Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Umatilla National Forest Evening Fire Update

News Contact: Darcy Weseman, (541) 278-3722
August 22, 2018 - 7 p.m.

PENDLETON, Ore. – Firefighters continue to make progress on wildfires caused by the recent thunderstorms. Fire managers anticipate more fires may be reported throughout the next few days as weather conditions continue to stay warm and dry.
The Harrison Fire remains 30 acres and is now 100% lined and 50% contained. The fire is located 16 miles west of Sumpter, Oregon, within the Greenhorn unit of the North Fork John Day Wilderness on the North Fork John Day Ranger District. This section of the wilderness is remote and in steep terrain, making access difficult.  Firefighters continued to build and strengthen fire line today while watching for any new spot fires. No new spot fires were discovered since this morning. A helicopter supported ground resources today by dropping water and cooling hot spots. Resources on scene include 65 firefighters, air attack and one helicopter. An area, trail and road closure within the vicinity of the Harrison Fire has been implemented as of today at 6 a.m.  A map and detailed description of the area closure is available at any Umatilla National Forest office and at the bottom of this news release.   
Firefighters made progress securing containment lines on the Gilman Fire today, located near Gilman Flats on the Heppner Ranger District and Prineville Bureau of Land Management lands that are protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry. The fire is 954 acres in size and 70% contained.  Fire behavior was miniminal today, with the fire smoldering, creeping and spots of isolated heat within the interior. This allowed firefighters to focus efforts on securing the perimeter of the fire to reduce the risk of fire moving outside of the containment lines and building fire line in the Ditch Creek area to keep the fire out of the bottom of the drainage.  Two helicopters supported ground resources today by dropping water and cooling hots spots. Currently 160 people are assigned to the fire, including several resources from the Oregon Department of Forestry. Grant County has issued a Level 1 Pre-Evacuation Fire Advisory for the area of Monument, Ritter, Dale and Middle and North Fork communities. The advisory area extends from Hwy 402, north to the Grant County line, and Hwy 395 west to the Grant County line. Residents in the area should make advance preparations and stay tuned for further updates. For additional information on this pre-evacuation fire advisory please visit and click on the emergency alert system link.
Firefighters were successful today on the Low Ridge Fire, located within the Mill Creek Watershed near Indian Ridge approximately 17 miles SE of Walla Walla, Washington on the Walla Walla Ranger District. Low Ridge Fire 1 remains at 2.5 acres and is now 100% contained. Firefighters will be mopping up hot spots today within the fire perimeter. Fire managers anticipate that mop up activities will take several days to secure, due to the steep, rocky terrain in the area and heavy brush and snags. Resources on scene include five smokejumpers, five firefighters from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife, and a 10-person hand crew from Alaska. Resources will begin to be released tonight at close of shift with the smokejumpers and 10-person hand crew remaining on the fire tomorrow. The Low Ridge 2 Fire is a tenth of an acre in size and was declared out.  
The Pomeroy Ranger District picked up one new fire, the Hardy 2 Fire, which is less than a tenth of an acre in size located near Hard to Get to Ridge, 20 miles south of Pomeroy, Washington. The fire was reported on Aug. 21 at 5:45 p.m. and is burning in grass and timber near the location of the Hardy Fire, which was declared out yesterday. Three firefighters secured the containment lines today and the fire is now declared out.
Weather conditions continue to be warm and dry over the next few days. Fire officials want to remind everyone that the current fire danger rating remains at EXTREME and Public Use Restrictions involving campfires and chainsaw use are in effect.
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:  
For more information regarding Restrictions, please contact:
Umatilla National Forest:
Information Hotline: Toll-Free (877) 958-9663
Twitter: @UmatillaNF

The latest fire information will be posted on the Blue Mountains Fire Information Blog. To receive updates on fires in the Blue Mountains, follow our blog at

Harrison Fire Closure Description

The area closure includes:
The area within the following boundary: starting at the Ben Harrison Trail Head, heading generally north along the North Fork John Day (NFJD) Wilderness boundary towards the junction of where the NFJD Wilderness boundary intersects the Lost Creek Trail (National Forest System Trail (NFST) 3002), then south along NFST 3002 to the junction of the Ben Harrison Trial (NFST 3173), then east along the NFST 3173 back to the Ben Harrison Trail Head. The area is approximately 6,575 areas in size. Prohibited access does not apply to use of Forest Road No. 10. 

The trail closures include:
·       National Forest System Trail (NFST) 3173 - East of the Ben Harrison Trailhead on the Ben Harrison Trial to the Junction of NFST 3002 of Lost Creek Trail

·       National Forest System Trail (NFST) 3002 - Lost Creek Trail south of the Lost Creek Saddle Camp Trailhead

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