Monday, August 8, 2016

ODF Firefighters Respond to Several Lightning Caused Fires

Thunderstorms in Northeast Oregon sparked several fires around the region over the weekend.  The storms which started Friday evening and lasted into Sunday morning, were mostly dry, with little to no rain reaching the ground.  Fire resources for Oregon Department of Forestry responded to many fires on ODF protected lands, as well as assisted on several fires with cooperators.

La Grande/Baker Unit
Thorn Creek- 1/10 acre near Thief Valley Reservoir.  Lightning caused.  Controlled and contained.

Smith Creek- 1/10th acre near East Fork of Birch Creek.  Lightning caused.  Controlled and contained.

The following fires are being managed by the High Desert Type 3 Incident Management Team as a complex of fires located near Pedro Mountain in Baker County.

Pedro Mountain-Approximately 7 acres.  Lightning caused.  Controlled.

Pedro Mountain #2- Approximately 2 acres.  Lightning caused.  Controlled.

North Dixie Creek- Approximately 2 acres.  Lightning caused.  Controlled.

Tater Gulch- Approximately 1/2 acre.  Lightning caused.  Controlled.

In addition, ODF resources assisted the Lookout/Glagow Rangeland Fire Protection Association on the Hole in the Wall Fire near Richland, Oregon.  This fire was approximately 100 acres in size, burning in grass and sagebrush.  This fire is controlled and contained.

Northeast Oregon District and Baker Unit resources are also continuing to assist on the Rail Fire near Unity, Oregon.  Resources are working with the Northwest Incident Management Team 12 (Harrod) to minimize exposure and continued impacts to private lands.  There has been no further growth on private lands.  Approximately 8 acres of private lands have been burned to date.  The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Pendleton Unit
Gibbon- Approximately 50 acres.  The fire originated on tribal fee lands protected by ODF.  Approximately 12 acres is burning on lands protected by ODF.  The remainder of the fire is burning on Umatilla National Forest.  The fire is embedded in a brushy timber stringer which will challenge firefighters today.  This fire is burning in extremely steep ground.  Lightning caused. ODF resources including two Single Engine Air Tankers (SEATS) responded to this fire on Sunday.  A Type 1 helicopter, a Type 2 helicopter and an Interagency Hot Shot crew have been assigned to the fire for today.  The fire is being managed by a combination of interagency resources. 

Fire resources are being spread thin around the region so minimizing human caused fire starts is important.  The public is reminded that ODF is currently in Regulated Use Closure in Northeast Oregon and federal lands are currently under public use restrictions.  Current fire restrictions for forestlands in Northeast Oregon can be found at is your spot for current fire information in the Blue Mountains. 

To report a fire, call Blue Mountain Interagency Dispatch at (541)963-7171 or dial 9-1-1. 


Gibbon Fire burning in timber stringers.

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