Northwest Incident Management Team
Shawn Sheldon, Incident Commander
Rail Fire Update
August 16, 2016
As the winds and instability have increased, the fire has crossed the 1370 road and established in the Monument Rock Wilderness. Crews will work to improve the alternate control line. Hand crews will monitor the main fire, and burnout as needed to strengthen the south and southwest lines.
As portions of the fire line cool down, fire crews will begin mop-up operations as needed. Water tenders and fire engines will patrol the line looking for smokes.
Helicopters are helping to cool the fire in the wilderness and keep it from approaching new fire lines. Air tankers were used Monday to slow the fire’s approach in the Table Rock Lookout area.
Firefighters’ main challenge for the day will be the weather. Hot and dry conditions are expected to persist today and last into the night. Night time humidity recoveries are predicted to be poor. The fire is expected to actively burn throughout the night.
Smoke conditions are being monitored daily. Conditions are expected to fluctuate between very unhealthy and hazardous in the Unity area this morning. As the smoke lifts, conditions will moderate. For more information on smoke conditions and what to do please visit www.oregonsmoke.blogspot.com.
The Wallowa-Whitman and Malheur National Forests have implemented a forest closure area. The closure is intended to reduce traffic on roads traveled by firefighters and protect the public from hazardous fire areas. The area closure map and listed road closures can be found on the Malheur National Forest web page.
Fire at a Glance
Size: 18,623 acres
Location: 5 miles west of Unity, Oregon
Cause: Under Investigation
18 Water tenders
4 Type 1 heavy helicopters
1 Type 2 medium helicopter
2 Type 3 light helicopter
Fire area and multiple roads. The order can be found on the forest website.