Friday, August 21, 2015

Daily Update - Baker County Joint Information

Baker County, Oregon
Joint Information Center
Cornet/Windy Ridge, Eagle Complex, and Eldorado Fires
Daily Update
August 21, 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)

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:  Firefighters engaged the fire early on Thursday, looking for opportunities to mop up the southern edge of the fire, receiving assistance from heavy helicopters. However, forecasted weather that included high temperatures, low humidity and gusty winds led to an increase in fire activity, requiring structure protection in this area. Crews were anticipating a change in fire behavior, which materialized, and safely disengaged from the fire in the early afternoon in areas where necessary. Before crews disengaged from the East Eagle Creek area, structure protection measures were put in place and a small crew of firefighters stayed on Forest Service 77 Road to pick up spot fires near homes caused by “roll out” or burning debris rolling into an unburned area on the fire’s southern edge.  Crews returned to the East Eagle Creek area when conditions allowed and engine crews remained present throughout the night.

A Red Flag Warning remains in effect for strong winds and low relative humidity through 11:00 p.m. this evening. Firefighters plan to take advantage of cooler temperatures and weaker morning winds to assess yesterday’s fire activity with the help of aviation resources as needed. Firefighters will continue to look for opportunities to put in direct and indirect fire line to stop the progress of the fire where it is safe for them to engage.

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: Level 3 (Go): East Eagle, FS 77 Rd., Bennett Peak Area, Main Eagle Area, Tamarack Campground, Two Color Campground, Two Color Guard Station, intersection of the 7700 road turns to the Northeast at the intersection of the 7700 and 7015 roads up the Long Creek drainage to the wilderness.    Level 2 (Get Set): 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.
Additional Info: There will be two PUBLIC MEETINGS today:
-       At 12:00 p.m. Eagle Complex fire officials will host a meeting at the Lions Club in Halfway.
-       At 2:00 p.m. Eagle Complex fire officials will host a meeting at the town park in Richland.


Current Situation: Firefighters continue to prepare for the looming weather event that is expected to bring up to 30 mile per hour northwest wind gusts to the Eldorado fire as early as 9:00 a.m. today.  The incident meteorologist and fire behavior analyst cautioned firefighters to “keep their guard up”, with a red flag warning issued until late this evening.  Efforts on the fire line will continue to focus on strengthening containment lines and extinguishing hot spots that could allow the fire to escape.  The Day Operations Chief asked resources to be nimble.  If any section of the line gets challenged he vowed to “bring a gun to a knife fight” by shifting resources in response to catch the fire.  Two Type Two helicopters, capable of dumping 360 gallon bucket drops, are available in support and two additional ships can be requested.  The fire remains at 20,611 acres and is 50 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:  Favorable conditions over the past several days allowed firefighters to make additional progress on securing the fire perimeter. Crews will continue to patrol and mop up completed lines. Fire suppression activity areas are being rehabilitated to reduce soil loss and erosion. 

Today's forecast is for strong and gusty winds. Completed lines will be patrolled to prevent any remaining fire from escaping containment lines or control features. Any fires that develop may spread rapidly so crews working on rehabilitation on the Cornet-Windy Ridge Fires are available for initial attack.

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality has issued an air quality advisory for Baker and Malheur counties due to elevated pollutant levels. This advisory will remain in effect until air quality conditions have significantly improved. Much of the smoke seen over the Cornet-Windy Ridge Fires yesterday drifted from the fires in the John Day area. Expect so see increased smoke over the fire today due to increased winds. Most of this smoke will be from the interior regions of the fire, well within containment lines.
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: Communities can reduce wildfire risk or adapt to wildfire by taking actions that will protect homes, neighborhoods, and communities from wildfires. To learn what communities are doing to adapt to wildfire, visit

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: 9, ENGINES: 6, DOZERS: 3, TENDERS: 2, HELICOPTERS: Shared resources with other incidents
Cornet/Windy Ridge

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