Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Grizzly Bear Complex Update 8/25/15 8:00 p.m.

Firefighters are doing a great job at the Grizzly Bear Complex,
continue to improve containment lines, and take on new fires

 Elgin, Ore. – Firefighters were praised today by administrators from the Umatilla National Forest for the great job they have done holding the 60,272- acre Grizzly Bear Complex Fire in place. They are also pleased with the willingness to aid in initial attack of new fire starts and prepare and improve fire lines at such a rigorous pace. The fire is now five percent contained.

Today, firefighters contained the new 7-acre Green Ridge Fire burning near the Little Turkey Tail that started yesterday, while helicopters dropped water on the 100-acre Bear Ridge Fire east of Oregon Butte. Both fires are north of the main fire in Washington State. Contingency lines away from the northern perimeter of the fire are being scouted and will tie into existing fuel-reduction project areas and fire lines to the east of the Complex.

Efforts to contain the fire at the south and east perimeter have paid off as firefighters are now mopping up in Grouse Flats and along prepared lines in the rugged and steep slopes along the Grande Ronde River. Fire managers report that the containment lines there look the best they have in days. More than 14 miles of fire line has been constructed around the fire.

The fire has been pushing to the west in the Wenaha drainage. The emphasis for the next two days will be to complete the fire lines along the entire south and southeast perimeters.

Incident managers are looking forward to cooler weather predicted for this weekend when wetting rains and higher humidity levels are expected to prevail throughout the Pacific Northwest well into next week. The cold front, expected to arrive Thursday night, may also heighten the lightning activity level. Firefighters are preparing for initial attack of new fire starts.

Evacuation levels will remain the same until fire weather conditions allow for a change. The fire perimeter will require mop up inside containment lines and the mop up standards will vary depending on surrounding fuels and distance from structures.

One hundred twenty five National Guard personnel who will help with the mop-up activities will arrive on Sunday. The soldiers will be stationed at a base camp east of the fire near Flora or at Troy, Ore.

Public donations of food to firefighters is discouraged because diets required for rigorous work requires a large number of calories from high-protein foods and carbohydrates as well as vitamins and minerals found in vegetables and fruits.  These foods and other necessities are provided by the incident.  Firefighters appreciate donated, stamped postcards from the area that can be sent home to families. Charitable donations may be made to the Wildland Firefighter Foundation or the Red Cross. 

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