Saturday, August 23, 2014

South Fork Complex Update 8/23/14

Oregon Incident Management Team #2 is transferring command of the fire to a local fire management organization Sunday at 6am.

Some interior burning continues to fill in unburned islands well inside control lines on the north side, tying the fire into the old Thorn Creek burn, where forest vegetation and litter is light.  Fire suppression repair continued on the northeast to southeast perimeter.  Aerial reconnaissance was used to patrol the perimeter and monitor fire behavior.
Weather and Fire Behavior
Afternoon cloud build up is predicted again today.  There is a potential for isolated showers.  Temperatures are expected to be in the upper 50’s on the ridges and 70’s in the valleys.  Erratic and gusty winds could cause flare ups.  Fire behavior includes isolated surface spread and sustained smoldering.   
Today’s Operations
The northwest and eastern flanks are in mop-up status.  Other areas around the perimeter are being patrolled and suppression repair is progressing.  Aerial reconnaissance will patrol and monitor fire behavior.
The public is advised to travel slowly through these areas and be aware of the possibility of falling trees weakened from fire, rolling rocks and fire traffic.
 Note - Forest Rd. 21 is closed between the NF boundary on the north and the junction of Rd. 2108. 

·         Malheur National Forest:  The following area is open:  County Road 42;  Forest Road 24;Forest Road 2180 from its intersection with Forest Road 24 continuing N/NW to the intersection with Forest Road 21.  Lands east of Forest Road 21 north to the forest boundary (this portion of FR 21 is closed).  The portion of FR21 from its intersection with FR2180 east to its terminus with county road 63 is open. 
·         BLM Prineville District Lands: The following closures have been enacted:  Jackass Creek Road, Murders Creek Road, Oliver Creek Road.
·         Grant County Sheriff’s Office:   The level 1 evacuation is lifted for the area bounded by the 2150 road on the south, the 21 road on the east, Highway 26 on the north and on the west by a line running due north from the Aldrich Lookout to Highway 26.
·         Ochoco National Forest:  All closure orders are rescinded.  

Maps and other information, are available online at

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Fire Update 8/21/14

Fire crews checked lines on the northwest corner from the Aldrich Ridge to the South Fork of the John Day River for any residual heat and extinguished it. On the northeast side crews strengthened the line with hand ignition along the 2150 road and down to the Thorn Creek burn scar.
The southeast and south sides of the fire continue in a patrol and suppression repair status.
Aviation resources continued to support suppression efforts with bucket drops to cool hotspots along the line and on interior flare-ups, and patrol the west side.
One new fire start was discovered on the southeast side outside the fire lines and was quickly extinguished.
    Weather and Fire Behavior
Upper level moisture moving down the east side of the North Pacific Ridge will lead to occasional patches of cirrus clouds over the region on Friday. Low relative humidity values will continue despite slightly cooler temperatures. Winds are expected to be out of the northwest.
    Today’s Operations
Emphasis will be to continue containment efforts on the northeastern perimeter of the fire, south of Dayville. Crews will continue mop-up and fire suppression repair on the southeastern and northwestern perimeter. The west side of the fire will continue to be patrolled by air.
Aerial ignition  is planned for the north side to increase depth in the line if fire behavior conditions are favorable. 
Crews will continue to be available for additional initial attack on new starts from lightning.
Closures and Evacuations
Agency administrators and the fire team are finalizing plans to reduce the closure areas and evacuation levels on the South Fork Complex. 
A Level 1 evacuation remains in effect for the area bounded by the 2150 road on the south, the 21 road on the east, Highway 26 on the north and on the west by a line running due north from the Aldrich Lookout to Highway 26.
A closure is in place on the Malheur National Forest, the Ochoco National Forest and BLM and private lands surrounding the fires. All roads and trails are closed within the closure area. Closure information is available online at
Maps and other information, are available online at