Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Fire Update 8/20/14

Crews were prepared for initial attack on fires following the lightning storm on Sunday. Even with the increasing wind, no new fires were found outside the fire area. Due to the windy conditions, no burnout operations were conducted. All efforts were devoted to improving and holding lines on the north, east and south sides of the fire. The west side of the fire was patrolled by air.
Handcrews concentrated on the northeast edge checking for hotspots and improving firelines.
Helicopters dropped water on smokes in the interior on the southeast portion of the fire.
Weather and Fire Behavior
High pressure is forecast to build in from the northwest, following the cold front passage from yesterday. This will lead to less wind, cooler temperatures and slightly higher humidity. Weather conditions are predicted to be favorable for burnout operations.
Today’s Operations
Fire crews will continue to check lines on the northwest corner from the Aldrich Ridge to the South Fork of the John Day River. Emphasis will be placed on the northeast side where crews will strengthen the line with hand ignition along the 2150 road and down to the Thorn Creek burn scar. The east side is planned to be in hold and mop-up, while strengthening the lines.
The southeast and south sides of the fire are in a patrol and suppression repair status.
The west side of the fire will be patrolled by air.
Aviation resources will continue to support suppression efforts with bucket drops to cool hotspots along the line and on interior flare-ups.
There may be increased smoke in the Aldrich Lookout area due to burning operations.

Closures and Evacuations
The team is working diligently to contain the fire and create a safe area for public entrance.  Fire managers understand the importance of restoring access into the closure areas and are working with agency representatives to reopen areas when it is safe to do so.
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

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