Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Phillips Creek Fire Update August 11, 2015

Phillips Creek Fire Update 
Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2015, 10:00 a.m. 
Fire Information: (541) 437-1159  
Oregon Interagency Incident Management Team 2 will transition command of the Phillips Creek Fire to a Type 3 Incident Management Team led by Joel McCraw, Incident Commander, at 6:00 am tomorrow.  The incident command post will remain at the Elgin Stampede Grounds in Elgin. Some resources will be released from the fire today as containment objectives are successfully achieved. 
Fire officials and firefighters wish to thank the communities of the Grande Ronde valley for their tremendous support and cooperation.

Yesterday’s Operations:  The fire lines were tested as thunderstorms passed over the area producing wind gusts of 40 mph, but the fire remained within established containment lines.  Firefighters also successfully burned out a small portion of unburned fuel on the northwestern flank.  Crews were mopping up on all other edges of the fire.  Helicopters assigned to the Phillips Creek Fire were used to assist in the initial attack on over 30 new starts in the area due to lightning storms passing through the region the previous evening.

Weather and Fire Behavior:  A Red Flag Warning for the threat of thunderstorms has been issued by the National Weather Service across northeastern Oregon for today.  Temperatures are expected to be in the upper 80’s, with south to southeast winds of 6 to 9 mph and gusts to 16 mph this afternoon, providing the potential for active fire behavior today. Smoke will continue to be visible, as fuel within the fire lines continues to burn.

Today’s Operations:  Mop-up will continue along the perimeter of all portions of the Phillips Creek fire, extinguishing hot spots along the edge of the fire line.  Firefighters are working to completely mop-up and extinguish all smokes within spot fires that occurred outside the fire line in previous days.
Because of firefighting operations, delays can be expected on Highway 204 again today with a pilot car escorting vehicles between MP 32 and 36.  For up to date information on highway conditions, go to www.tripcheck.com.

Road Closures
Road closures for public and firefighter safety  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 3740-05.
· 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.
State Highway 204 remains open at this time though travelers will find firefighter traffic and smoke along approximately a two mile section of the highway .

The official Road Closure Orders can be found at: http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/4443/
To monitor the air quality index and the impact of smoke in the air, visit the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality’s website at www.deq.state.or.us/aqi.

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, call the Forest Information hotline at 1-877-958-9663, or visit the website at www.fs.usda.gov/umatilla.  Fire information is also posted on the Blue Mountain Fire Information BlogSpot at http://bluemountainfireinfo.blogspot.com/.

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: www.bmidc.org 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: http://fortress.wa.gov/dnr/firedanger/BurnRisk.aspx.

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