Monday, February 12, 2018

Wallowa County wildfires are a good reminder to exercise caution with spring burning

La Grande, OR- A pattern of early spring weather has lots of northeast Oregon citizens enjoying the outdoors. From cleaning up around the property to enjoying the recreation the area has to offer, many people are taking advantage of the warm and dry weather. The lack of winter precipitation has made it easy to get out, but it has also provided good conditions for early season fires.

“We’re at that time of year when things are dry despite it being ‘winter’. Fire danger is fairly high right now because the dead vegetation hasn’t started to green up. Add a little bit of wind to that and it’s a recipe for fires.” said Matt Howard, Unit Forester in Wallowa.

Two wildfires ignited on Saturday in Wallowa County. One fire was contained at approximately ¼ acre and the other burned nearly 20 acres. Fire crews from Joseph, Enterprise, Lostine and Wallowa fire departments assisted ODF on these incidents.

“Make sure your fire is dead out before leaving the area, and don’t burn when windy.” Advised Howard.

Debris burning is the number one human-cause of wildfire. Many of these fires take place before and after the normal fire season. ODF officials encourage landowners to heed caution and refer to the following checklist before burning:

* Call your local fire department to see if a burning permit is required. Burning regulations are not
the same in all areas.

* Prepare by having a shovel and charged garden hose or other water source at the burn site.

* Find a clear site away from buildings and trees with overhanging branches.

* Clear a fire trail down to mineral soil around the pile or incinerator of at least 10 feet in diameter.

* Divide large piles into smaller piles. Smaller piles burn quickly and efficiently and are easier to control.

* Avoid burning during windy conditions. Embers can travel and ignite spot fires nearby.

* Stay with the fire, wetting down the edges to prevent escape, until it is completely out.

* Remember, unattended piles can quickly spread out of control. If your debris burn escapes control, call 911 immediately.

Landowners are reminded that this is a great time of year to make your property wildfire-safe. Be sure and remove all dead leaves and needles from your roof and gutters. Create a defensible space of 30 to 100 feet around your home by clearing brush and moving wood piles. Keep your lawn well irrigated and make sure your driveway is clearly marked and accessible for emergency vehicles and equipment. For more information, contact your nearest ODF office.

http://bluemountainfireinfo.blogspot.com/ is your spot for current fire information in the Blue Mountains.

To report a fire, call Blue Mountain Interagency Dispatch at (541)963-7171 or dial 9-1-1.
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Thursday, October 12, 2017

Fall precipitation ends fire season for lands protected by Oregon Department of Forestry

As of 12:01 am, October 14, 2017, the Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) has terminated fire season for forestlands protected by the Northeast Oregon District.  This includes private, state, county, municipal and tribal lands protected by Oregon Department of Forestry.  The Northeast Oregon District includes lands in the following counties:  Union, Baker, Umatilla, Wallowa and small portions of Grant, Morrow and Malheur counties.  The current weather pattern has provided enough moisture to significantly reduce the fire danger.    Matt Hoehna, Unit Forester, Pendleton Unit encourages people to remain vigilant. “We’ve gotten some moisture and it has reduced our fire danger, but the condition of the light fuels, grasses and light brush, can change quickly with wind or sunny days.  When you are burning debris or slash piles remember to follow smoke management forecasts.  If weather conditions become warm and dry, we ask that landowners check the piles that they previously burned for remaining heat that could cause problems.  We often find ourselves fighting escaped burns in October and November.”

With the termination of fire season, requirements for obtaining a burn permit for residential yard debris burning are no longer in effect. Terminating fire season does not relieve landowners or forest operators of lawful responsibilities concerning the safe burning of debris or slash. 

        Specific Smoke Management/Burning Advisory Information:

·       If you are under the protection of a rural or city fire department, please call and ask what their burning restrictions are.  Burn permits for burn barrels or small amounts of yard debris are not required on lands protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry.  In addition, burning within the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation requires a permit from CTUIR.  Follow all requirements within the permit.
·       Burning slash from forestry and logging activities requires a Notification of Operation/PDM from ODF.  In addition to this permit, the local ODF office must be contacted prior to ignition.  Before burning in northeast Oregon, it is important to check weather conditions relative to smoke management.  For smoke management forecasts call (541)963-9781 or visit the following website:
·       Slash burns must be registered with the local ODF office at least 7 days prior to burning and burning accomplishments after 7 days. 

The Northeast Oregon District of the Oregon Department of Forestry would like to thank all of our landowners, forest operators and the public for their efforts in fire prevention, detection and suppression activities this season.  In 2017, Northeast Oregon District experienced a lower number of fire starts and acres burned than the 10-year average.

For further information, call your local ODF office:
La Grande Unit       (541)963-3168
Baker City Sub-Unit (541)523-5831
Wallowa Unit           (541)886-2881
Pendleton Unit        (541)276-3491

To report a fire, call the Blue Mountain Interagency Dispatch Center at (541)963-7171, or dial 9-1-1. 
       
http://bluemountainfireinfo.blogspot.com/ is your spot for current fire information in the Blue Mountains. 



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BMIDC Morning Briefing, Thursday, October 12, 2017

BMIDC MORNING BRIEFING
Thursday, October 12, 2017
10/11  (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
WA WFS, Washington Fire Service
0
0
BIA Umatilla Agency
0
0
Total
0
0
INCIDENT SUMMARY
10/11/2017

Wildland Fire
No Activity To Report

Prescribed Fire
OR-BMIDC-001249, GRFZ Piles.  Multiple Locations.  10/11 EF 448-100 Acres Completed.  Cove WUI 137/138-30 Acres Completed.  Unit 225A/B-35 Acres Completed.  Cove 140 B- 20 Acres Completed.

OR-BMIDC-001248, Walla Walla Piles.  Multiple Locations.  10/11 Unit 67-100 Acres Completed. 

OR-WWF-001209, BPFZ Piles.  Multiple Locations.  10/11 312A-3 Acres Completed.  312B-30 Acres Completed. 

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

BMIDC Morning Briefing, Tuesday, October 10, 2017

BMIDC MORNING BRIEFING
Tuesday, October 10, 2017
10/9  (NEW) INITIAL ATTACK
Fires
Acres
Umatilla National Forest
1
.1
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
WA WFS, Washington Fire Service
0
0
BIA Umatilla Agency
0
0
Total
1
.1
INCIDENT SUMMARY
10/4/2017

Wildland Fire
OR-UMF-001242, 015.  PRD.  T9N R41E Sec 7 SESE.  West Patrick Creek Area.  15 Miles SE of Pomeroy, WA.  .1 Acres.  Unknown Cause.  Resources Responded 10/9.  Contained and Controlled 10/9.  Timber and Brush. 

Prescribed Fire
No Activity to Report

Thursday, October 5, 2017

BMIDC Morning Briefing, Thursday, October 5, 2017

BMIDC MORNING BRIEFING
Thursday, October 5, 2017
10/4  (NEW) INITIAL ATTACK
Fires
Acres
Umatilla National Forest
0
0
Wallowa Whitman National Forest
2
.2
Vale District BLM Baker Area
0
0
NEO Oregon Department of Forestry
1
.3
WA DNR Snake River Unit
0
0
WA WFS, Washington Fire Service
0
0
BIA Umatilla Agency
0
0
Total
3
.5
INCIDENT SUMMARY
10/4/2017

Wildland Fire
OR-WWF-001218, Clayton.  BPFZ.  T11S R37E Sec 12 NWNW.  China Creek Area.  12 Mile NNE of Unity, OR.  .1 Acres.  Unknown Cause.  Resources Responded 10/4.  Contained 10/4.  Grass and Timber.
OR-WWF-001217, Picknick.  BPFZ.  T11S R38E Sec 18 SENW.  McCord Spring Area.  12 Miles NNE of Unity, OR.  .1 Acres.  Lightning Caused.  Contained and Controlled 10/4.  Stump.
OR-974S-001216, Cabin.  WAL ODF.  T5N R42E Sec 31 SWNW.  Wenaha Wildlife Area.  18 Miles North of Wallowa, OR.  .3 Acres.  Lightning Caused.  Grass, Brush and Timber.   

Prescribed Fire
OR-UMF-001212, Little George 79/73/75 Broadcast.  PRD.  T8N R44E Sec 28/29.  Cloverland Snow Park Area.  27 Miles SE of Pomeroy, WA.  Unit 79 – 20 Acres Completed, Unit 73 – 50 Acres Completed, Unit 75 – 30 Acres Completed.  Broadcast Burn. 
OR-BMIDC-001209, BPFZ Piles.  BPFZ.  Prescribed Fire.  Multiple locations.  26 Acres Completed 10/4.  Piles.
OR-UMF-001215, North Park 11/12/36 Broadcast.  PRD.  Prescribed Fire.  T8N R43E Sec 14.  Dark Canyon Area.  25 Miles SE of Pomeroy, WA.  Unit 11 – 20 Acres, Unit 12 – 30 Acres, and Unit 36 – 35 Acres.  Broadcast Burn. 


Wednesday, October 4, 2017

BMIDC Morning Briefing, Wednesday, October 4, 2017

BMIDC MORNING BRIEFING
Wednesday, October 4, 2017
10/3  (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
WA WFS, Washington Fire Service
0
0
BIA Umatilla Agency
0
0
Total
0
0
INCIDENT SUMMARY
10/3/2017

Wildland Fire

No Activity To Report

Prescribed Fire

OR-UMF-001212, Little George 79/73 Broadcast.  PRD.  T8N R44E Sec 28/29.  Cloverland Snow Park Area.  27 Miles SE of Pomeroy, WA.  Unit 79 – 20 Acres Completed, Unit 75 – 50 Acres Completed.  Broadcast Burn. 

OR-BMIDC-001209, BPFZ Piles.  BPFZ.  Prescribed Fire.  Multiple locations.  15 Acres Completed 10/3.  Piles.

OR-BMIDC-001208, NFJD Piles.  NFJD.  Prescribed Fire.  Multiple locations.  4 Acres Completed 10/3.  Piles


Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Updated Closure For South Fork Burnt River Area - Replaces 2017-0616-Whitman-007


Emergency Area Closure

WALLOWA-WHITMAN NATIONAL FOREST

Pursuant to 36 CFR, Sec. 261.50(a), (b), the following acts are prohibited in the area described in this order within the Whitman Ranger District of the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest. This Order is effective from October 3, 2017 and will be in effect until rescinded or until November 30, 2017.

PROHIBITION:

(1.) Being on a trail closed for Public Health and Safety as described in Appendix A of this order. 36 CFR 261.53(e)

EXEMPTIONS:
Pursuant to 36 CFR, Sec. 261.50 (e), the following persons are exempt from this order:

(1.) Persons with a permit specifically authorizing the prohibited act or omission.
(2.) Any Federal, State or local law enforcement officer, or member of an organized rescue or firefighting force in the performance of an official duty.

These prohibitions are in addition to the general prohibitions in 36 CFR Part 261,
Subpart A.
Done at Baker City, Oregon, this ____3___of October 2017.

/s/Charles T. Oliver_
CHARLES T. OLIVER
Deputy Forest Supervisor
Wallowa-Whitman National Forest

Violation of these prohibitions is punishable by a fine of not more than $5000 for an individual or $10,000 for an organization, or imprisonment for not more than 6 months, or both. (16 U.S.C. 551 and 18 U.S.C. 3559 and 3571)

Appendix A - Restricted Area Described:

Area closure Description

Beginning on Forest Service Road 6005 at the 6010 junction,

Thence Westerly along the South Fork Burnt River to junction with the 2652 road,

Thence Northerly on Forest Service Road 2652 to Forest Service Road 2655,

Thence Northeasterly on Forest Service Road 2655 to Forest Service Road 2640,

Thence Southeasterly on Forest Service Road 2640 to the South Fork Burnt River,

Thence Easterly on the South Fork Burnt River back to point of origin at Forest Service Road 6005-6010 junction

All roads within this closure area are closed. These include but are not inclusive to:

FS Road 6005 from 6010 junction to the 2652 Road

FS Road 6015

FS Road 2640-700

FS Road 2640 From 6005 Road to the 2655 Junction

FS road 2655 from 2640 Junction for 0.2 miles to the culvert crossing on Last Chance Creek.

All campgrounds within this closure order are closed.

This includes South Fork Campground, Stevens Creek Campground, Elk Creek Campground and Mammoth Campground.

Dispersed camp sites in the closure area are also closed.

Statement of Need:

This closure is necessary to provide forest visitors protection from the current hazardous conditions associated with the flooding conditions and damage caused in the South Forek of the Burnt River on the Whitman Ranger District of the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest.

Enforcement Procedures: 

Enforcement will be conducted by FPOs, LEOs and SAs. Discretion will be used in the first couple of days after enacting the order and the preferred method of compliance will be a warning since the goal is to clear the area and protect the public.

Posting:

Posting shall be done by the forest staff or fire personnel assigned to the fire. Posting should be made at all major access point to the area.

CIVIL RIGHTS IMPACT

REASON FOR DETERMINATION THAT THIS ACTION DOES NOT REQUIRE COMPLETION OF A CIVIL RIGHTS IMPACT ANALYSIS:

The restrictions are temporary and implemented for public safety as the area described is an active fire area. They do not meet the criteria requiring a CRIA according to Department Regulation No. 4300-4 dated 9/22/1993, which states a CRIA is needed for:

· New legislation or amendments to existing legislation proposed by the agency
· New or revised agency regulations or instructions
· Budget proposals
· Grants, contracts, loans, or project approvals or disapprovals
· Regoranizations
· Office consolidations, closures or reloationsnor do Public Use Restrictions meet the criteria identified in the USDA Forest Service, Washington Office, Civil Rights Impact Analysis Guide which references actions such as:
· Legislative proposals, policies, programs or projets for which an envionmental impact statement (EIS) is needed
· Changes in or new rules, regualtions or policies to be published in the Federal Register and not requiring an EIS
· Decision affecting program delivery which will not be published in the Federal Register
· Proposed locations or relocations of filed installatins involving permanent employees
· Revisions of the Forest Service Directive System

Accordingly, I have determined that the Public Use Restrictions for the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest do not require additional analysis relative to impacts on civil rights.