Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Umatilla National Forest Lightning Wildfire Update

Contact: Joani Bosworth - (541)278-3722 or Darcy Weseman (541)523-1302
Pendleton, OR: Additional new wildfires have been reported from the recent lightning storms that hit the Umatilla National Forest over the past few days. Fire lookouts and detection aircraft continue to monitor the Forest for new ignitions and to search for fires that were reported but not located. Fire managers anticipate more fires to be detected throughout today and this week.
The Heppner Ranger District reported three new fires yesterday. The Old Misery Fire, which is located two miles SE of Bull Prairie, is estimated at six acres and is 80 percent contained. Resources on scene include one engine and a dozer. Today firefighters will focus suppression actions on completing control lines and mopping up the fire.   
The Rocky Flat Fire, located near Highway 207 and Big Flat Road, is currently at 127 acres and is 80 percent contained. The fire is burning in grass and juniper. Resources are on scene and will complete control lines and mop up the fire today.
The North Fork John Day Ranger District reported two new fires yesterday. The Pearson Creek Fire is located approximately 12 miles SE of Pilot Rock.  This fire is estimated at eight acres and is burning in steep terrain. Current resources include three engines, one 20-person crew and a Type 2 helicopter with bucket. Firefighters are constructing control lines, supported by water drops from the helicopter.
Crews also continue to make progress on existing fires caused by the lightning storms over the past few days.
Resources on the Table Rock Complex are working to secure control lines and mop up the five fires within the complex. The Table Rock Complex, located on the Walla Walla and Pomeroy Ranger Districts, is estimated to be 80 acres and is currently 75 percent contained. The complex, which was reported on June 27, 2015, is located about two miles south of Bluewood Ski Area and consists of three fires in the Wenaha-Tucannon Wilderness and two fires in the Mill Creek Watershed. A local Type 3 Incident Management Team is assigned to the complex.  Current resources include two 20-person crews, seven smoke jumpers, one 5-person crew, one 7-person crew, four water tenders and two dozers.
The Table Rock Complex area closure order remains in effect and includes:
·         Forest Road 6400 from the junction of Forest Road 6500 to the junction of Forest Road 6400-650.
·         Forest Road 6400-650 from the junction of Forest Road 6400 to its end.
·         Indian Trailhead and Forest Trail 3235 from Indian Trailhead to the junction of Forest Trail 3237.
The Texas Fire, which is located on the Heppner Ranger District two miles east of Madison Butte Lookout, is estimated at nine acres in size and is currently 40 percent contained. The fire was reported on June 27, 2015, and is burning in heavy fuels with short range spotting. The fire is currently staffed with sixteen rappellers and one 20-person hotshot crew. Heavy dead and down material and spotting continue to present challenges in containing this fire. Crews will continue to strengthen control lines and mop up the fire today. 
The Trail closure on the Texas Fire remains in effect and includes:
·         Copple Butte Trailhead and entire length of Copple Butte Trail #3052
The Collins Butte Fire is approximately 87 acres in size and 100 percent contained. This fire was reported on June 27, 2015, and is located four miles NE of the community of Winlock on the Heppner Ranger District. Resources continue to improve control lines and conduct mop up activities.
The fire danger rating remains at HIGH and Public Use Restrictions involving campfires and chainsaw use are in effect. For maps of the closures or more information about the Umatilla National Forest’s Public Use Restrictions, please contact any forest office, call our Forest Information hotline at 1-877-958-9663, or visit our website at www.fs.usda.gov/umatilla/.

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