PNW Update


New Suppression on 08/23/05: Light initial attack on 8/23, which was confined once again to Eastern and Southeastern Oregon (see IA Summary below.), but just about all the activity was as a result of holdovers, from the lightning storms of 8/21-22. Lightningon 8/23 was confined to the CentralColumbiaBasin, north of the TriCities and east of Wenatchee, and the Northeastern Border Fringe which is nearly all on ColvilleNF lands. There were no reported new fires as a result of this lightning. Two new large fires were reported on 8/23, one in northeastern Oregon and the other in Southeastern Oregon in the Burns Fire Zone. A frontal passage produced gusty and strong steady winds across all of Eastern Oregon and the ColumbiaBasin. Precipitation was confined to either far northern and northeastern Washington, along the borders, or in the Central Columbia basin. Amounts of one to two tenths were recorded in the Oroville and OkanoganNF areas. There were approx 32 new fires reported on 8/23 for 1,349 acres. Ongoing large fires added another 821 acres for a total of 2,170 acres.

Initial Attack Summary:

CentralOregonCenter: Approximately 25 starts reported which were nearly all holdovers. One new fire with potential was suppressed at 16 acres was near SmithRocksState Park northeast of Redmond, Oregon. Five of the 65+ starts reported since Sunday 8/21 are currently staffed. The Mill Fire is now 100% contained.

Burns Interagency Center:

Threenew starts of which one developed into a large fire.The Fir Creek Fire is located in the same part of the Burns Fire Zone near SteensMountain as two other large fires discovered 8/21-22.


The Fly Fire, 20 miles southwest of La Grande, has ordered a Type 2 IMT Team.

Oregon Dept of Forestry Protection: One new fire east of Medford with lots of early potential was knocked down with retardant, helicopter and engine support, and confined to 25 acres with no updated containment figure available. The fire was west of Lake of the Woods, OR, and was in an area with many private inholdings and structures. Problematic weather is forecast for Southwestern Oregon over the next 2-3 days.

LakeviewInteragencyCenter: Closely watching a 4,000+ acre fire in northwestern Nevada called the Barrel Fire, which is bumping the border southeast of Adel, Oregon.

New Large Fires:

OR-WWF-934 Fly Fire 500 acres 0% containment

This fire is burning 20 miles southwest of La Grande, OR, in grass, timber, and slash, and spread rapidly under the influence of strong west/northwest winds for most of the afternoon. Running and spotting fire behavior was observed, and individual and group torching in stringers of heavier fuel. Very short crown runs were a problem until Airtankers and Type 1 Helicopters working in unison were able to slow the fire spread toward nightfall. A Type 2 Incident Management Team (Goheen) has been ordered. The team is due to assume management of the fire at 1800 hours on 8/23. 101 personnel assigned.

OR-BUD-2249 Fir Creek Fire800 acres 0% containment

This fire is burning in sagebrush and grass 11 miles east of Frenchglen, OR on the northwestern foothills of SteensMountain in Southeastern Oregon. The fire spread rapidly from discovery under the influence of strong, dry, northwesterly winds. For most of the afternoon on 8/23 the fire was making major runs. Airtankers worked the fire until running out of time and daylight. As a result of its rapid spread, two major campgrounds and many primitive camping areas were evacuatedand Moon Hill Road has been closed. Some structures are in the vicinity but none have been damaged or immediately threatened. 36 personnel assigned.

Ongoing Suppression :

OR-SIF-011Blossom Complex15,044 acres100% containment

This complex consists of three fires. They are the Blossom Fire 14,908 ac, the Solitude Fire 128 ac, and the Huggins Fire 8 ac, both of which are now controlled. All of the fires are burning in the Wild Rogue Wilderness approximately 25 miles NE of Gold Beach, OR.

On 8/23: The fire was declared contained on 8/23 at 1800 hours. Mop-up and rehab operations are underway. Evacuation orders and Rogue River closures were lifted at 0800 hours. Slow, steady demobe of resources has begun. Transition to a Type 2 Incident Management Team (Paul) is scheduled for 8/25 at 1200. At 1800 on 8/25, Branch II will be transferred back to SW Oregon ODF under a type 3 organization (Baertsheger). AUnified Command between the PNW2 Team (Lohrey) and the ODF Team 2 (Hunt) is committed. 1,262 personnel assigned

OR-UMF-159Burnt Cabin Fire 1,977 acres 95% containment

This fire is burning in timber with grass and litter understory 16 miles southeast of Milton Freewater, OR. The terrain is very steep and serrated by deep canyons. On 8/23: Fire behavior was minimal with most of the activity in small groups of trees and interior islands of fuel. Demobe in earnest will begin today, 8/23, with most unassigned crews and equipment off the fire by 8/25. Three divisions continue mop-up operations. A Type 2 Incident Management Team (Johnson) is managing the incident. An official Transfer of Command back to the Ranger District is expected to be completed by 0600 8/25. 489 personnel assigned.

OR-BUD-2240: Little Bridge Creek Fire 1,000 acres 80% containment

This fire is burning in grass, brush, and juniper 12 miles east of Frenchglen, OR, near the Steens Mountain Area.On 8/23: Minimal fire behavior and good progress was made with line construction and mop-up operations on the fire edge as line was built. Pockets of heavy fuel still exist within the perimeter. 109 personnel assigned.

OR-ORS-95S-953019: WillsCanyon Fire 800 acres 60% containment

This fire is burning 9 miles southwest of Spray, OR, in heavy brush, some grass, and scattered juniper. The size of the fire has been adjusted due to better mapping. Mop up continues and no threats are reported. 135 personnel assigned. No evening 209 was provided by the local dispatch office on 8/23. No new information.

OR-WWF-925 Granite Complex 17,377 acres 0% contained

This Wildfire Use fire is located 7 miles north of Hells Canyon Dam, on the Idaho side of Snake River, in a very remote and inaccessible area.On 8/23: Individual tree torching and short crown runs were observed along with moderate surface fire spread. The fire organization continued implementation of a large scale area closure from the Seven Devils Wilderness north to the wilderness boundary. Limited helicopter support may be needed in the future. A Type 2 WFU Team (Cones) is assigned with the ICP at Riggins, Idaho.

42 personnel assigned.

PNW Resources Committed to wildfires – from ROSS 8/24 @0630

BIA Overhead / BLM Overhead / DOD Overhead / DOL Overhead / FEMA Overhead / FWS Overhead / NPS Overhead / State Overhead / USFS Overhead / Total Overhead
24 / 164 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 22 / 65 / 121 / 811 / 1207
BIA Crews / BLM Crews / DOD Crews / DOL Crews / FEMA Crews / FWS Crews / NPS Crews / State Crews / USFS Crews / Total Crews
4 / 12 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 2 / 25 / 51 / 94
BIA Aircraft / BLM Aircraft / DOD Aircraft / FEMA Aircraft / FWS Aircraft / NPS Aircraft / State Aircraft / USFS Aircraft / Total Aircraft
0 / 3 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 1 / 20 / 51 / 75