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Logging Unit Fires Wildfire

Sunday, July 20, 2014 – 9:00 a.m. PDT Fire Status Update

Incident: Logging Unit Fires

Total Acres: 7,328

% Contained: 0

Total Personnel: 310

News & Highlights for the Logging Unit Fires:

  • Camas Prairie/Logging Unit Fire continues to be active, prompting a Level 2 notification to tribal members living in the Sid Walter Flats as of 8:30 a.m. this morning. Approximately 54 residences are affected by the notification. The fire is approximately 3.5 miles from the closest structure and 8 miles from the Incident Command Post on County Line Road.

  • Motorists traveling on Highway 26 should expect varying degrees of smoke impacts associated with fire activity. Be prepared for additional heavy equipment on the highway, including heavy traffic from fire engines and fire crews. Motorists are advised to be particularly vigilant at the Warm Springs/Ka-nee-ta turnoff at Hwy 26.

  • The Skyline Fire also increased in activity yesterday, prompting a night shift.

  • Additional resources continue to arrive: Four interagency hotshot crews, several 20-person hand crews, 20 engines, 7 dozers and 4 water tenders are currently assigned. In addition, two Blackhawk helicopters and 2 Chinook helicopters are being shared with the Shaniko Butte Fire.

  • Plans are being made to identify safe areas for huckleberry picking for tribal members; more information to be provided.

  • Crews are taking care to keep equipment out of wetlands, riparian areas and the South Fork of the Warm Springs River.

  • The old mill site is a historical site that is being protected with dozer line and sprinklers.

  • The Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs is in Industrial Fire Precaution Level 4 (shutdown) and expects long duration of extreme fire danger levels.

  • Warm Springs tribal members are advised to stay indoors or inside vehicles to limit exposure to smoke. For more information about wildfire smoke and air quality, visit www.oregonsmoke.blogspot.com

Logging Unit Operations Summary:

Yesterday on the north flank of the Bear Butte 2 Fire, firefighters made good progress with indirect tactics and handline. Dozer line construction will begin today in the Milk Creek and Bald Peter areas. Crews will construct handline, prep for burnout operations, and scout for line construction and contingency lines.

On the Skyline Fire, which is approximately 80 acres in size, crews have also made good progress; 1/3 mile of line is needed to complete a line around the fire. The Haily Butte Fire is mostly lined and crews will continue to improve the line today and being mop-up. On the Logging Unit/Camas Prairie Fire, an anchor point is established on the west flank. The fire’s progression yesterday has moved it closer to the flats, where fuels are lighter, increasing rates of spread but reducing intensity. Crews and aircraft, including heavy helicopters and air tankers, will be focusing efforts around the powerline.

National Guard helicopters were utilized yesterday and will be used again today for work on the Camas Prairie/Logging Unit Fire. Three initial attack helicopters stationed at Warm Springs are available on an as-needed basis, dependent upon their availability.

FIRE FACT:

Mt Hood National Forest Closures:

  • FR 4220 between FR 46 and Warm Springs

  • Closure area near Ollalie Lakes

  • Pacific Crest Trail from Breitenbush Lake (Mile 2047.1) to Road 42 at the Joe Graham Campground (Mile 2083). For additional information on the Pacific Crest Trail status, contact the Mt Hood National Forest at www.fs.usda.gov/mthood or the Pacific Crest Trail Association at www.pcta.org

Logging Unit Fires: Located on Warm Springs Agency approximately 25 miles NW of Warm Springs. Fire is burning in mixed conifer above 3800 feet and ponderosa pine below 3800 feet and grass & brush at lower elevations. Started: July 13, 2014. Cause: Under investigation; significant lightning activity has occurred within the last week. Location: Western boundary of Confederated Tribes of Warms Springs lands.

SAFETY CONCERNS: Snags, power lines, rattlesnakes, scorpions, bears, rugged terrain, access to adequate safety zones, livestock, steep and dusty roads, rolling material, reburns.

RESOURCE CONCERNS: Main concerns include the threat to commercial timber and natural resources on Warm Springs lands, including old growth trees, pristine spring chinook runs, water quality, wildlife, plant and cultural concerns.

WEATHER: Warm conditions with westerly winds should predominate the weather over the Logging Unit Fires area today. A little cooler than yesterday with highs 70s to mid 80s across the fire area. WNW winds are expected to be gusty during the afternoon through sunset. Conditions will remain dry through today.

On Monday, expect some cooling with additional cloud cover, increasing humidity and a chance of showers and thunderstorms late Monday.

TODAY’S EXPECTED FIRE BEHAVIOR: Fire spread will again be primarily through short range spotting. Fire spread should be moderate, unless fire aligns with wind, slope and continuous fuels, and then a high degree of resistance to control can be expected. A moderate inversion to lift by 11:00 a.m. Expect moderate to heavy smoke as fire activity increases; heavy smoke may hamper aviation support mid-afternoon to early evening.

The Camas Prairie Fire has transitioned into dry ponderosa pine with grass understory. Rates of spread will increase with wind assistance but intensity should be reduced. Expect fire behavior to increase mid-morning on the west flank of Fort Butte and potential spotting across Cedar Creek to the south.

COOPERATING AGENCIES & PARTNERS: Warm Springs Agency, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Mt Hood National Forest, Deschutes National Forest, Willamette National Forest and Prineville Bureau of Land Management.

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