Thursday, August 20, 2015

Baker County, Oregon
Joint Information Center
Cornet/Windy Ridge, Eagle Complex, and Eldorado Fires
Morning Update
August 20, 2015 10 AM

Contact Information
Fire and Evacuation Information: (541) 523-2905
Inciweb:  (Cornet/Windy Ridge) (El Dorado) (Eagle Complex)
Incident Commanders:
Southwest Incident Management Team-Mark Ruggiero (Cornet/Windy Ridge)
Oregon Department of Forestry Team III-Link Smith (Eldorado)
Rocky Mountain Team Black-Shane Greer (Eagle Complex)

The Baker County Joint Information Center will now be limiting these updates to the Morning Update ONLY.  Evening Updates will no longer be provided.
Weather: Temperatures are warming with less humidity.  The maximum temperatures today will be 87-91 degrees with minimum relative humidity of 10-14 percent.  There will be wind gusts up to 12 mph in the afternoon.  Residents should expect to see smoke in the air until midday due to an inversion.
Media Advisory: Media are requested to call the Joint Information Center number listed above.
Road Closures: Highway 245 has reopened. Please continue to check www.tripcheck .com for information on road-closures.
Shelters: The American Red Cross has closed its shelter at the Baker City Nazarene Church. Red Cross workers will be based at the Red Cross office located at 1655 1st St (1st and Auburn) and remain in place to reopen a shelter if needed 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.
As of 7:00 a.m. 08/20/2015, the DEQ's air quality index for Baker City was as follows:
1 hour rating of "Good" with an index of 50 and a 24 hour rating of "Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups" with an index of 145. Smoke levels will continue to rise and fall rapidly depending on weather factors, including wind direction.  For additional information on wildfires and health threats from wildfire smoke please visit:
It is important to remember that conditions outside of Baker City may vary and residents should review the DEQ Air Quality Index website at for helpful tips on determining air quality and visibility. 
For more information please see:
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: 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:

Eagle Complex

Current Situation:  On Wednesday, crews continued to expand and secure fire line along Forest Service 77 Road as well as improve structure protection at all of the cabins and residences around the fire. The majority of fire growth was seen to the northeast, with the fire reaching as far as the Jack Creek area. Aerial resources were grounded in the morning due to smoke in the area, but resumed flying in the afternoon to reinforce the secured edge of the fire near Bradley Creek and cool hot spots around the fire’s edge.

Gusty winds are forecasted for Thursday as crews continue to secure fire lines and identify opportunities to contain the Eagle Complex. Firefighters, working with heavy equipment, plan to improve a dozer line on the southeastern portion of the fire to protect residences along the Forest Service 7745 Road. Crews will assess opportunities to begin mopping up the southern edge of the fire along the Forest Service 77 Road. Aviation resources continue to assist the suppression efforts on the Eagle Complex. As always, the safety of firefighters and the public will continue to be the top priority of the incident.

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
Public Safety: No Level 1 or Level 2. Level 3 (Go): East Eagle, FS 77 Rd., Bennett Peak Area, Main Eagle Area, Tamarack Campground, Two Color Campground, Two Color Guard Station.
Additional Info: None at this time.


Current Situation: At approximately 7:15 p.m. Pacific Time Wednesday evening, a helicopter working on the Eldorado Fire eight miles southeast of Unity experienced a hard landing. The incident occurred on the west portion of the fire near King Creek in the vicinity of a medical unit serving firefighters on the line. Both occupants exited the helicopter unhurt and were transported by ambulance to St. Alphonsus Ontario Medical Center for further evaluation.
Firefighters continue to prepare for the pending weather change that is expected to bring increased winds to the area over the next two days. The incident meteorologist assigned to the fire says winds will elevate this afternoon out of the west along the ridge tops. The strongest winds are expected to arrive Friday morning and could be as strong as 40 miles per hour out of the north/northwest. Crews continue to work with aircraft to strengthen southern containment lines along the east side of Ironside Mountain and mop up hot spots to prevent hot embers from crossing.  The fire is now 20,611 acres and 40 percent contained.

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

Public Safety: All evacuation levels have been reduced to Level 1: Level 1 (Ready): Shirts Creek; Job Creek and south of Job Creek Road; East of Bull Run Road; and south of Campbell Lane; Dry Gulch area and Ripley Gulch area; 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:
Additional Info: The National Guard is also assisting the suppression effort in the area with a host of Blackhawk helicopters. The fire is burning on BLM, US Forest Service, private timberland protected by ODF, and rangelands under the protection of the Ironside Rangeland Protection Association.

Cornet/Windy Ridge

Current Situation:  Yesterday, crews continued to mop up and conduct burn out operations through aerial ignition, making good progress with 45% containment.  Today, most crews will again be engaging in mop up, although there may be some aerial ignition burn out operations in limited areas.  Route 245 remains closed 11 miles north of Hereford while the Oregon Department of Transportation and firefighters continue to fell trees on the road shoulders. 
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 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, Kitchen Creek, Alder Creek, Sutton Creek, Hill Creek Road, Bridgeport, Beaver Creek, Black Mountain, French Gulch, Greater Bowen Valley Rural Fire to French Gulch, Dry Creek Cutoff, Dry Creek, Powder River. Level 2 (Get Set): Denny Creek, Tamarack Campground, Old Highway 30, Ebell Creek, Rancheria Creek, Stices Gulch, Main Eagle Area, Bennett Peak Area, Burnt River Canyon. Level 3 (Go): none at this time

Additional Info: None at this time.
Public Meeting Info: Information concerning land treatment, rehabilitation, livestock, livestock forage, and crop disaster assistance will be presented by representatives from the USDA Farm Services Agency and the Natural Resource Conservation Service at The Cattlemen’s Association meeting at 6:00 p.m. on Thursday, August 20, at the Baker City Park. 

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
CREWS: 8, ENGINES: 2, DOZERS: 3, TENDERS: 2, HELICOPTERS: Shared resources with other incidents
Cornet/Windy Ridge

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