Thursday, August 10, 2017

Multi-agency response stops spread of Kirk Road Fire

Contact: Christie Shaw, (541) 263-0661                                                                                          
(Weston, Ore.) Fire fighters from Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF), U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Indian Affairs, and numerous fire departments in Umatilla County responded to the Kirk Road Fire near Weston, Oregon yesterday afternoon.  The fire originated in a wheat field, burning quickly onto adjacent wildland fuels.  A combination of air and ground resources were able to contain the fire late Wednesday evening at 242 acres, including 76 acres of private land protected by ODF.

Using a Unified Command structure incident commanders Justin Lauer (ODF) and Dave Baty (East Umatilla Rural FD) were able to coordinate fire suppression activities to provide point protection for the structures and aggressively work to control the spread of the wildfire.  Lauer remarked, “This was really a multi-agency effort, with everyone working together and focusing on their part of the fire”. Engines from fire departments throughout Umatilla County were instrumental in protecting homes threatened by the fire.  One outbuilding was destroyed.  In addition to the structural engines, resources fighting the fire yesterday included a large air tanker, Single Engine Air Tankers, a Type 2 helicopter, a USFS hand crew and numerous wildland fire engines.  

As of this morning the fire was 75% controlled.  Today five contract engines, two water tenders and a crew from Department of Corrections will be strengthening firelines and mopping-up burning material in the interior of the fire.

The public is reminded that as of 12:01 a.m. August 11, 2017 ODF’s Northeast Oregon District will implement additional restrictions intended to reduce human caused wildfires.  The Regulated Closure prohibits open burning, chainsaw use, mowing and cutting of dry grass, and welding and cutting of metal.  Other activities included in the restriction can be found at  Fire conditions are EXTREME throughout the region, with thunderstorms in the forecast.  Please be mindful of your actions to help prevent forest fires.

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

To report a fire, contact:
Blue Mountain Interagency Dispatch (541) 963-7171
Or, call 9-1-1.

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