Thursday, July 30, 2020

Matlock Fire Update - July 30, 2020

UKIAH, Oregon - This morning, the Northeast Oregon Interagency Type 3 Incident Management Team, led by Incident Commander Gabe Hale, took charge of the 85-acre Matlock Fire, burning in timber on the Umatilla National Forest 13.5 miles northwest of Ukiah, Oregon. The fire was sparked by lightning on July 28; hot, dry conditions, along with gusty winds, initially pushed the fire northward along Matlock Hill. The fire was detected through an Oregon Department of Forestry camera on Black Mountain. Yesterday, with the aid of retardant-dropping large air tankers, firefighters were able to check the fire’s growth and begin establishing containment lines. The Matlock Fire is now 40% contained.

Today, firefighters on the ground are continuing to construct containment lines along each flank and across the head of the fire, supported by water-dropping helicopters to cool and slow hot spots. Several small spot fires are being encircled by dozers. In some areas, mop-up has begun – firefighters are meticulously searching the burned area to extinguish any pockets of heat which might remain.

Incident Commander Hale’s goals include stopping the progression of the Matlock Fire before any private lands are burned, and protecting natural and cultural resource values in the area. Firefighting resources assigned include three Interagency Hotshot Crews, one Type 2 handcrew, seven Type 6 engines, seven water tenders, three dozers, and two feller-buncher/skidder teams. Aerial support includes two Type 1, two Type 2, and one Type 3 helicopter.

Hot and dry weather, along with the threat of additional thunderstorms, are predicted today, which could result in increasing fire behavior.

Firefighters are taking precautions to prevent transmission of coronavirus. Information is being provided virtually, crew camping areas are dispersed, and resources are being kept apart to the extent possible.

To protect public and firefighter safety, a Closure Order is in effect for several roads in the vicinity of the Matlock Fire. The Closure Order and map can be viewed on the Matlock Fire InciWeb site at

Incident Information: Travis Mason-Bushman, 541-519-8051

Fire size: 
85 acres


13.5 miles northwest of Ukiah, Oregon

Start date: 
July 28


Total personnel: 


Northeast Oregon Interagency Type 3 Incident Management Team

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