Sunday, August 23, 2015

Baker County, Oregon Joint Information Center Daily Update August 23, 2015 10 AM

Baker County, Oregon
Joint Information Center
Cornet/Windy Ridge, Eagle Complex, and Eldorado Fires
Daily Update
August 23, 2015 10 AM

Contact Information
Fire and Evacuation Information: 541-523-2905 (Monday through Friday)
Eagle Complex Fire 541-406-0201
Eldorado and Cornet-Windy Ridge Fires 541-446-3521
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)

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: 11, ENGINES: 18, DOZERS: 3, TENDERS: 4, HELICOPTERS: shared with other incidents
Cornet/Windy Ridge
CREWS: 7, ENGINES: 10, HELICOPTERS: 4 (shared with other incidents); DOZERS: 8; TENDERS 6

Weather: Today’s forecast calls for warmer temperatures and lower humidity with light winds. Residents should expect to see smoke in the air.

Media Advisory: Media are requested to call the Joint Information Center number listed above.

Road Closures: Highway 245 is open. Please check www.tripcheck .com for current road-closures.

Evacuation Levels: General evacuation level information is available at: See each incident’s summary for specific evacuations around the fires.

Shelters: The Red Cross remains available to: open a shelter; provide medical attention; and assist affected Baker County citizens, if needed. For Red Cross assistance call 541-519-2360.

Oregon Health Authority – Smoke Information: The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality issued an air quality advisory for Baker and Malheur counties. This advisory will remain in effect until air quality conditions have significantly improved.  Air quality conditions outside of Baker City may vary. Residents can review the DEQ Air Quality Index website at for information about air quality and visibility. 

Weather conditions and smoke levels can vary dramatically during wildfires. Smoke might impact one part 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 air quality information look for the Daily NE Oregon and West Central Idaho Smoke Forecast on,  and or

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.

National Guard Assistance: The National Guard continues providing helicopter support to assist the area’s fire suppression efforts.

Reducing Wildfire Risk: Communities can reduce wildfire risk or adapt to wildfire by taking actions that help protect homes, neighborhoods, and communities from wildfires. To learn what communities are doing to adapt to wildfire, visit or

Eagle Complex

Current Situation:  On Saturday, firefighters continued their focus on structure protection in areas surrounding the Eagle Complex as well as ongoing efforts to hold the fire north of Eagle Creek. Crews were able to continue “mopping-up” along Forest Service 77 Road. Mopping-up is a term used to describe firefighters’ efforts to extinguish or remove burning material near control lines. As a result of the firefighters’ efforts on the southern edge of the fire, the Eagle Complex is now 5 percent contained. Crews conducted a small burn out operation near the intersection of Eagle Creek and East Fork Eagle Creek along Forest Service 77 Road to further secure the southern edge of the fire yesterday.
In addition to crews working throughout the day, resources are also committed to structure protection and containment efforts throughout the night. Night operations will continue for the duration of the incident as needed. 

There is a Red Flag Warning in effect for the fire area beginning today at noon, and extending through 9:00 p.m. on Monday. The Red Flag Warning is a result of warmer and drier conditions. A change in wind direction is forecasted for today as well. Winds will shift from the west/northwest to winds from the southwest. Due to the forecasted weather conditions, firefighters expect an increase in fire intensity for the next several days. 

Today, crews will continue to secure the southern edge of the fire perimeter, maintain existing structure protection efforts, and develop control features around the Eagle Complex where feasible and safe to do so. The Eagle Complex is burning in steep terrain, with dense vegetation, and hazardous trees. The priorities of life and property preservation remain of the utmost importance to the management of the Eagle Complex, while reducing acreage burned where possible. 
Area Fire Closures: 
There is an expanded area closure in effect for areas near the Eagle Complex.
Please see the link to the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest Website:
Public Safety: 
The Baker County Sheriff's Office has issued a LEVEL 3 (Go) evacuation notice, to include the intersection of the 7700 road where it turns to the northeast at the intersection of the 7700 and 7015 roads, up the Long Creek drainage to the wilderness. The evacuation levels for the area south of the 7735 road, south of the junction of the 7735 and 7700 road to McBride Campground and over to Carson down to the forest boundary have been increased to a LEVEL 2 (Set) from a LEVEL 1 (Ready).


Current Situation: Crews continued to mop up the Eldorado Fire yesterday and last night, focusing on those areas that still contained some heat within 300 feet of the line.  That work continues today including gridding and cold trailing, or carefully inspecting and feeling with the hand for heat to detect any fire. 
Rehabilitation work will also take place, with the objective of minimizing erosion resulting from hand and dozer line construction by blocking access, removing berms, water barring, repairing ditches, and pulling removed vegetation back into control lines near streams and dry creek beds.  Hose will be removed from sections of the line where there is no longer any potential for the fire to escape.
The weather forecast calls for warmer temperatures in the 80’s, relative humidity between 15-20 percent and gusty winds from the south of up to 15 miles per hour on the ridges.  Those conditions, along with unstable air, have warranted a Red Flag warning from noon today until late Monday evening.
Interagency investigators concluded the El Dorado fire was caused by lightning hold over.
The fire remains at 20,611 acres and is 65 percent contained.
The Oregon Department of Forestry Incident Management Team 3 (IMT) will also assume command of the Cornet-Windy Ridge fire from the Southwest IMT on Monday morning, 8/24/2015, at 6:00 a.m.  The Cornet-Windy Ridge fire is also in the mop up and rehabilitation stage with very little fire activity.
Closures: No area fire closures are in place.
Public Safety: All evacuation notices were lifted at noon today, August 23, 2015.
Additional Info: The fire is burning on BLM, U.S. Forest Service, private timberland protected by ODF, and rangelands under the protection of the Ironside Rangeland Protection Association.

Cornet/Windy Ridge

Current SituationFirefighters will continue to mop up around the perimeter of the fire and will be removing fire weakened trees on highway 245 to provide for public safety.  Although highway 245 is open, crews will be working in the area and travelers should drive with caution or consider using an alternate route.  The interior regions of the fire, well within containment lines, will continue to burn and smoke will be visible.

Completed lines will be patrolled to prevent any remaining fire from escaping containment lines or control features.  Fire suppression activity areas are being rehabilitated to reduce soil loss and erosion.
Area Fire Closures: A forest closure order is in place for the area around the Cornet-Windy Ridge Fires. Please see the link to the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest Website Highway 7 and 26, and Interstate 84 remain open. Highway 245 remains open. Caution should be used when traveling this route. Fire-aftermath sightseeing along this highway is strongly discouraged.
Public Safety: The public should be cautious when driving; crews and equipment are working near and along the roads, and smoke may hinder visibility. All evacuation levels are now at Level 1.

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