Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Passing Thunderstorms Ignite Multiple Fires in Northeast Oregon and Southeast Washington

 Media Contacts:

Jamie Knight, Oregon Department of Forestry (Northeast OR District), (541) 786-2039  
Darcy Weseman, Umatilla National Forest, (541) 278-3722 
Peter Fargo, Wallowa-Whitman National Forest, (541) 523-1231

August 19, 2020 – 10:30 a.m.

PENDLETON, BAKER CITY, and LA GRANDE, Ore. - Fire crews in northeast Oregon and southeast Washington are responding to multiple reports of smoke and fire following passing thunderstorms Tuesday evening. Approximately 16 fires have been confirmed out of more than 40 incidents reported so far to the Blue Mountain Interagency Dispatch Center and John Day Interagency Dispatch Center. 

Local initial attack resources have been busy responding to these incidents with support from aerial resources. Additional smoke reports are likely to be detected throughout the next few day as temperatures warm and fire activity increases.  Aerial reconnaissance and fire lookouts are assisting with detection efforts. 

Currently, fire danger in the Blue Mountains ranges from HIGH to EXTREME. Public Use Restrictions involving campfires and chainsaw use are in effect. Regulated closures have also been implemented on State and private lands protected by Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) in northeast and central Oregon.

Please call 911 to report a wildfire.

For more information about Fire Danger Levels, Industrial Fire Precaution Levels and Public Use Restrictions, please contact:

ODF, Northeast Oregon District
Phone: (541) 963-3168 or (541) 786-2039
Umatilla National Forest:
Toll-Free (877) 958-9663
Twitter: @UmatillaNF 

Wallowa-Whitman National Forest: 
Baker City (541) 523-6391; La Grande (541) 962-8500; Joseph (541) 426-5546 
Twitter: @WallowaWhitman 

The latest fire information can be found by visiting the Blue Mountains Fire Information Blog ( 


Lightning activity as of 8:30 a.m. on Aug. 19, 2020

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