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News Releases
Miles Fire Update August 11, 2019 12:00 PM - 08/11/18

Forty-one different fire agencies are providing structure protection under the coordination of the Oregon Office of State Fire Marshal. These firefighters have checked 1018 structures, and prepared 398 homes to better withstand wildfire conditions. Those preparations were tested overnight with increased fire activity, and no homes were lost.

 

Although fire weather will be slightly moderated today, relative humidity levels remain well below the critical threshold. The fire area has seen minimal moisture since May, and is officially in a moderate drought condition. Fuel conditions remain conducive to active fire behavior. When the smoke inversion breaks mid-day, there will be a noticeable increase in fire behavior.

 

The southern flank of the Miles Fire will be the top priority for firefighters today. Late yesterday afternoon, two spot fires occurred outside of the perimeter. One spot is to the east side of Elk Creek Road, just south of the Homestead Trailhead, and is currently estimated to be at least 200 acres. Another spot fire is just north of the Alco Creek area. Helicopters and fixed wing aircraft will provide support to crews on the ground today. Smoke columns are anticipated to be visible today as interior islands burn on both northern flanks of the fire.

Acres - 29,397    Containment - 4%     Engines - 89 

Memaloose 2 Fire declared a conflagration - 08/11/18

Governor Kate Brown has declared the Memaloose 2 Fire, burning near the Memaloose State Park in Mosier, a conflagration. The declaration cleared the way for the state fire marshal to mobilize firefighters and equipment to assist local resources battling the fire.

 

The Office of State Marshal’s Blue Incident Management Team, and six structural task forces from Multnomah, Clackamas, Washington, Clatsop, Columbia, and Marion counties will arrive early afternoon and begin working to protect structures.

 

The following Level 1, 2 and 3 evacuations for Wasco County are as follows:

LEVEL 1 (GET READY) evacuation notice for the following:

Starting at the bottom of the Rowena Loops to the west end of Tooley Lake, both sides of Interstate 84 and both sides of Hwy 30 as well as Mayor State Park.

 

LEVEL 2 (GET SET TO GO) evacuation notice for the following:

The intersection of State Road and Marsh Cutoff to Dell Road. This includes both sides of the road.

 

LEVEL 3 (GO NOW) evacuation notice for the following:

The intersection of Highway 30 and Marsh cutoff all the way east to the bottom of the Rowena loops, this includes both sides of the Highway 30, Rowena Dell, Rowena Overlook, Canyon Way all the way down to Rowena Ferry Road.

Starting at the bottom of the Rowena Loops to the west end of Tooley Lake, both sides of Interstate 84 and both sides of Hwy 30 as well as Mayor State Park.

LEVEL 2 (GET SET TO GO) evacuation notice for the following:

The intersection of State Road and Marsh Cutoff to Dell Road. This includes both sides of the road.

LEVEL 3 (GO NOW) evacuation notice for the following:

The intersection of Highway 30 and Marsh cutoff all the way east to the bottom of the Rowena loops, this includes both sides of the Highway 30, Rowena Dell, Rowena Overlook, Canyon Way all the way down to Rowena Ferry Road

 

Oregon’s conflagration may be invoked only by the Governor and allows the State Fire Marshal to dispatch structural firefighters and equipment. More information on Conflagration and Emergency

 

More information on evacuations is available at Wasco County Sheriffs Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/WascoCountySheriff/?hc_ref=ARTVrl7XZjg4B1Ea1eVPFIU_hja5N-OGHnbggMctf6KJNRQmvcGcvxVoCJjnXrY5ZWk&fref=nf

 

Miles Fire Update August 8, 2018 12:00 PM - 08/08/18

The influence of the inversion which has persisted in the area the past few days began to minimize on Tuesday afternoon. This change in conditions allowed increased visibility;  aircraft assigned to the fire were able to fly and assist ground resources.

 

The Office of State Fire Marshal structural firefighters from Linn/Benton, Yamhill, Coos, Washington, Clackamas, and Lincoln/Polk counties continue to assess homes and prepare properties along Hwy 62 and support firefighting operations along Elk Creek Rd.

 

The same conditions that allowed the use of aircraft caused the fire to become more active in the Middle and Elk Creek areas. Lower humidity and higher temperatures pushed the fire to the Elk Creek Road and across Middle Creek. Firefighters worked throughout the night to locate and suppress spot fires. Burnout operations were also conducted to bring the fire down to the fire lines in a controlled manner.

 

A new Inciweb site will be created for the Miles Fire (including Miles, Columbus, Snow Shoe and Round Top Fires) The South Umpqua Complex and Sugar Pine Fire will no longer be updated on Inciweb.  For the latest information check: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/6112/.

 

Community Meetings: The Unified Command IMTs will be hosting three community meetings in the area this week.

Wednesday, August 8: Tiller Rural Fire Protection District, 27598 Tiller Trail Highway, Tiller 6:30 p.m.

Thursday, August 9: Upper Rogue Community Center 22465 Highway 62, Shady Cove 6:30 p.m.

Friday, August 10: Prospect Community Center, 305 Red Blanket Road, Prospect 6:30 p.m.

Sugar Pine Fire Declared a Conflagration - 08/03/18

Governor Kate Brown has declared the Sugar Pine Fire, burning outside of Shady Cove, a conflagration. The declaration cleared the way for the state fire marshal to mobilize firefighters and equipment to assist local resources battling the fire.

 

The Office of State Marshal’s Red Incident Management Team is under unified command, and has sent four structural task forces from Coos, Washington, Clackamas, and Lincoln/Polk counties, as well as a local Rogue Valley task force. 

 

LEVEL 3 EVACAUTION "GO"
Elk Creek Road, 8800 and above; Sugar Pine Road, all addresses; Dodes Creek Road, all addresses; Ulrich Road, 829 and above; Shelly Lane, all addresses; 4000-block of Lewis Road

LEVEL 2 EVACUATION "BE SET"
Lewis Road from Hwy 62 to the 3000-block; Evergreen Drive and all intersecting roads; Hwy 62 between Lewis Road and Prospect Access Road; Cascade Gorge Road, all addresses; Ulrich Road from Hwy 62 to the 820-block; Mill Creek Drive Between Hwy 62 and Prospect Access Road; Snodgrass Lane, all addresses; Mather Road, all addresses; Skookum Lane, all addresses.

LEVEL 1 EVACUATION "BE READY"
Still in effect for all areas near Trail.

 

Fire Size: 21,439 acres    Containment: 18%

Additional resources may be accessed at:

  • Oregon State Fire Marshal Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/OregonStateFireMarshal/

South Valley Fire declared a conflagration - 08/01/18

Governor Kate Brown has declared the South Valley Fire, burning southwest of Dufur, a conflagration. The declaration cleared the way for the state fire marshal to mobilize firefighters and equipment to assist local resources battling the fire.

The Office of State Marshal’s Green Incident Management Team and three structural task forces from Clackamas, Washington, and Clatsop counties have been mobilized and are expected to arrive late tonight.

The South Valley Fire being pushed by wind has grown to more than 3,500 acres.

Level 3 (GO NOW) evacuations issued from South Valley Rd all the way South to Friend Rd, and everywhere in between.

A Level 2 (GET SET) evacuation has been put in place for the area of "the blinking light" (Hwy 197 & 216) all the way to Conroy Rd and the top of Sherar's Bridge, North to the current level 3 zone. This includes Hulse Rd, Tygh Ridge Rd, and all points in between.  Begin to prepare for the possibility of evacuating.

More information on evacuations is available at Wasco County Sheriffs Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/WascoCountySheriff/

Update on Oregon fire agencies assisting with the Mendocino Complex Fire in California - 08/01/18

The Oregon Office of State Fire Marshal, through the Emergency Management Assistance Compact, activated its Agency Operations Center Saturday, July 28 and deployed one strike team and one task force with equipment and personnel to assist with the wildfires in California.

 

 

The Oregon State Fire Marshal’s strike team and task force are actively engaged in firefighting operations on a 24-hour work cycle protecting homes and other structures.

 

Oregon resources on the fire include 10 engines, and 39 firefighters from Multnomah and Columbia counties.   The teams are engaged in fire operations, Multnomah firefighters are assigned to the River Fire, and Columbia firefighters are assigned to the Ranch Fire.  An additional strike team from Marion County is en route today, which will include an additional 5 Fire Engines and 22 firefighters. 

 

Oregon State Fire Marshal’s agency rep Assistant Chief Deputy Claire McGrew reports that Oregon resources are performing well and morale is high.

Oregon State Fire Marshal sends equipment and personnel to assist with California wildfires - 07/29/18

The Oregon Office of State Fire Marshal, through the Emergency Management Assistance Compact, has activated its Agency Operations Center and one strike team and one task force with equipment and personnel who are enroute to assist with the Mendocino Complex Fire in California.

 

California fire officials submitted a request asking for assistance yesterday evening from Oregon. The OSFM activated its emergency mobilization plan, sending out the request for assistance to all Oregon fire agencies.

 

California made the request through the Emergency Management Assistance Compact a national state-to-state mutual aid system. The EMAC request is sent directly to Oregon Emergency Management who contact and coordinate with the appropriate Oregon agency to fulfill the requests.

 

Oregon county fire defense board chiefs have activated one strike team and one task force that are enroute from Columbia and Multnomah counties.

Garner Complex Fire Update July 28, 2018 12:00 PM - 07/28/18

Members of the public have a chance today to get information firsthand at a public meeting. The meeting is at 3 p.m. Saturday at North Valley High School, 6741 Monument Drive,  Grants Pass.

Volatile, erratic fire activity continues, particularly on the Taylor Creek Fire. The hot, dry weather conditions in the region promote fire growth and make it harder for firefighters to suppress the fire. Fire managers say there is active fire behavior on just about every area of the fire, particularly around the perimeter.

Taylor Fire:  Oregon State Fire Marshal’s structure task forces and wildland firefighters are working together, especially in the following road areas: Limpy Cr. Rd, Shan Cr. Rd, W. Pickett Rd, Pickett Rd., Galice Rd, and Taylor Cr. Rd. areas where the fire is nearing structure protection areas. To date, no structures have been damaged or lost. In the southwest corner, the Unmanned Air System (drone) located a 10’ x 10’ spot that firefighters were able to contain.

Grave Creek Fire: The fire was active along the south end of the fire perimeter. Firefighters continue today to establish control lines in that area. Other areas are stable. Firefighters are involved in mopping-up operations, up to 100 feet inside the perimeter.

“Ready, Set, Go! (Levels 1-3) evacuation levels are changing daily. To check the status of a particular residence or address, call the Southwest Oregon Joint Information Center at 541-474-5305 (hours: 7 a.m. to 11 p.m., with a recorded message for after hour calls). The Red Cross evacuation center is at Grants Pass High School, 830 NE Ninth Street.

The estimate containment is  27%  and 29,039 acres.

Resources:  Engines: 114,  Dozers: 32,  Water Tenders: 44,  Assigned Aircraft: 35,  OSFM Structure Task Forces: 11

Garner Complex Fire Update July 27, 2018 11:00 AM - 07/27/18

Fire activity was heavy around the perimeter of the Taylor Creek Fire overnight and into this morning. The column grew to an estimated height of 8-10,000 feet, exceeding the top of the ridge. Last night the fire was most active in the Shan Creek area. Some primary control lines were crossed, but secondary control lines held the fire.

The Taylor Creek Fire is expanding on several fronts. Fire fighters are gathering intel on the fire perimeter and scouting for future containment lines. Fire managers are constantly evaluating current information and making contingency plans.

The unstable nature of the fire is requiring careful reconnaissance and evaluation before firefighters engage. The Oregon State Fire Marshal’s structure protection task forces have a heavy presence in the area and have been planning with wildland resources should the fire move through residential areas.  The State Fire Marshal’s Office is mobilizing two more task forces this afternoon from Linn and Lane Counties. 

Weather conditions are likely to be favorable for using planes and helicopters in support of on the ground firefighters. However, high demand from other wildland fires may limit availability to the Garner Complex.
On the positive side, the Grave Creek Fire on the eastern side of the Garner Complex is doing well. Perimeter lines are holding and firefighters are predominately doing mop-up work on that fire, up to 100 ft in some places. A structure protection task force will be supporting a burnout operation today on the south end of the fire

Garner Complex Fire Update July 26, 2018 10:00 AM - 07/26/18

A “red flag” weather warning means conditions will be prime for rapid fire growth today. Firefighters were cautioned at this morning’s briefing that with gusty winds in the forecast, high temperatures and low humidity, conditions call for a high level of vigilance. In addition, much of the smoke that has been trapped over the fires has cleared out. “The fire will be getting a breath of fresh air today” said Incident Meteorologist Tom Wright, which could produce large columns of smoke.

The clear air will help the visibility of helicopters and airplanes used on the fire, and they will be operated as needed to help maintain our control lines. They will be used, as needed, to help maintain our control lines. And, if conditions are right, aerial ignitions are planned to remove unburned fuels between the active fire and the over 70 miles of firelines. Today, firefighters will patrol, strengthen and “mop up” the lines on the Grave Creek portion the Garner Complex.  

Last night, a spot fire did threaten the line in the Shan Creek area on the Taylor Fire but firefighters worked to contain it all night and into this morning. A top priority today will be to make sure that portion of the line stays secure.

Oregon Governor Kate Brown, along with other state and local elected officials, are planning a visit to the Garner Complex this morning. Also today, the United States Forest Service became part of the unified command, joining the Oregon Department of Forestry and the Oregon Office of State Fire Marshal. Much of the Taylor Creek Fire is burning on and threatening forest service lands. Finally, firefighters will be taking a “tactical pause” today to review the things needed to keep them safe, such as communications, escape routes and safety zones, and medical emergency procedures.

The estimated containment is 19% and 21,443 acres

 

Garner Complex Fire Update July 25, 2018 11:00 AM - 07/25/18

Last night, specially trained Hotshot crews were able to use burnout operations to remove fuels ahead of the Taylor Creek fire. Individual tree torching was visible throughout the night. However, the whole fire remains within the control lines due to the efforts of both wildland and the Office of State Fire Marshal’s structural fire fighters who worked through the night.

All day today burnout operations will be conducted on the south and east sides of the Taylor Creek Fire and the south side of the Grave Creek Fire. The public will see more active fire and smoke in these areas. These burnout operations are critical for widening the control firelines that are strategically placed to control the fire.

 The total current acres on each fire:

Taylor Creek 11,831

Grave Creek/Ditch Creek 7,047

Pleasant Creek 832

Spencer Creek 228

King Mountain 6

Air quality in the region remains in the unhealthy range due to smoke from the multiple fires in the area. More air quality information can be found at https://oregonsmoke.blogspot.com/.

Percent contained: 18%         Fire size: 19,944 acres        OSFM Structural Task Forces: 9 

Garner Complex Fire Update July 24, 2018 4:00 PM - 07/24/18

The Grave Creek Fire is at 6,546 acres. Much of the northern half of the fire has dozer lines, hand lines, or roads holding the fire in check. Today, fire fighters will work on completing construction of hand and dozer lines in mostly the southern and southeastern portions of the fire. Securing, holding, and patrolling containment lines are on-going around much of the fire. Assigned resources are: 37 crews, 27 engines, 21 heavy equipment, and overhead.

The Pleasant Fire is at 784 acres. Yesterday, the fire crossed over the containment line and burned a 30-40 acre area near Battle Mountain. Crews are working today to put a fire line around it and bring that portion back inside the fire line perimeter. Aircraft are planned to be active in this area. Most of the fire perimeter is secured by roads or dozer lines. In areas where there are unburned fuels between the fire perimeter and control lines or roads, Hot Shot crews are performing burnouts. Last night, an unmanned drone flew the fire and detected a new fire start. Crews were able to immediately react and put it out. Assigned resources are: 4 crews, 5 engines, 6 heavy equipment, and overhead.

The Taylor Fire is at 9,624 acres and still very active, however progressing slowly. It has burned south to the Shan Creek. Due to the topography, fire managers have taken a more indirect approach. There are primary and secondary control lines being built around the entire fire. The fire is burning towards those lines. Once lines are constructed, and the lines are reduced of excessive fuels, and plumbed with hose and fittings ahead of planned burn out operations. There was very little spread last night. Assigned resources are: 23 crews, 13 engines, 13 heavy equipment, and overhead.

The Ditch Creek Fire is at 169 acres. This fire is relatively unchanged. It is secured with a fire line all the way around the perimeter. Assigned resources are: 5 crews, 4 engines, 7 heavy equipment, and overhead.

The Spencer Fire is at 228 acres and has a secured fire line around the entire perimeter. There is one engine assigned to patrol and monitor.

The Oregon Office of State Fire Marshal Task Forces of structural engines have triaged and prepped over 500 structures. To date, no structures have been lost. Currently, there are nine OSFM Task Forces at the Taylor and Pleasant Creek Fires.

Garner Complex Fire Update July 24, 2018 11:00 AM - 07/24/18

Overnight, firefighters continued to make great progress on containing the Garner Complex Fire. Today’s day shift will continue to secure and hold control lines by strengthening hand-built and dozer lines, placing water hoses, and continuing mop-up operations. Firefighters will also be setting fire inside the control lines to consume fuel between the fireline and actively burning areas of the fire, weather permitting. The Office of State Fire Marshal’s structural crews continue to assess and create defensible spaces around homes and other structures on the Grave and Taylor Creek Fires.

The fire continues to slowly burn within the interior of those lines, leading to a growth of 2,075 acres. As smoke conditions allow, air support will be dropping water and retardant on the south and west sides of the Taylor, Pleasant, and Graves Fires. Spencer Creek Fire is holding within control lines and mop-up continues.

The weather forecast projects continued hot and dry conditions. Winds will have a west-northwesterly flow at 5 to 10 miles per hour. Smoke will be gradually lifting today, resulting in increasing temperatures and lowering of humidity. As a result, firefighters will likely see elevated fire activity.

The estimated containment is 15% and 17,369 acres.

Acreages by fire: Grave Creek/Sec.14 6,546; Pleasant Creek 784; Ditch Creek 169; Taylor Creek 9,642; Spencer Creek 228.

A public meeting will be held in Wimer today, July 24 at 6:00 P.M., located at Ev-ans Valley Education and Community Center, 8205 East Evans Creek.

 

Garner Complex Fire Update July 23, 2018 - 07/23/18

Public Meetings: Plans are set for two public meetings for the local communities that are being most effected by the Garner Complex fires. The first meeting will be Monday July 23, 2018 at 6:00 P.M. at the North Valley High School, 6741 Mon-ument Drive, Grant Pass, OR. Another meeting is set for Wimer on Tuesday July 24, 2018 at 6:00 P.M. at Evans Valley Education and Community Center, 8205 East Evans Creek.

Today 50 Oregon National Guard personnel arrived to staff ten road blocks around the clock. Supporting traffic control check points help the public avoid entering active fire areas.

Construction of direct and indirect control lines continues on the Graves fires. Much of the fire is holding within the lines on the north and west flanks, and hose-lays are in place in these areas. Crews worked down each side of the fire tying in reopened roads, hand and dozer lines. Much of the focus on the Grave Fire was to create a fire line across the southern edge to tie in line between the Ditch Fire and the Pleasant Creek fire. The Spencer Fires are subdued with few visible smokes. On the Taylor Fire, because of challenging fire behavior and topography, indirect control line is being built around the much of the fire, by a combination of hand crews and dozers. Some existing roads and old firelines from previous fires will also be utilized. The smoke inversion kept aircraft grounded most of the day.

OSFM Structure Taskforces were busy today doing triage, assessment, and protec-tion of homes in the evacuation areas. Resources on the fire today are: 70 Hand crews, 26 Aircraft, 100 Engines, 25 Dozer, 38 Water tenders and 2162 personnel.  The estimated containment is 14% and 11,564 acres.

For most current evacuation information, please contact the Joint Information Center at 541-474-5305 (8 AM—8 PM). A Red Cross Shelter is set up at the Grants Pass High School at 830 NE 9th Street in Grants Pass. 541-474-5710.

Garner Complex Fire Update - 07/22/18

Last night crews continued to tighten and secure control lines. They continue to evaluate where to place containment lines around the Grave Creek and Taylor Creek fires.

The Grave fire continued to spread towards the Pleasant Creek Rd. The State Fire Marshall’s Team was in place working to triage and surface prep around houses to support the wildland firefighters.

Overnight the Taylor Fire continued to spread as crews work to tighten direct fire-lines when possible and work on contingency lines. The fire has spread on the south side onto Forest Service ground. Overnight the State Fire Marshall’s had three Task Forces in place working to assess and surface prep near homes.

The three Spencer Fires, King Mountain Fire, and Swamp Fire have been lined, plumbed and are in mop-up. The Pleasant Fire and Ditch Cr. Fire are still having control lines completed by hand and equipment.

Today there will be 30 aircraft working on the fires including three airtankers. The aircraft time follows strict federal aviation laws regarding the amount they can fly everyday .

Equipment either for firecamp such as tables and chairs or fireline equipment nec-essary for fighting fires on order from the Incident Management Team is in short supply due to all of the fires in the region. We continue to place orders with Red-mond Cache, who have to prioritize for all regional fires to fill orders.

DEFINITIONS: Control lines: A term used for all constructed or natural fire barriers used to control a fire. Containment: When firefighters or other resources stop the forward progress of a fire with secured control lines.

CURRENT EVACUATION ORDERS: Level 2 Limpy Cr. Rd, Level 1 for Riverbank Rd., Dutcher Creek Rd. and all secondary roads and streets from Limpy Cr to Pickett Cr. Pleasant Creek Rd: Levels 2 and 3. Grave Cr. Rd is Level 3 north of intersection with Ditch Cr. Rd. Pickett Rd and all cross roads are Level 2 and West Picket Rd. is Level 3. A Red Cross Shelter is set up at the Grants Pass High School at 830 NE 9th Street in Grants Pass. 541-474-5710.

 Additional resources may be accessed at:

Substation Fire Update - 07/22/18

MORO, OR

More accurate mapping shows that the Substation Fire covered 79,121 acres. Containment reached 82% by Saturday evening. Fire behavior was minimal, with some smoldering in hotspots in Deschutes River corridor and Eight-Mile Canyon. The Oregon State Fire Marshall Red Team is demobilizing today.

The Wasco County Sheriff’s Office and the Sherman County Sheriff's Office have reduced the evacuation levels for all areas to Level 1. More information about the Ready, Set, Go preparation program can be found at http://www.wildlandfirersg.org

Crews will continue their work to reinforce and overhaul containment lines as they ensure areas are cool to the touch for a distance of 150 feet from the fire edge or any structures. Within the perimeter of the fire, and especially in the burned area in the Deschutes River Canyon, smoke in the interior of the burn may be present and visible for multiple days.  

Access to the Deschutes River is open.  However, boaters should use caution and may have to pull off in areas that have recently burned if they plan to camp between Macks Canyon and Heritage Landing. Black areas may still have hot spots, dangerous stump holes or rolling material. Use caution when setting up camp. Avoid standing trees and snags in recently burned areas that may be weakened by the fire and are at risk of falling.  

It is extremely dry across the region – just one spark can start a major fire.  Avoid parking in dry grass, discard cigarette butts in closed containers and be aware of local restrictions on campfires or fire use. Sparks from vehicles and other mechanical and motorized equipment (dragging chains and tie-downs, failed bearings, flat tires, catalytic converter failure, worn brake pads, hot exhaust systems) are a leading cause of human-caused wildfires.

Percent contained: 82%        Total personnel: 263 firefighters                 Fire size: 79,121 acres

 

For additional information:

    http://www.centraloregonfire.org/; https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/5963/

    www.facebook.com/substationfire2018

 

Garner Complex Declared a Conflagration - 07/21/18

Governor Kate Brown has declared the Garner Complex Fire conflagration.  The Garner Complex Fire is composed of several fires in Jackson and Josephine County and has burned 6,382 acres and is 8% contained. The declaration cleared the way for the state fire marshal to mobilize firefighters and equipment to assist local resources battling the fire.

The Office of State Marshal’s Blue Incident Management Team, four structural task forces from Rogue Valley, Klamath, Lane, and Linn counties will arrive morning and began working to protect structures.  Two more structural task forces will be mobilized this evening.

 Additional resources may be accessed at:

Substation Fire Community Meeting Today at 3:00 - 07/21/18

Community Meeting Today at 3pm At the Grass Valley Pavilion in Grass Valley, OR Meeting will be live-streamed, recorded and available to view anytime:  www.facebook.com/substationfire2018

 

MORO, OR – July 21, 2018 --  Progress on containment of the Substation Fire reached 44% by Friday evening. Now 80,763 acres, fire behavior was reduced to creeping and smoldering. Winds were not as strong throughout the day, although gusts of 20-25mph kept firefighters alert for potential hotspots.

Crews are now actively engaged with suppression repair activities and are continuing with evaluation of fire impacts and cataloging of any damaged structures and outbuildings. Mop-up and patrol with reinforcement of containment lines will continue. 

The Wasco County Sheriff’s Office and the Sherman County Sheriff's Office have reduced the evacuation levels for all level 3 areas to level 2. This includes areas along the Deschutes River, opening the launch and take-out points in Segments 3 & 4 to use. This will allow jet boat users to access the river via Heritage Landing. Although the area will be open to day and overnight use, boaters should use caution as the Substation Fire remains uncontained and work on the fire will continue for the near future. Avoid standing trees and snags in recently burned areas that may be weakened by the fire and are at risk of falling. Even small snags can cause serious injuries.

All residents and persons planning to travel to the area should check for the latest information regarding possible closures of roads and other areas (www.tripcheck.com).

Across the region, fuels are extremely dry. Avoid parking in dry grass, discard cigarette butts in closed containers and be aware of local restrictions on campfires or fire use.

Percent contained: 44% Total personnel: 307 firefighters Fire size: 80,763 acres

 

Reduced Evacuations, Some Containment Indicate Progress on Substation Fire - 07/20/18

MORO, OR – July 20, 2018 – Although gusty winds and uphill fire runs fanned the Substation Fire to 70,421 acres, crews made progress on Thursday, reaching 15% containment by the end of the day. Hand crews, air resources and heavy equipment continued working to mitigate the fire’s spread and reinforce containment lines, while engines and structural firefighters implemented point protection tactics to protect structures.

Today, crews will continue to focus on minimizing risk to the community and protecting agricultural resources. Some crews will shift from firefighting to evaluation and assessment of fire damage to structures. It is anticipated that the total numbers of structure damage and loss will increase due to these efforts.

“Feet and engines are on the ground, at the perimeter and to reach hot spots,” said Alex Haven, operations deputy chief for the Substation Fire. Winds have died down somewhat but hot, dry conditions, and low humidity are still contributing factors to the fire, he said, noting that the fire continues to be an evolving incident.

Friday morning, the Sherman County Sheriff’s Office reduced evacuation levels in Moro, Grass Valley and Kent to Level 2 (“Be Set”). Areas west of these communities continue to be at Level 3 (“Go”).  Incident Command is working the local sheriff’s offices and are looking for every opportunity to further reduce evacuations as well as restore recreational opportunities in the area. Residents and persons planning to travel to the area should check for latest information regarding possible road closures (TripCheck.com) and other areas, including Deschutes River access.

With the addition of the Pacific Northwest Incident Management Team, which arrived Thursday afternoon, resources have increased to nearly 300 people.

A Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR) is in effect for the airspace above the fire. This includes a prohibition on personal drones or radio-controlled aircraft that can interfere with firefighting operations.

To keep abreast of updated information, teams on the Substation Fire are conducting live morning briefings on Facebook (facebook.com/substationfire2018).

The Substation Fire command post and fire crews extend a heartfelt thanks to community members and local agencies who have been so supportive and for working side-by-side with fire crews.

 

Substation Fire Now Number One Fire in the Nation; Additional Resources Added - 07/19/18

MORO, OR –  Day 3 of the Substation Fire brought high winds, with gusts up to 35-40 mph, making it a challenging day for firefighters.

The winds gave way to growth at the south end of the fire, near Deschutes river canyon, impacting both agricultural and wildland areas. Significant air assets continue to be used throughout the incident, in addition to dozers that helped firefighters make progress towards containment.

The Substation Fire is now considered the number one fire in the nation. Additional resources arrived Thursday afternoon in the form of a Pacific Northwest incident management team. These 60 team members add greater depth to the operational forces currently employed on the fire and will assist in managing all aspects of the fire. The additional resources complement the 217 firefighters, who represent 73 fire agencies across the state, currently assigned to the fire.

The Oregon National Guard has been activated to assist the Oregon Department of Forestry with wildfire suppression efforts following Governor Kate Brown’s statewide wildfire emergency declaration on July 18, 2018. These assets include two CH-47 Chinook helicopters and two HH-60M Black Hawk helicopters equipped with Bambi water buckets.

Other air tankers known as “Super Scoopers” and “Fire Bosses” that can drop hundreds and thousands of gallons of water continue to be used, as well as single-engine air tankers that can disperse fire retardant. Aircraft in this fuel type are very useful; they can provide heavy drops on canyon ridges and precision attacks in steeper terrain.

Evacuation levels have been very fluid. Law enforcement and fire officials appreciate the community’s understanding and responsiveness regarding evacuations. Fire officials are working closely with the Wasco County Sheriff’s Office and Sherman County Sheriff’s Office to continually evaluate the risk to communities. Level 3 (“Go”) evacuations continue to be in place for Moro and Grass Valley. The communities of Wasco and Kent remain under Level 2 evacuation. Area residents are urged to heed local emergency notifications as well as check the local sheriff’s office Facebook page and the Substation Fire Facebook page (www.facebook.com/substationfire2018) for updates.

Segments 3 and 4 of the lower Deschutes River remain closed.

The American Red Cross shelter at The Dalles Middle School at 1100 E. 12th St remains available to residents impacted by the fire. In addition to sleeping accommodations, the shelter is a resource for meals, community updates, and a cool place to get out of the heat and smokey conditions.

Locally, smoke is in the moderate to unhealthy range. Sensitive groups, such as those with asthma, chronic respiratory disease or cardio vascular disease, are encouraged to avoid smoke exposure, reduce time spent outdoors and avoid strenuous activity during smoky conditions.

 

Substation Fire Evacuations Grow; Fire Crews Battle Winds - 07/18/18

Governor declares state of emergency

Moro, OR – July 18, 2018 – The Substation Fire started southeast of The Dalles on Tuesday afternoon and moved further east today. Firefighters saw heightened activity on the north and the south end of the fire. More than 50,000 acres in Sherman and Wasco Counties are affected.

Level 3 evacuations (“Go”) increased to include Moro; level 2 evacuations (“Be Ready”) grew to include the community of Wasco, south to the community of Kent and several miles east. More than 900 homes are in the Level 2 and level 3 areas.  A Red Cross shelter open at The Dalles Middle School at 1100 E. 12th St in The Dalles.

Oregon Governor Kate Brown declared a state of emergency due to the ongoing threat of wildfire and increasing wildfire activity. The declaration makes available resources from around the state, and from outside of Oregon if necessary.

As of Wednesday afternoon 178 firefighters from 32 agencies across Oregon are focused on protecting structures in the line of the fire.  Additional resources continue to arrive from around the state.

A wide variety of flying air tankers have been deployed to fight the Substation Fire. These include:

  • Two 750-gallon capacity “Fire Bosses”
  • Two ”Super Scooper” air tankers, capable of which are “scooping” 12,000 gallons of water from the Columbia River to drop on the fire
  • A heavy air tanker which drops retardant on the fire
  • Two Type-2 helicopters

A VLAT (Very Large Air Tanker), which can carry 12,000 gallons of water, was also deployed.

“I saw neighbors helping neighbors and firefighters going the extra mile to bring this fire under control,” said Public Information Officer Damon Simmons. “While these fires are awful, they show the true spirit of the local residents and Oregonians in general.”

Hwy 97 has been closed intermittently. Travelers are advised to check ODOT TripCheck for up-to-date information.

The Wasco Co. Sheriff’s Office confirmed one civilian fatality as a result of exposure to the fire.

A hotline for Substation Fire information has been established: 503-597-8076. Additional information is available at www.faceook.com/Substation2018.

 

 

 

Substation Fire declared a conflgration - 07/18/18

Governor Kate Brown has declared the Substation Fire, burning near The Dalles, a conflagration. The declaration cleared the way for the state fire marshal to mobilize firefighters and equipment to assist local resources battling the fire.

The Office of State Marshal’s Red Incident Management Team, four structural task forces, and two strike teams from Multnomah, Clackamas, Washington, Central Oregon, Yamhill, and Marion counties arrived early this morning and began working to protect structures.

A Level 3 evacuation was put in place for Eight Mile Road at Emerson Loop Road to Emerson Loop Road and Company Hollow Road, as well as all of Wrentham Market Road and Mason Road.

The following Level 1, 2 and 3 evacuations for Sherman County are as follows:

South of Gordon Ridge Rd from the Deschutes River, east to Hwy 97 and south to King Lane, South along Sayers Rd to Payne Loop is a Level 3. The Towns of Grass Valley and Moro are Level 2.

North of Gordon Ridge Rd to Interstate 84 and HWY 206, east to Hwy 97 and south along Henrichs, Doumand and Lone Rock Rd, and south to Rutledge Lane, as well as the area further south between Finnegan Rd to the Deschutes River is a Level 2. 

The area east of HWY 97 to Hwy 206, and south to Fairview Rd is a Level 1.

Deschutes River from Sheers Bridge to the mouth and Deschutes Park are at Level 3.

Oregon’s conflagration may be invoked only by the Governor and allows the State Fire Marshal to dispatch structural firefighters and equipment.  

More information on evacuations is available at Sherman and Wasco County Sheriffs Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/Sherman-County-Sheriffs-Office-643904422378873/

https://www.facebook.com/WascoCountySheriff/?hc_ref=ARTVrl7XZjg4B1Ea1eVPFIU_hja5N-OGHnbggMctf6KJNRQmvcGcvxVoCJjnXrY5ZWk&fref=nf

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