officials would like to remind the public that there a ban on open fires in the park's wilderness backcountry, including all locations along the coast. Campfires are permitted only in established fire grates at established front country campgrounds. Camp stoves may still be used in the park's wilderness backcountry, but should be operated well away from flammable vegetation and forest litter. Because of the extreme conditions on the peninsula, Olympic National Forest has also implemented fire restrictions. Fireworks are illegal on federal and state lands. Check local regulations for other recreation areas. Olympic peninsula communities welcome visitors, and ask people to celebrate and recreate responsibly, keeping fire danger in mind.

Information on this fire is available on Inciweb at http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/4305/. For real time information, visit our Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Paradise-Fire/831205013596015.  For current information about visiting Olympic National Park, as well as information about the history and role of fire in the Olympic ecosystem, please visit the park's website at http://www.nps.gov/olym.

For a current perimeter map of the fire, click here Paradise Fire Map
For the latest progression map of the fire, click here Paradise Fire Progression Map

7/02/2015 NWCC Large Fire Brief

Morning Brief 

In the Northwest:
A few lightning strikes in SE Oregon. Initial attack activity was light. 2 new large fires, 21 Mile Grade & Ayers Gulch. Continued growth on the Corner Creek fire (+1,500 acres). Increased containment on most other large fires.

Preparedness Levels

Current:
Northwest3 (no change)
National3 (no change)
Northwest PL Forecast:
4
3
3
3-day
10-day
30-day

Northwest Fire Activity

Large Fire Summary
New large fires: 2
Large fires contained: 3
Uncontained large fires: 15 (OR: 8, WA: 7)
New Fires and Acres: 31 fires for 474 acres
(3,022 acres growth on existing large fires)
OR: 11 fires for 32 acres
WA: 20 fires for 442 acres

Northwest IMT Activity

Area Command Teams committed: 0
NIMOs committed: 1
Type 1 IMTs committed: 1
Type 2 IMTs committed: 2

National Fire Activity

Initial attack activity: Moderate (229 new fires)
New large incidents: 11

Large fires contained: 6
Uncontained large fires: 28

National IMT Activity

Area Command Teams committed: 0
NIMOs committed: 1
Type 1 IMTs committed: 2
Type 2 IMTs committed: 11

 


Current Incident Details

Incidents not Previously-Reported: 1
21 Mile Grade WA-COA-0098. IMT2. WA Team 5 (Leitch) ordered. 22 miles N of Keller, WA. Start 7/1. Timber. Full Suppression. Cause: Human. 200 acres. 0% containment.
Ayers Gulch WA-DNR-000443. 11 miles S of Clarkston, WA. Start 7/1. Grass/Brush. Full Suppression. Cause: Undetermined. 395 acres. 50% containment.
Incidents Previously-Reported: 16
0268 PRD Sugar Loaf OR-PRD-000268. IMT1. ODF Team 1 (Buckman). 9 miles N of Dayville, OR. Start 6/27. Full Suppression. Brush/grass/timber. Cause: unknown. 5, 057 acres (+225). 65% containment. Active fire behavior. Structures threatened. One outbuilding destroyed. IMT supporting Blue Basin, Schoolhouse Gulch and Corner Creek fires.
Corner Creek OR-OCF-000297. IMT1. ODF Team 1 (Buckman). 11 miles S of Dayville OR. Start 6/29. Full Suppression. Brush/grass/timber. Cause: lightning. 7,500 acres (+1,500). 0% Containment. Extreme fire behavior. Improvements and sage-grouse habitat threatened.
Sleepy Hollow WA-WFS-000518. IMT2. WA Team 2 (Rabe). 1 mile W of Wenatchee, WA. Start 6/28. Full Suppression. Grass/brush. Cause: unknown. Minimal fire behavior. 2,950 acres (+0). 50% containment. Multiple structures lost. IMT supporting the Monument fire and IA.
Bunker Hill Complex OR-UPF-201556. IMT2 OR Team 2 (Fillis). 30 miles SE of Oakridge, OR. Start 6/26. Full Suppression. Timber. Cause lightning. 388 acres (+68). 65% containment. Active fire behavior. Includes Bunker Hill fire and 6 Misc ABC fires totaling 20 acres.
Paradise WA-OLP-000005. NW NIMO (Hahnenberg). 13 mi NNE of Quinault, WA. Start 6/15. Confine. Timber. Cause: lightning. 1,060 acres (+35). 21% containment. Minimal fire activity with some backing and creeping.
0301 PR Blue Basin OR-PRD-000301. IMT1. ODF Team 1 (Buckman). 9 miles N of Dayville, OR. Start 6/29. Full Suppression. Brush/grass/timber. Cause: human. 317 acres. 95% containment. Minimal fire behavior.
Harper Complex (3 fires) OR-952S-01. IMT3 (Cook). 9 miles SW of John Day, OR. Start 6/28. Full Suppression. Brush/grass/timber. Cause: lightning. 442 acres. 100% containment.Minimal fire behavior.
Includes; Harper 321 acres (+0 ac.) 100% containment. Hog Creek 96 acres (+0 ac.) 100% ctn. Luce Creek 26 acres (+0 ac.) 100% ctn.
Monument Fire WA-WFS-000601. IMT4 (Fortier). 8 miles NE of Quincy, WA. Start 6/30. Full Suppression. Brush/Grass. Cause: unknown. 2,100 acres. 30% containment. Minimal fire behavior. WA Team 2 (Rabe) assisting with the fire.
Le­­­­slie Gulch OR-VAD-000062. ICT3 (DeLong). 45 miles S of Vale, OR. Start 6/28. Full Suppression. Grass/brush. Cause: lightning. 8,688 acres (-312). 70% containment. Active fire behavior within planned perimeter. Sage-grouse habitat burned.
Jaca Reservior OR-VAD-000059. ICT3 (Spelman). 87 miles S of Vale, OR. Start 6/28. Full Suppression. Grass/brush. Cause: lightning. 13,460 acres (-586). 100% containment. Minimal fire behavior. Sage-grouse habitat burned.
SE Benton Complex WA-WFS-15-2435. IMT3. 15 miles SE of Kenniwick, WA. Start 6/27. Full Suppression. Grass. Cause: unknown. 2,400 acres (+0). 50% containment.  No new information.
Buckskin OR-RSF-000382. IMT3 (Edwards). 10 miles SE of Cave Junction, OR. Start 6/11. Full Suppression. Timber. Cause: lightning. 5,345 acres (+0). 60% containment. Minimal fire behavior. Area closures in effect.
Road 6 WA-WFS-000519. ICT3. 10 mi E of Brewster, WA. Start 6/29. Full Suppression. Grass. Cause: lightning. Smoldering. 3,500 acres (+1,500). 50% containment. No new information.
Jones Canyon OR-MAF-15118. ICT3 (Wagner). 20 mi SW of Ukiah, OR. Start 6/28. Full Suppression. Grass/brush. Cause: lightning. 840 acres (+592). 40% containment. Moderate fire behavior.
Candy Kid OR-BUD-005072. ICT3 (Peasley). 8 mi N of Drewsy, OR. Start 6/29. Full Suppression. Grass/brush. Cause: lightning. Minimal fire behavior. 462 acres (+0). 70% containment. Within sage-grouse habitat.
Saddle Lakes WA-MCR-000283. ICT3 (Reiner). 25 mi SW of Othello, WA. Start 6/28. Full Suppression. Grass/brush. Cause: lightning. Moderate fire behavior. 14,357 acres (+0). 100% containment. Last report.

Northwest Fire Potential Summary:

An upper ridge remains the dominant weather feature over the region today with a warm and dry airmass in place. Fire danger indices remain high with little relief in sight. General winds across the landscape remain light today but will pick up on Friday and add to the large fire potential.

National Incident Management Situation Report (IMSR): http://www.nifc.gov/nicc/sitreprt.pdf

Other GACC Morning Reports


Wednesday, July 1, 2015

07/01/2015 Sugarloaf Fire AM Update

Oregon Department of Forestry
Incident Management Team 1                                                                                                        
John Buckman, Incident Commander                                                       
                                                                                                                                 
Contact: Brian Ballou, Information Officer, (541) 621-4156                                                           
FIRE AT A GLANCE
DAY SHIFT
4,802 acres (Sugarloaf)
40 percent contained
Resources:
13 crews
18 engines
2 bulldozers
3 water tenders
350 personnel

Today's plans on the 4,802-acre Sugarloaf Fire include completing more of the fire containment lines on the north and southeast edges of the fire and continuing the mop-up. Hoses have been set up in the hotter northeastern part of the fire to help extinguish the heavier fuels. Other fire resources will be patrolling to monitor burned areas for signs of hot spots.  Some residual fuels within the fire area will continue to burn, reducing the chances for the fire to flare up later.
Yesterday this fire team also assumed responsibility for the Schoolhouse Gulch Fire (#296). It is about 2 miles east of Dayville, roughly 100 acres in size, and has been contained and mopped up.
Later today, this fire team will assume suppression responsibility for the Corner Creek Fire (#297). It is burning on the west side of the South Fork John Day River, about 11 miles south of Dayville. This fire covers about 6,000 acres, on the Ochoco National Forest, Bureau of Land Management Prineville District, and private lands. Fire suppression crews from the Sugarloaf Fire were assigned to the Corner Creek Fire today.
The team is also managing an additional incident, the 317-acre Blue Basin Fire (Incident #301). This fire burned on the west side of and adjacent to Sugarloaf. Little heat remains in this fire and firefighters will continue patrolling and monitoring this area. Part of this fire is in the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument.
The forecast for the rest of the week is for continuing hot weather with low humidity. Winds are a concern, especially in the evenings when “sundowner” winds have been gusting to 20 mph.
Information about the Sugarloaf Fire is posted online at www.centralorfireinfo.blogspot.com

07/01/2015 Most Wildfires Can be Prevented

MOST WILDFIRES CAN BE PREVENTED

PORTLAND - With the July 4th holiday approaching, the Pacific Northwest Wildfire Coordinating Group (PNWCG) would like to remind outdoor recreationists in Oregon and Washington to use care to prevent wildfires. Parts of the region have not had significant precipitation since mid-March, and conditions are very dry across many areas in both states. Wildfires can start and grow much more easily when conditions are dry.

Discharging fireworks or explosives, including exploding targets, is prohibited. Fireworks can cause costly and dangerous wildfires, especially when conditions are hot and dry and vegetation is receptive to sparks. Fireworks and exploding targets are prohibited at campgrounds and elsewhere on public lands. Recreationists should also check on local fire restrictions before heading out, and consider whether a campfire is necessary.

In 2014, 1,293,685 acres burned in wildfire. Almost half of the 4,572 fires reported in Washington and Oregon were human caused and could have been prevented. Firefighters and land managers need everyone’s help to prevent wildfires this holiday and through the summer.

The National Weather Service Climate Prediction Center seasonal drought outlook shows drought conditions in all of Oregon and nearly all of Washington will likely persist and increase through September, creating conditions that will lead to larger and longer wildfires once they start. While there is nothing we can do to prevent lightning-caused fires, extra caution to prevent accidental human-caused fire starts will be especially important all summer long.

“Wildland agencies work together year round to protect and maintain healthy and fire resilient landscapes, support fire adapted communities and coordinate safe and efficient wildfire response,” said PNWCG Chair David Summer. “We all have a role to play in protecting our beautiful public lands here in the Pacific Northwest. Please take care to avoid starting a wildfire when recreating this season. Protect what you love.”

Follow the Northwest Coordination Center (NWCC) on Twitter: @nwccinfo. Visit the NWCC website for a wealth of fire information: http://gacc.nifc.gov/nwcc/ .  For more information on Pacific Northwest Fire Adapted Communities, please visit: http://pnwfac.weebly.com/ or follow on Twitter @PNWFAC. Details for individual fires can be found on Inciweb:www.inciweb.nwcg.gov

7/1/2015 9 am Paradise Fire Update

Paradise Fire Update 

July 1, 2015
For Immediate Release
360-797-5366

The Paradise Fire continues to creep slowly up the slope of 5301 foot (1616m) Pelton Peak in Olympic National Park. The fire began at around the 700 foot elevation level and the fire growth has now reached the 3000 foot level. The fire is now burning on both sides of Paradise Creek through heavy fuels on the forest floor. Both the eastern and western edges of the fire are reported to be quiet, and the crews are successfully keeping it north of the Queets River. Fire and Park staff briefed U.S. Rep. Derek Kilmer and several local elected officials yesterday afternoon.

Today is a transition day for one of the fire use module crews fighting the fire in the Queets River drainage. One crew will depart for some well-deserved time off and be replaced by a fresh team of firefighters. "The fire use modules are highly valuable to managing fires in remote settings and difficult places," observed Incident Commander Bill Hahnenberg. "They help us keep the fire going where we want it to, taking tactical actions when needed."

With the July 4th holiday weekend approaching, Olympic National Park officials would like to remind the public that there a ban on open fires in the park's wilderness backcountry, including all locations along the coast. Campfires are permitted only in established fire grates at established front country campgrounds. Camp stoves may still be used in the park's wilderness backcountry, but should be operated well away from flammable vegetation and forest litter. Because of the extreme conditions on the peninsula, Olympic National Forest has also implemented fire restrictions. Fireworks are illegal on federal and state lands. Check local regulations for other recreation areas. Olympic peninsula communities welcome visitors, and ask people to celebrate and recreate responsibly, keeping fire danger in mind.

Information on this fire is available on Inciweb at http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/4305/. For real time information, visit our Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Paradise-Fire/831205013596015.  For current information about visiting Olympic National Park, as well as information about the history and role of fire in the Olympic ecosystem, please visit the park's website at http://www.nps.gov/olym.

07/01/2015 NWCC Large Fire Brief

Morning Brief 

Date/Time Stamp: Wednesday, July 01, 2015


Activity Summary

In the Northwest:  
No lightning in the last 24 hours. Initial attack activity was light. Significant growth on the Corner Creek fire (+5,700 acres).



Preparedness Levels


Current:
Northwest3 (no change)
National3 (no change)
Northwest PL Forecast:
4
3
3
3-day
10-day
30-day


Northwest Fire Activity

Large Fire Summary
New large fires: 3
Large fires contained: 0
Uncontained large fires: 15 (OR: 10, WA: 5)
New Fires and Acres: 26 fires for 1,364 acres
( 12,745 acres growth on existing large fires)
OR: 17 fires for 1,362 acres
WA: 9 fires for 2 acres

Northwest IMT Activity

Area Command Teams committed: 0
NIMOs committed: 1
Type 1 IMTs committed: 1
Type 2 IMTs committed: 2

National Fire Activity

Initial attack activity: Light (180 new fires)
New large incidents: 9

Large fires contained: 4
Uncontained large fires: 32

National IMT Activity

Area Command Teams committed: 0
NIMOs committed: 1
Type 1 IMTs committed: 2
Type 2 IMTs committed: 11

 



Current Incident Details

Incidents not Previously-Reported: 3
0301 PR Blue Basin OR-PRD-000301, IMT1 ODF Team 1 (Buckman). 9 miles north of Dayville, OR. Start 6/29. Full Suppression. Brush/Grass/Timber. Human. 317 acres. 50% containment. Active fire behavior. Structures threatened. Buckman assumed management of this fire.
Harper Complex (three fires) OR-952S-01. IMT3 (Brock, Cook trainee). Near John Day. Start 6/28. Full Suppression. Brush/Grass/Timber. Lightning. 442 acres. 67% containment. Active fire behavior. Previously listed as the Harper.

Incidents Previously-Reported: 10
0268 PRD Sugar Loaf OR-PRD-000268. IMT1 ODF Team 1 (Buckman). 9 miles N of Dayville, OR. Start 6/27. Full Suppression. Brush/Grass/Timber. Cause Unknown. 4,802 acres (+190). 40% containment.  Moderate fire behavior. Structures threatened. One outbuilding destroyed.
Sleepy Hollow WA-WFS-000518. IMT2 WA Team 2 (Rabe). Wenatchee, WA. Start 6/28. Full Suppression. Grass/Brush. Minimal fire behavior. 2,950 acres (+0). 50% containment. Multiple structures lost.
Corner Creek OR-OCF-000297. IMT3 (Priest). 11 miles south of Dayville OR. Start 6/29. Full Suppression. Brush/grass/timber. Lightning. 6,000 acres (+5,700). 0% Containment. Extreme fire behavior. Previously Reported as OR-OCH-000297.
Leslie Gulch OR-VAD-000062. ICT3 (DeLong). 45 miles S of Vale, OR. Start 6/28. Full Suppression. Grass/Brush. Cause lightning. 9,000 acres (+5,000). 30% containment. Active fire behavior.
Jaca Reservior OR-VAD-000059. ICT3 (Thorstad). 87 miles S of Vale, OR. Start 6/28. Full Suppression. Grass/Brush. Cause lightning. 14,049 acres (-361). 70% containment. Moderate fire behavior.
SE Benton Complex WA-WFS-15-2435. IMT3. 15 miles SE of Kenniwick, WA. Start 6/27. Full Suppression. Grass. Cause unknown. 2,400 acres (+0). 50% containment.  No new information.
Saddle Lakes WA-MCR-000283. ICT3 (Reiner) 25 mi SW of Othello, WA. Start 6/28. Full Suppression. Grass/Brush. Moderate fire behavior. 14,357 14,437 acres (-80) 50% containment.
Paradise WA-OLP-000005. NW NIMO (Hahnenberg). 13 mi N/NE of Quinault, WA. Start 6/15. Confine. Timber. 1,025 acres (+0). 21% containment. Cause lightning. Minimal fire activity with some backing and creeping.
Bunker Hill Complex OR-UPF-201556. IMT2 OR Team 2 (Fillis). 30 miles SE of Oakridge, OR. Start 6/26. Full Suppression. Timber. Cause lightning. 320 acres (+42). 50% containment.  Moderate fire behavior. Includes Bunker Hill fire and 6 Misc ABC fires totaling 20 acres.
Buckskin OR-RSF-000382. IMT3. 10 miles SE of Cave Junction, OR. Start 6/11. Full Suppression. Timber. Cause lightning. 5,345 acres (+0). 60% containment. Minimal fire behavior. Area closures in effect.
Road 6 WA-WFS-000519. ICT3. 10 mi E of Brewster, WA. Start 6/29. Full Suppression. Grass. Lightning. Smoldering. 3,500 acres (+1,500). 50% Containment.
Jones Canyon OR-MAF-15118. ICT3 (Wagner) 20 mi SW of Ukiah, OR. Start 6/28. Full Suppression. Grass/Brush. 840 acres (+592). 22% Containment.
Candy Kid OR-BUD-005072. ICT3. 8 mi N of Drewsy, OR. Start 6/29. Full Suppression. Grass/Brush. Cause lightning. 462 acres (+162). Active fire behavior. 30% Containment.



Northwest Fire Potential Summary:

Dry southwesterly flow aloft expected to be over the region today as high pressure begins to rebuild from the south. There is just a chance of a little light IA activity today in extreme SE Oregon from a very marginal thunderstorm threat near the Oregon/Nevada border. Otherwise we just wait for a return to hotter and drier weather as we progress through the week. Burning conditions will be elevating again as we get into mid-week from a combination of the hot, dry and unstable weather. Next potential for significant lightning does not seem likely before next weekend.


National Incident Management Situation Report (IMSR): http://www.nifc.gov/nicc/sitreprt.pdf

Other GACC Morning Reports