Friday, July 24, 2015


Lightning has sparked a wildfire burning on Oregon Department of Forestry protected lands near the Oregon/Washington border in Northern Wallowa County, including Nez Perce Precious Lands.  The fire is burning in grass and brush near the Joseph Canyon area, which is known to be steep and treacherous with very few natural breaks.  The nature of the terrain and the dry fuel conditions are making control difficult. 

A local Type 3 incident management team, supported by ODF and USFS personnel, has taken control of the fire today.  By the end of the day, there is expected to be approximately 125 personnel on the fire.  Additionally, air resources, including helicopters, single engine air tankers (SEATs) and heavy air tankers are being utilized today to try and minimize the amount of acres burnt and damage to natural and cultural resources.  

“This is tough country to fight fire in.  It's difficult country to try and get boots on the ground.  It’s steep and our folks really have to keep their minds on staying safe out there.”  Matt Howard, Oregon Department of Forestry Unit Forester.

The near-term weather report calls for warm temperatures and a slight chance of more thunderstorms. The public is reminded that ODF is currently in Regulated Use Closure in Northeast Oregon.  Fire managers recommend that recreationists check the fire regulations before heading out to enjoy the forest. 

Contact a local Oregon Department of Forestry office for more complete information on ODF Restrictions.
         La Grande Unit              (541)963-3168
         Baker City Sub-Unit      (541)523-5831
         Wallowa Unit                (541) 886-2881
         Pendleton Unit               (541)276-3491

Please check with your local National Forest for public use restrictions on National Forest land. You can visit the Umatilla NF website at  or the Wallowa-Whitman NF at or contact them by phone at Umatilla 541-278-3716; Wallowa-Whitman 541-523-6391. is your spot for current fire information in the Blue Mountains. 

To report a fire, call Blue Mountain Interagency Dispatch at (541)963-7171 or dial 9-1-1. 


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