La Grande, OR- Firefighters across the district have been busy responding to several lightning-caused fires from yesterday’s thunderstorms. A total of 25 smoke reports have been reported on lands protected by Oregon Department of Forestry-Northeast Oregon District. These fires are spread around the district, however several of them have occurred in Wallowa and Union counties. The majority of the fires were stopped at less than 1 acre.
The Gimlet Fire, located in Baker County 5 miles southwest of Sumpter, burned approximately 2 acres. This fire is contained, and firefighters are on scene today to continue mopping up. Firefighters in the Pendleton Unit responded to one lightning-caused fire located 16 miles southeast of Pendleton. This fire burned 1/10th of an acre and has been contained. The La Grande Unit has responded to three smoke reports. All of these fires were less than 1/10th of an acre and are contained.
In Wallowa County, 19 fires were reported. The Maxville Fire is located 12 miles northwest of Wallowa. The fire is estimated to be five acres. Firefighters are on scene today mopping up and further securing the fire line.
The Wise Fire, located near Smith Mountain Road burned 132 acres yesterday. A mix of ground and aviation resources provided a quick response and stopped the spread of this fire. Resources are on scene today securing fire lines and mopping up. The Wallowa County Sheriff’s Office issued a LEVEL 2 (GET SET) evacuation order for the Smith Mountain Road. The Saw Dust Pile Fire was reported eight miles northwest of Wallowa. The fire burned nine acres and has been contained. The Type 3 Incident Management Team that is managing the Elbow Creek Fire will also be managing these two fires. This allows for local resources to remain ready for any additional fires that may be reported.
Conditions are expected to be warmer and drier today. Resources will be patrolling areas of heavy lightning and monitoring for additional fires. Aerial resources will also be providing patrol through the weekend. Fires can be reported by calling Blue Mountain Interagency Fire Center at (541)963-7171 or by dialing 9-1-1.
ODF’s Northeast Oregon District is in Regulated Use Closure or Public Use Restrictions. Restrictions can be found at http://bmidc.org/restrictions.shtml. Fire conditions are Extreme throughout the region. Please use caution to help prevent forest fires. Fuel conditions in many areas are critical for active fire behavior and fire growth.
Contact the Oregon Department of Forestry-Northeast Oregon Fire Prevention Information Line for more information on ODF’s Public Use Restrictions: (541) 975-3027