Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Final Rail Fire Update - Wednesday, Sept 7th

Fire transitions back to local Forests tomorrow
Unity, Oregon – The immediate suppression and repair work associated with containing the 41,716-acre Rail Fire have reached 90% completion. As the risk of the fire escaping, the variety of firefighting tasks, and the number of crews and equipment that are needed has gone down, the management of the Rail Fire can transition back to the local units of the Wallowa-Whitman and Malheur National Forests. This will formally occur on Thursday September 8 at 6:00 a.m.
Today several hundred firefighters and equipment resources are being demobilized to return to their home units for rest and new assignments. Work continues by approximately 100 firefighters and equipment operators on the fire area today. They continue disposing of slash created by the firefighting effort, repairing roads, and making fireline surfaces less prone to future erosion.
Although some smoke will continue to rise from the interior of the Rail Fire area and the weather will warm to 80 degrees this weekend, the risk of future escape is low. Rail Fire information will continue to be available from the National Forest offices and Inciweb, as changes occur.
The area immediately around the Rail Fire remains closed due to firefighters working, interior heat, weakened trees and damaged roads. Forest Road 16 remains closed south and east of the fire area. Forest Road 2652 is closed between 2640 and FR13. As fire traffic in the area subsides, some of these roads will reopen. Please check local Forest Service websites and offices for current Closure information. There is also a current Road and Area Closure map at
It has been a pleasure working with the local firefighters, overhead resources and communities to complete suppression of the Rail Fire. Brian Gales, Incident Commander of NW IMT #13 noted, “We appreciate the hospitality of the students and faculty of the Burnt River School who hosted our Incident Command Post through the summer and start of classes. Thank you all.”

Northwest Incident Management Team 13
Brian Gales, Incident Commander
Fire at a Glance
Size: 41,716 acres
Containment: 90%
Location: 5 miles west of Unity, Oregon
Start: July 31, 2016
Cause: Under Investigation
Personnel: 460
13 Crews
9 Engines
1 Dozer
10 Water tenders
2 Type 1 heavy helicopter
1 Type 3 light helicopter
Closures: The area immediately around the Fire remains closed. Forest Road 16 remains closed south and east of the fire area. 2652 is closed between 2640 and FR13. Most other roads have been opened. The closure order and map can be seen at
Click “Maps” for the current closure map.
Fire Information through Sept 7:
(541) 446-3592
Future Fire Information:
Wallowa-Whitman National Forest:
(541) 523-6391
Malheur National Forest
(541) 575-3000

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