Saturday, August 13, 2016

Rail Fire Morning Update- Aug. 13, 2016

Saturday, August 13, 2016 @ 9AM
The Rail Fire started Sunday afternoon, July 31, approximately five miles west of Unity, Oregon.  Northwest Incident Management Team Twelve (NWIMT#12) assumed command of the fire at 6:00 a.m. Monday, August 1.  

NEWS FROM THE FIRELINE:    Fire crews are fighting fire with fire.  Burnout operations along ridgelines and fuel breaks are producing low to moderate fire behavior with approximately two to four foot flame lengths.  Fire fighters are slowly working fire off of the ridges into inaccessible drainages.  The main fire will continue to spread toward these burnout lines.  Recently ignited areas are monitored day and night with resources on the line.  Mop-up operations are occurring after the heat has decreased enough to allow crews to safely extinguish smokes.  The smoke column may be visible from Sumpter and Prairie City as ignitions continue.  Smoke levels in valleys near the fire are considered unhealthy from 2:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. today. For more information about smoke conditions and what to do please visit  Crews will continue burn out operations in targeted areas as long as weather and fire behavior are favorable.

PUBLIC INFORMATION: Public Information Officers will be in the communities of Unity, Prairie City, Sumpter, and Baker City today to provide fire updates, maps and answer questions.

The Incident Management Team will host a Public Information Forum Conference Call Saturday at 5 p.m. to share information regarding the current fire activity and long-term suppression strategy. The public is encouraged to submit questions via email to the team, which will be addressed after the conference call. To submit questions before or after the Call, log on to The Conference Line number is: 1-888-844-9904; Access Code: 2651088#. 

CONTAINMENT: 10%                              SIZE:  13,500 acres

LOCATION:  Approximately 5 miles west of Unity, Oregon
VEGETATION TYPE AND TERRAIN:  Grass, sage brush, and timber in moderate and steep terrain.

WEATHER:  Overall, hotter and drier conditions will persist throughout the day.   Temperatures are predicted to reach a high of 90 degrees in the valley and 77 on the ridges.  Relative humidity values will be as low as 15 to 20 percent.   

PERSONNEL & RESOURCES: 710 people, 23 crews, 10 dozers, 21 engines, 19 water tenders and 8 helicopters are assigned to the fire.

AGENCIES & COOPERATORS INVOLVED:   Forest Service, Oregon Department of Forestry, Baker County Sheriff’s Department and Emergency Services and local residents.  The daily cooperator meeting has been suspended.

Mary Bean, Incident Information Officer

Incident Information Office Phone: (541) 446-3592

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