Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Wilson Prairie Fire Evening Update - July 24, 2018

Contact:    Christie Shaw, Oregon Department of Forestry (541-263-0661)
                  Darcy Weseman, Umatilla National Forest (541-278-3722)

[Morrow County, Ore.] Today additional resources arrived to support fire suppression efforts on the Wilson Prairie Fire in Morrow County.  Firelines around the fire were strengthened and efforts made to complete hand and dozer fireline around the fire adjacent to retardant drops.  However, late today the fire moved outside the fireline and pushed into the Porter Creek drainage on the southern end of the fire.  Evening downslope winds have continued to move the fire through the drainage to the southeast and across the ridge into the next drainage to the south.  Very Large Air Tankers (VLATS), Single Engine Air Tankers (SEATs), and helicopters continued to drop water and retardant on the fire to slow the fire growth and allow firefighters and equipment on the ground to engage in the suppression efforts.  These ground resources are working to strengthen fireline along existing roads as well as building fireline in locations favorable to stopping the fire spread.
The movement of the fire has prompted evacuation and closure of the U.S. Forest Service campground at Bull Prairie Lake.  Fire crews are escorting campers outside the fire area to safety.  The campground is approximately a half mile south of the current fire perimeter.
Fuel conditions within the fire perimeter vary significantly based on their location and fuel type.  Unburned fuel remains within the fire perimeter.  Interior flare-ups may occur if the fuels dry out due to weather or heat from the fire itself. 
The fire is currently estimated at 700 acres.  Firefighters will work into the night taking advantage of cooler temperatures and improved humidity which reduce the fire behavior.  Additional firefighting resources will arrive to engage tomorrow, working to build line around the southern perimeter of the fire.
The weather forecast for the region is a continued hot and dry trend with poor humidity recovery.  Please follow restrictions to limit potential human wildfire ignitions.
·        Regulated Closure is in effect for ODF’s Central Oregon District.  Specific restrictions, intended to reduce human caused fires, can be found at www.ODFcentraloregon.com.  
·        Phase A of the Public Use Restrictions (PURS) for the Umatilla National Forest is in effect.  For more information regarding these and other restrictions on the Umatilla National Forest visit www.bmidc.org.


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