Monday, August 3, 2015

Phillips Creek Fire grows to 800 acres

News Contact: Joani Bosworth, 541-278-3722        
                         Kathy Arnoldus, 541-975-4271

August 3, 2015- 12:15 AM
Pendleton, OR: Hot and windy weather conditions contributed to Sunday afternoon’s growth of the Phillips Creek Fire burning seven miles northwest of Elgin, Oregon near Indian Point.  The fire has now burned an estimated 800 acres of brush, grass, slash and heavy timber predominantly in the Phillips Creek Drainage on both the Umatilla National Forest and adjacent private lands. The fire is 0% contained and the cause is under investigation.

Union County officials have issued a Level I evacuation notice for residents of Ruckle Road and Sanderson Springs Road west of Elgin. 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 have been implemented for public and firefighter safety and include:

·       Forest Road 3738 (Phillips Creek Road) from its junction with Forest Road 3100 (Summit Road) to State Highway 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 3740-050.

“Additional road and area closures are expected to be implemented as the fire grows,” said Mike Rassbach, Walla Walla District Ranger.  “We would appreciate it if the public could avoid the area to allow for firefighting activities,” added Rassbach.  State Highway 204 remains open at this time though travelers should consider alternate routes.

A Type 2 Incident Management Team, led by Incident Commander Fillis, is mobilizing to assume management of the fire Monday afternoon. An Incident Command Post has been set up at the Elgin Stampede Rodeo Grounds.  Interagency resources on scene Sunday included Air Attack, multiple helicopter and air tanker support, eight Type 2 Initial Attack crews, 13 engines, seven water tenders and overhead support.  Over 200 firefighters and other personnel are assigned to the fire.  Additional resources are on order.

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 forest office, call our Forest Information hotline at 1-877-958-9663, or visit our website at or on 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:


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