Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Baker County Joint Information - 17 Aug - Evening Update

Baker County, Oregon
Joint Information Center
Cornet/Windy Ridge, Eagle Complex, and Eldorado Fires
Evening Update
August 17, 2015 10 PM

Contact Information
Fire and Evacuation Information: (541) 523-2905
Email: BakerCoJointInfo@gmail.com
Facebook:        https://www.facebook.com/CornetFire
Inciweb:           http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/4478/ (Cornet)
http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/4497/ (Windy Ridge)
http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/4502/ (El Dorado)
http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/4481/ (Eagle Complex)
Incident Commanders:
Southwest Incident Management Team-Mark Ruggiero (Cornet/Windy Ridge)
Oregon State Fire Marshal’s Office-Ted Kunze (Cornet/Windy Ridge)
Oregon Department of Forestry Team III-Link Smith (Eldorado)
Albuquerque Zone Type 3 Team-Ryan Romero (Eagle Complex)

Weather: Warmer and drier with less wind through Wednesday.  Increase in winds on Thursday afternoon with windy conditions expected Friday.
Media Advisory: Media are requested to call the Joint Information Center number listed above.
Road Closures: Highway 245 still closed 11 miles north of Hereford. Drivers are urged to check highway conditions on tripcheck.com.
Shelters: As of 10:00 a.m. today, the American Red Cross has placed its shelter at the Baker City Nazarene Church at 1250 Hughes Lane into stand-by status.  Red Cross shelter workers remain in place to reopen the shelter if requested by individuals affected by the area wildfires or as needed in response to changes in fire activity and/or evacuation notices. Red Cross nurses are available for evacuees that need medical attention. Red Cross personnel are working with other local organizations to assist affected Baker County citizens meet their short-term and long-term recovery needs.  For more information on Red Cross activities or to request Red Cross sheltering and/or recovery assistance, call 541-519-2360.
Oregon Health Authority – Smoke Information: Weather conditions and smoke levels can vary dramatically during wildfires, not only from one day to the next but on an hourly basis. Smoke may also impact one portion of a community but not another. This can make it difficult to provide any specific health advisories, especially as conditions change so quickly. For more information please see: http://oregonsmoke.blogspot.com/
Recreation Areas: Regulated closures are in effect on State and private lands protected by Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) in northeast and central Oregon. Please check with your local Oregon Department of Forestry office for public use restrictions on lands protected by ODF. Visit the Blue Mountain Interagency Dispatch webpage at: www.bmidc.org or contact a local Oregon Department of Forestry office for more complete information. Similar restrictions may be in effect on State and private lands protected by the Washington Department of Natural Resources (WA-DNR). More information can be found on the WA-DNR website at: http://fortress.wa.gov/dnr/firedanger/BurnRisk.aspx.

Eagle Complex

Current Situation:  The Eagle Complex is currently estimated at 2,217 acres. Firefighters were able to minimize the fire’s progress on the northwest flank of the Eagle Complex. They were also able to continue prepping structures along Eagle Creek (FR 77). Air operations dropped retardant and water throughout the day, with emphasis on the southeast section of the fire that has been building in the Bradley Creek area. Spot fires crossed Bradley Creek and some torching was observed, but crews were able to prevent them from becoming established. Today’s warm weather and light winds are expected to turn warmer and stronger as the week progresses. On Tuesday, crews will continue to maintain and improve lines on the west and concentrate air operations in the Bradley Creek and East Eagle Creek areas. Approaching cold fronts later in the week may bring stronger gusts and potential for greater fire activity.

Area Fire Closures: There is an area closure in effect for the Eagle Complex near Main Eagle, East Eagle, Tamarack Campground and Two Color Campground. Please see the link to the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest Website http://www.fs.usda.gov/main/wallowa-whitman/home.
Public Safety: No Level 1 or 3. Level 2 (Set): FS 77 Rd. Bennett Peak Area, main Eagle Area, Tamarack Campground. Level 3 (Go): East Eagle to Blue Canyon
Additional Info: None at this time.


Current Situation: The arrival of hand crews to the Eldorado Fire paid dividends today as they were able to tie dozer and hand lines together on the west side of the fire. The night shift will work to complete the task by widening lines and burning out small pockets of vegetation from established containment lines to strengthen them.

The fire is 20,500 acres and 20 percent contained. There are 275 people working on this fire. Resources on the fire include seven 20-person crews, seven dozers, 14 engines, five water-tenders and four helicopters. The National Guard also delivered air power to help fight the fire today.
The southern portion of the fire is burning in light fuels along rocky cliffs and has not advanced in the last two days. While crews shore up the fire’s west and southwest corner under moderate conditions, they will also take advantage of even cooler weather to build containment lines along the fire’s south end in the next couple of days. The portion of the fire north of Highway 26 is nearly mopped up. Crews on the north end will soon begin transitioning to assist the operation on the southern end of the fire.

Area Fire Closures: No area fire closures are in place.

Public Safety: The following evacuation level notifications remain in effect. Level 1 (Ready): Shirts Creek; Job Creek and south of Job Creek Road; East of Bull Run Road; and south of Campbell Lane. Level 2 (Set): Dry Gulch area and Ripley Gulch area. Level 3 (Go): Beam Creek area; Eldorado Ditch area; Long Creek area (Baker County); Long Creek Reservoir; and Camp Creek south of Highway 26 and Ironside (Malheur County). More information about evacuations available at: http://tinyurl.com/Evacuation-Level-Meaning
Additional Info: Tonight over 25 Ironside community members and some of the Oregon Department of Forestry wildfire team’s leadership reviewed the Eldorado fire’s potential activity and strategy to contain it as quickly as possible. With maps and cookies on the truck’s hood, the group shared information and had their questions answered.

Cornet/Windy Ridge Complex

Current Situation:  Crews have made much progress with holding perimeter lines.  Much of the same firefighting activities will continue tonight. The weather will continue to get hotter and drier throughout the week so crews are working as quickly as possible to take advantage of current favorable conditions.  Burnout operations started this evening along the Woods Gulch Road and Burnt Canyon Road.  This is critical to fire operations on the eastern side of the fire.  Highway 245 will continue to be closed due to fire traffic, felling operations and road work.  Crews will continue work in the Stices Gulch Community to remove hazards in preparation of homeowners returning to their homes.  Containment lines along much of the perimeter continue to be strengthened along with burnout activities where needed.  Crews are working to close an area of unburned fuels in the Sutton Creek area. 

Area Fire Closures: A forest closure order is in place for the area around the Cornet/Windy Ridge Fire. Please see the link to the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest Website http://www.fs.usda.gov/main/wallowa-whitman/home. OR-245 remains closed. As of this morning, Highways- 7 and Interstate-84 are open.

Public Safety: the public should be cautious when driving; crews and equipment are working near and along the roads, and smoke may hinder visibility. Level 1 (Ready): Old Auburn Ln, Durkee. Level 2 (Get Set): Bridgeport, Sutton Creek, French Gulch, Greater Bowen Valley Rural Fire to French Gulch. Level 3 (Go): Beaver Creek, Black Mountain, Denny Creek, Alder Creek, Burnt River Canyon, Dry Creek, Dry Creek Cutoff, Ebell Creek, and Hill Creek Rd.

Additional Info: None at this time.
Public Meeting Info: Representatives from the USDA Farm Services Agency and the Natural Resource Conservation Service were present at a public meeting on Monday evening with information concerning land treatment, rehabilitation, livestock, livestock forage, and crop disaster assistance.  A similar discussion will take place at The Cattlemen’s Association meeting at 6:00 p.m. on Thursday, August 20, at the Baker City Park. 
Monday’s meeting was attended by approximately 35 ranchers.  Representatives from the U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, Oregon Department of Forestry and Baker County were also present. They discussed working jointly to identify alternatives in support of land owners and permitees who suffered losses due to the fire. 

Fire Statistics

Total Acres:
Percent Contained:
Start Date:
Eagle Complex
August 10, 2015
August 14, 2015
Cornet/Windy Ridge
August 10, 2015

Structures Lost:
Short Location:
Eagle Complex
20 Miles northwest of Richland, Oregon
5 Miles southeast of Unity, Oregon
Cornet/Windy Ridge
10 Miles East of Unity Oregon

# Personnel:
Types of Resources:
Eagle Complex
Cornet/Windy Ridge

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