Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Umatilla National Forest Fire Update


PENDLETON, Ore. Favorable weather conditions and increased relative humidity continue to keep fire behavior minimal on recent fires that are burning on the Heppner and North Fork John Day Ranger Districts.
Given the time of year and current weather, the Forest has taken a strategic approach on two of the recent fires to help create fuel breaks to work from in the event of future wildfires, while also reducing overstocked and hazardous fuel conditions in the area, restoring forest health and resilience, and improving foraging habitat for big game. The other two fires on the Forest have been contained.  This will be the final update unless conditions change.
The West Texas Fire, which is located approximately nine miles south of Ukiah near Texas Bar on the North Fork John Day Ranger District, is now 34 acres in size and is creeping in open timber. Firefighters will continue to patrol and monitor the potential spread of the fire in comparison to values at risk. 
Fire crews continue to patrol and monitor on the Skookum Fire on the Heppner Ranger District, which is located approximately one mile northwest of the Alder Creek/Skookum Trailhead and two miles northeast of the Tupper Guard Station. The fire is approximately 115 acres in size and continues to smolder in a mixture of grass, brush, timber and snags (dead or burned trees).
The public is asked to use caution when recreating on the Forest and to be aware of increased hazards, particularly snags and smoky conditions. Both the North Fork John Day and Heppner Ranger Districts have been actively implementing prescribed burning activities and forest visitors may see smoke in other portions of the districts. Utilizing fire as a tool during these current mild conditions reduces the risk of uncontrolled wildfires during future fire seasons.
Forest officials also ask that visitors do not camp or hang out in burned areas. Dead or dying trees that remain standing after a fire are unstable, especially in high winds. Loose rocks and logs can be present in a burned area and are unpredictable, creating a falling a hazard. Additionally, burned vegetation can also contribute to landslides, mudslides and erosion when rain occurs. The ground in a burned area can also be unstable, due to burned-out roots beneath the surface.  After soils and vegetation have been charred, rainfall that would normally be absorbed could run off extremely quickly.
With many visitors on the Forest right now, Forest officials recommend the following campfire safety precautions:
·       Campfires should be in fire pits surrounded by dirt, rock, or commercial rings and in areas not conducive to rapid fire spread.  All flammable material shall be cleared within a 3-foot radius from the edge of the pit and free of overhanging material. Use existing pits wherever possible. (Note: within the Grande Ronde Scenic Waterway, campfires must be contained in a fireproof container (i.e., "fire pan") with sides of a height sufficient to contain all ash and debris, and all ashes and debris must be removed from the river corridor. Do not use or construct fire pits or rock fire rings within the Scenic Waterway.)
·       Campfires must be attended at all times, and completely extinguished prior to leaving.
·       Persons with campfires should carry a tool that can serve as a shovel and one gallon of water in their possession. The intent of this recommendation is to ensure individuals with a campfire to have the tools necessary to completely extinguish their campfire.
The latest fire information will be posted on the Blue Mountains Fire Information Blog. To receive updates on fires in the Blue Mountains, follow our blog at http://bluemountainfireinfo.blogspot.com/.
For more information about prescribed burning on the Umatilla National Forest, please visit: https://tinyurl.com/y8b433th.
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Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Umatilla National Forest Fire Update

West Texas Fire - Nov. 5, 2019

PENDLETON, Ore. Firefighters on the Umatilla National Forest have made progress on recent fires discovered on the Heppner and North Fork John Day Ranger Districts.
Given the time of year and favorable weather conditions, the Forest is taking a strategic approach on two of the recent fires, which will help create fuel breaks to work from in the event of future wildfires, while also reducing overstocked and hazardous fuel conditions in the area, restoring forest health and resilience, and improving foraging habitat for big game. 
The West Texas Fire, which is located approximately nine miles south of Ukiah near Texas Bar on the North Fork John Day Ranger District, is now 10 acres in size and is creeping and smoldering in open timber. An engine and two additional firefighters will be on scene today patrolling and mapping the burned area to assess fire behavior and the potential spread of the fire in comparison to values at risk.  This suppression strategy will continue to allow the fire to reduce fuel loadings and contribute to a more resilient landscape in the area.
Fire crews conducted burn out operations yesterday on the Skookum Fire on the Heppner Ranger District, which is located approximately one mile northwest of the Alder Creek/Skookum Trailhead and two miles northeast of the Tupper Guard Station. The fire is approximately 50 acres in size and continues to smolder in a mixture of grass, brush, timber and snags (dead or burned trees). Yesterday’s suppression actions focused on managing fire growth and direction of spread.  Firefighters continue to monitor the fire and weather forecast to assess options for accomplishing additional fuels reduction objectives by actively moving the fire across the landscape. 
The public is asked to use caution when recreating on the Forest and to be aware of increased hazards, particularly snags and smoky conditions. Both the North Fork John Day and Heppner Ranger Districts are actively implementing prescribed burning activities and forest visitors may see smoke in other portions of the districts. Utilizing fire as a tool during these current mild conditions reduces the risk of uncontrolled wildfires during future fire seasons.
Forest officials also ask that visitors do not camp or hang out in burned areas. Dead or dying trees that remain standing after a fire are unstable, especially in high winds. Loose rocks and logs can be present in a burned area and are unpredictable, creating a falling a hazard. Additionally, burned vegetation can also contribute to landslides, mudslides and erosion when rain occurs. The ground in a burned area can also be unstable, due to burned-out roots beneath the surface.  After soils and vegetation have been charred, rainfall that would normally be absorbed could run off extremely quickly.
With many visitors on the Forest right now, Forest officials recommend the following campfire safety precautions:
·       Campfires should be in fire pits surrounded by dirt, rock, or commercial rings and in areas not conducive to rapid fire spread.  All flammable material shall be cleared within a 3-foot radius from the edge of the pit and free of overhanging material. Use existing pits wherever possible. (Note: within the Grande Ronde Scenic Waterway, campfires must be contained in a fireproof container (i.e., "fire pan") with sides of a height sufficient to contain all ash and debris, and all ashes and debris must be removed from the river corridor. Do not use or construct fire pits or rock fire rings within the Scenic Waterway.)
·       Campfires must be attended at all times, and completely extinguished prior to leaving.
·       Persons with campfires should carry a tool that can serve as a shovel and one gallon of water in their possession. The intent of this recommendation is to ensure individuals with a campfire to have the tools necessary to completely extinguish their campfire.
The latest fire information will be posted on the Blue Mountains Fire Information Blog. To receive updates on fires in the Blue Mountains, follow our blog at http://bluemountainfireinfo.blogspot.com/.
For more information about prescribed burning on the Umatilla National Forest, please visit: https://tinyurl.com/y8b433th.
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Monday, November 4, 2019

Fire crews respond to late season fires on the Umatilla National Forest


PENDLETON, Ore. Firefighters on the Umatilla National Forest have been busy responding to new starts on the North Fork John Day and Heppner Ranger Districts, with a total of four fires reported over the weekend.
Three fires were reported on the North Fork John Day Ranger District and firefighters have contained one of the three fires. The West Texas Fire is the largest of the fires and is located approximately nine miles south of Ukiah near Texas Bar. The four-acre fire was reported at 6:17 p.m. on Nov. 2, 2019, and is creeping and smoldering in open timber. Given the time of year, hazards within the fire area, minimal fire behavior and favorable weather conditions, firefighters will patrol and monitor the fire over the next several days, allowing the fire to reduce fuel loadings and contribute to a more resilient landscape. The cause of the fire is currently unknown.
Fire crews continue to patrol and monitor the Skookum Fire on the Heppner Ranger District, which was reported on Thursday, Oct. 31, 2019, approximately one mile northwest of the Alder Creek/Skookum Trailhead and two miles northeast of the Tupper Guard Station. The fire is approximately 40 acres in size and continues to smolder in a mixture of grass, brush, timber and snags (dead or burned trees). The suppression strategy for the Skookum fire will aim to reduce overstocked and hazardous fuel conditions in the area, restore forest health and resilience, reduce current and future firefighter exposure and improve foraging habitat for big game.  
The public is asked to use caution when recreating on the Forest and to be aware of increased hazards, particularly snags and smoky conditions. Both the North Fork John Day and Heppner Ranger Districts are actively implementing prescribed burning activities and forest visitors may see smoke in other portions of the districts. Utilizing fire as a tool during these current mild conditions reduces the risk of uncontrolled wildfires during future fire seasons.
Forest officials also ask that visitors do not camp or hang out in burned areas. Dead or dying trees that remain standing after a fire are unstable, especially in high winds. Loose rocks and logs can be present in a burned area and are unpredictable, creating a falling a hazard. Additionally, burned vegetation can also contribute to landslides, mudslides and erosion when rain occurs. The ground in a burned area can also be unstable, due to burned-out roots beneath the surface.  After soils and vegetation have been charred, rainfall that would normally be absorbed could run off extremely quickly.
With many visitors on the Forest right now, Forest officials recommend the following campfire safety precautions:
·       Campfires should be in fire pits surrounded by dirt, rock, or commercial rings and in areas not conducive to rapid fire spread.  All flammable material shall be cleared within a 3-foot radius from the edge of the pit and free of overhanging material. Use existing pits wherever possible. (Note: within the Grande Ronde Scenic Waterway, campfires must be contained in a fireproof container (i.e., "fire pan") with sides of a height sufficient to contain all ash and debris, and all ashes and debris must be removed from the river corridor. Do not use or construct fire pits or rock fire rings within the Scenic Waterway.)
·       Campfires must be attended at all times, and completely extinguished prior to leaving.
·       Persons with campfires should carry a tool that can serve as a shovel and one gallon of water in their possession. The intent of this recommendation is to ensure individuals with a campfire to have the tools necessary to completely extinguish their campfire.
The latest fire information will be posted on the Blue Mountains Fire Information Blog. To receive updates on fires in the Blue Mountains, follow our blog at http://bluemountainfireinfo.blogspot.com/.
For more information about prescribed burning on the Umatilla National Forest, please visit: https://tinyurl.com/y8b433th.
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Friday, November 1, 2019

Skookum Fire currently burning on the Heppner Ranger District


PENDLETON, Ore. Forest staff on the Heppner Ranger District discovered the Skookum fire on Thursday, Oct. 31, 2019, located approximately one mile northwest of the Alder Creek/Skookum Trailhead and two miles northeast of the Tupper Guard Station. The 17-acre fire is creeping and smoldering in a mixture of grass, brush, timber and snags (dead or burned trees). Given the time of year, hazards within the fire area, minimal fire behavior and favorable weather conditions, firefighters will patrol and monitor the fire over the next several days, allowing the fire to reduce fuel loadings and contribute to a more resilient landscape.
The suppression strategy for the Skookum fire will aim to reduce overstocked and hazardous fuel conditions in the area, restore forest health and resilience, reduce current and future firefighter exposure and improve foraging habitat for big game.  The cause of the fire is currently unknown.
The public is asked to use caution when entering the area and be aware of increased hazards, particularly snags and smoky conditions. Smoke may be visible from Highway 207. Additionally, the Heppner Ranger District is actively implementing prescribed pile burning and forest visitors could see smoke in other portions of the district.
Forest officials ask that visitors do not camp or hang out in a burned area. Dead or dying trees that remain standing after a fire are unstable, especially in high winds. Loose rocks and logs can be present in a burned area and are unpredictable, creating a falling a hazard. Additionally, burned vegetation can also contribute to landslides, mudslides and erosion when rain occurs. The ground in a burned area can also be unstable, due to burned-out roots beneath the surface.  After soils and vegetation have been charred, rainfall that would normally be absorbed could run off extremely quickly.
The latest fire information will be posted on the Blue Mountains Fire Information Blog. To receive updates on fires in the Blue Mountains, follow our blog at http://bluemountainfireinfo.blogspot.com/.
For more information about prescribed burning on the Umatilla National Forest, please visit: https://tinyurl.com/y8b433th.
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Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Consider deferring outdoor burning

La Grande, OR- Although the sunny and clear days of fall are beautiful to look at, they don’t necessarily make the best days for outdoor burning. Weather conditions over the next few days are not favorable for smoke dispersal in the region. A stable air mass does not allow smoke to mix and disperse away from populated areas. This causes poor air quality and can lead to health concerns for many people.

Please consider deferring outdoor burning activities, such as slash and debris burning until weather conditions change. For more information on smoke management in northeast Oregon, as well as current smoke management forecasts, please visit www.oregon.gov/ODF and click on the smoke management section.

http://bluemountainfireinfo.blogspot.com/ is your spot for current fire information in the Blue Mountains.
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Wednesday, October 2, 2019

BMIDC Morning Briefing Wednesday, October 2, 2019


BMIDC MORNING BRIEFING
Wednesday, October 2, 2019
10/01  (NEW) INITIAL ATTACK
Fires
Acres
Umatilla National Forest
0
0
Wallowa Whitman National Forest
0
0
Vale District BLM Baker Area
0
0
NEO Oregon Department of Forestry
0
0
WA DNR Snake River Unit
0
0
BIA Umatilla Agency
0
0
Total
0
0
INCIDENT SUMMARY
10/01  Fire Activity:

No new statistical wildfire activity

Out of fire season.  Last BMIDC Morning Briefing till 2020 unless significant activity occurs.


















Tuesday, October 1, 2019

BMIDC Morning Briefing Tuesday, October 1, 2019


BMIDC MORNING BRIEFING
Tuesday, October 1, 2019
9/30  (NEW) INITIAL ATTACK
Fires
Acres
Umatilla National Forest
0
0
Wallowa Whitman National Forest
0
0
Vale District BLM Baker Area
0
0
NEO Oregon Department of Forestry
0
0
WA DNR Snake River Unit
0
0
BIA Umatilla Agency
0
0
Total
0
0
INCIDENT SUMMARY
9/30  Fire Activity:

No new statistical wildfire activity