Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Phillips Creek Update 8/4/15

Quick Facts
Incident Summary
1,538 acres
Incident Commander:
Brett Fillis
Resources on the Fire:
Hand Crews: 10
Helicopters: 3
Engines:  11
Dozers: 8
Water Tenders: 7
Total Personnel:
USDA-Forest Service 
Umatilla National Forest
Walla Walla R.D.
Oregon Department of Forestry

Social Media:

Phillips Creek Fire Update
Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2015, 12:00 p.m.
Fire Information: (541) 975-4271

ELGIN, OR – Firefighters have completed the fire line around the southern portion of the fire on private land.   Dozers have completed contingency lines along the west side on the fire.  Yesterday air tankers dropped retardant along the east side of the fire, to slow the spread of the fire to the east along Middle Ridge.  Although the fire has not reached Highway 204, Oregon Department of Transportation is instituting a pilot car this afternoon due to heavy aircraft use in the area.

An additional Level 1 Evacuation Notice has been issued by Union County officials on Highway 204 between Phillips Creek and Valley View, and on Valley View between Highway 204 and Gordon Creek.

Oregon Interagency Incident Management Team 2, led by Incident Commander Brett Fillis, assumed management of the fire this morning. The Incident Command Post (ICP) is located at the Elgin Stampede Rodeo Grounds.

The forecast today calls for winds out of the west and temperatures in the low 80's.  With generally hot and dry conditions there is a potential for active fire behavior.  Today, firefighters will continue to hold and improve both hand and dozer fire lines along the south and west flanks of the fire.  Fire officials are scouting, identifying, and beginning to construct contingency fire lines on the east portions of the fire.  Engines from fire departments in Union County are providing structural protection.  Five engines will be working on the night shift, patrolling the south side of the fire.

Phillips Creek Fire information can be found on Inciweb at:  http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/4443/ and on Facebook at  Phillips Creek Fire | Facebook.

Union County officials have issued a Level I Evacuation Notice for residents of Ruckle Road and Sanderson Springs Road, west of Elgin.  A Level I evacuation notice means residents should be READY to leave their homes at a moment’s notice.  Questions regarding evacuation notices and the evacuation process can be directed to the Emergency Operation Center at 541-963-1049.
Road Closures
Road closures have been expanded for public and firefighter safety and include:
· Forest Road 3738 (Phillips Creek Road) from its junction with Forest Road 3100 (Summit Road) to State Highway 204.
· Forest Road 3148 from its junction with Forest Road 3100 (Summit Road) to its end.
· Forest Roads 3148-010 and 3148-900 from their junction with Forest Road 3148 to their end.
· Forest Road 3740 from its junction with Forest Road 3738 to the forest boundary.
· Forest Roads 3740-020, 3740-025, 3740-030, 3740-040, and 3740-05.
· Forest Road 3734 from its junction with State Highway 204 to its end.
· Forest Road 3200 from its junction with Forest Road 3100 (Summit Road) to the forest boundary.
· Forest Road 3217 from its junction with Forest Road 3200 to its end.
· Forest · F Road 3100-035.
· County Roads: Sanderson Springs and Ruckle Roads west of Elgin; except to resident travel.

State Highway 204 remains open at this time though travelers should consider alternate routes to avoid firefighter traffic and smoke.

The official Road Closure Orders can be found at: http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/4443/
Smoke continues to be an issue in the Grande Ronde Valley and surrounding communities. To monitor the air quality index, the public can access the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality’s website at www.deq.state.or.us/aqi.
The fire danger rating has increased to EXTREME and Public Use Restrictions involving campfires and chainsaw use are in effect. For more information about the Umatilla National Forest’s Public Use Restrictions, please contact any forest office, call our Forest Information hotline at 1-877-958-9663, or visit our website at www.fs.usda.gov/umatilla/ or on the Blue Mountain Fire Information BlogSpot at http://bluemountainfireinfo.blogspot.com/.

Regulated closures are in effect on State and private lands protected by Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) in northeast and central Oregon. Please check with your local Oregon Department of Forestry office for public use restrictions on lands protected by ODF. Visit the Blue Mountain Interagency Dispatch webpage at: www.bmidc.org or contact a local Oregon Department of Forestry office for more complete information. Similar restrictions may be in effect on State and private lands protected by the Washington Department of Natural Resources (WA-DNR). More information can be found on the WA-DNR website at: http://fortress.wa.gov/dnr/firedanger/BurnRisk.aspx.

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