Thursday, August 6, 2015

Phillips Creek Fire Daily Update 8/6/15

Umatilla National Forest-Walla Walla Ranger District
Oregon Department Of Forestry
Oregon Incident Management Team 2

Phillips Creek Fire Update

Wednesday, Aug. 6, 2015, 12:00 p.m.

Fire Information: (541) 437-1159

Pilot Car Operations May Resume on Hwy 204

Firefighting operations may impact travel on State Highway 204. Oregon Department of Transportation may reinitiate pilot car operations or temporarily close the highway for 20-minute intervals in the vicinity of the fire along Hwy 204. These actions will depend on threats to the public from suppression work being performed near the highway. Travellers are urged to drive with caution as smoke could greatly reduce visibility, and firefighters and equipment could be working along the edge of the highway. For current conditions concerning travel along Hwy 204, travellers should visit

Yesterday’s Operations: Fire behavior on the Phillips Creek Fire moderated with cooler temperatures. Firefighters continued to successfully build and secure both direct and indirect containment line around the perimeter of the fire. Helicopter water drops were used to keep the fire in check on the eastern flank above Highway 204 minimizing fire spread. The completed fire lines around the southern and western flanks were improved and opportunities for constructing direct fire line in these areas continued to be evaluated. On the northwest corner, firefighters conducted strategic firing operations to remove fuel between the established fire line and the uncontrolled edge of the fire.

Weather and Fire Behavior: Temperatures in the 70’s, slightly higher humidity and decreasing winds are expected over the fire area today. Today’s fire behavior may include areas of very active fire spread including high intensity flare ups and rapid rates of spread. Continuous fuels may produce short crowning runs when combined with wind and slope.

Today’s Operations: Mop up will continue on the south end along the dozer line, protecting private land. On the west flank, opportunities to secure the fires edge with direct line construction will be pursued. On the north and east flanks, efforts will focus on securing the established line and continue to shepherd the fire down to Hwy 204. Air support will be used again today as needed to slow the fire spread east towards Hwy 204. A contingency group will improve lines established east of Hwy 204 to stop the fire should it cross the highway. Four engines will patrol the fire on night shift tonight.

Phillips Creek Fire information can be found on Inciweb at: and on Facebook at Phillips Creek Fire | Facebook.

Union County officials have issued a Level I Evacuation Notice for residents of Ruckle Road and Sanderson Springs Road, Highway 204 between Phillips Creek and Valley View, Valley View between Highway 204 and Gordon Creek and all of Gordon Creek Road. A Level I evacuation notice means residents should be READY to leave their homes at a moment’s notice. Questions regarding evacuation notices and the evacuation process can be directed to the Emergency Operation Center at 541-963-1049.

Road Closures
Road closures have been expanded for public and firefighter safety and include:
· Forest Road 3738 (Phillips Creek Road) from its junction with Forest Road 3100 (Summit Road) to Hwy 204.
· Forest Road 3148 from its junction with Forest Road 3100 (Summit Road) to its end.
· Forest Roads 3148-010 and 3148-900 from their junction with Forest Road 3148 to their end.
· Forest Road 3740 from its junction with Forest Road 3738 to the forest boundary.
· Forest Roads 3740-020, 3740-025, 3740-030, 3740-040, and 3740-05.
· Forest Road 3734 from its junction with State Highway 204 to its end.
· Forest Road 3200 from its junction with Forest Road 3100 (Summit Road) to the forest boundary.
· Forest Road 3217 from its junction with Forest Road 3200 to its end.
· Forest Road 3100-035.
· County Roads: Sanderson Springs and Ruckle Roads west of Elgin; except to resident travel.
State Highway 204 remains open at this time though travelers should consider alternate routes to avoid firefighter traffic and smoke.

The official Road Closure Orders can be found at:

Smoke continues to be an issue in the Grande Ronde Valley and surrounding communities. To monitor the air quality index, the public can access the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality’s website at

The fire danger rating has increased to EXTREME and Public Use Restrictions involving campfires and chainsaw use are in effect. For more information about the Umatilla National Forest’s Public Use Restrictions, please contact any Umatilla National Forest office, the Information hotline at 1-877-958-9663, or visit the website at, or view the Blue Mountain Fire Information BlogSpot at

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:

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.