Phillips Creek Fire Update 8/5/15 at 12:00 – Northeast Oregon Business News

Phillips Creek Fire Update 8/5/15 at 12:00

The Oregon Interagency Incident Management Team 2 will hold a community meeting tonight at 6:30 p.m. at the Elgin Community Center. Fire managers will be on hand to talk about the Phillips Creek Fire. Break-out sessions will follow the meeting for those that want to ask more questions. The US Forest Service, Union County Emergency Management, Oregon Department of Forestry, and representatives from the Sheriff’s Office will all be in attendance.

Yesterday’s Operations: Helicopter bucket work and retardant drops were used to keep the fire in check on the eastern flank above Highway 204 minimizing fire spread. The completed fire lines around the southern and western flanks were improved and opportunities for constructing direct fire line on other flanks of the fire were evaluated. On the north portion, firefighters began constructing a direct and indirect line towards Highway 204.

An additional Level 1 Evacuation Notice has been issued by Union County officials to include all of Gordon Creek Road. This change was not due to a change in fire behavior.

Pilot car operations on Highway 204 have been discontinued for now.

Weather and Fire Behavior: Slightly cooler temperatures and drier conditions are expected for the next several days. Today’s fire behavior may include areas of very active fire spread including high intensity flare ups and rapid rates of spread. Continuous fuels may produce short crowning runs when combined with wind and slope.

_DSC0151small

Today’s Operations: A heliwell is being positioned near the fire today to shorten flight time for helicopter bucket drops. A heliwell is a portable water tank that can be deployed in the field in less than two hours and is used where water sources are not readily available. A second heliwell has been ordered to provide additional capacity to the firefighting efforts.

Mop up is beginning on the south end along the dozer line protecting the private land. On the north and south flanks indirect line is being constructed down to Highway 204. Air support will be used again today as needed to slow the fire spread east towards Highway 204. Four engines will be working on the night shift tonight, patrolling the south side of the fire.

Quick Facts Incident Summary

Approximate Size: 1,582 acres

Fire Containment: 5%

Incident Commander: Brett Fillis Resources on the Fire:

Hand Crews: 23

Helicopters: 3

Engines: 23

Dozers: 2

Water Tenders: 13

Total Personnel: 586 Jurisdiction:

USDA-Forest Service Umatilla National Forest Walla Walla R.D. Oregon Department of Forestry Social Media: Facebook Phillips Creek Fire | Facebook Twitter PhillipsCreek Fire (@PhillipsCK2015) | Twitter Inciweb http://inciweb.nwcg. gov/incident/4443// Phillips Creek Fire information can be found on Inciweb at: http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/4443/ and on Facebook at Phillips Creek Fire | Facebook.

Evacuations Union County officials have issued a Level I Evacuation Notice for residents of Ruckle Road and Sanderson Springs Road, Highway 204 between Phillips Creek and Valley View, and on Valley View between Highway 204 and Gordon Creek. A Level I evacuation notice means residents should be READY to leave their homes at a moment’s notice. Questions regarding evacuation notices and the evacuation process can be directed to the Emergency Operation Center at 541-963-1049.

Road Closures Road closures have been expanded for public and firefighter safety and include:

· Forest Road 3738 (Phillips Creek Road) from its junction with Forest Road 3100 (Summit Road) to Hwy 204.

· Forest Road 3148 from its junction with Forest Road 3100 (Summit Road) to its end.

· Forest Roads 3148-010 and 3148-900 from their junction with Forest Road 3148 to their end.

· Forest Road 3740 from its junction with Forest Road 3738 to the forest boundary. · Forest Roads 3740-020, 3740-025, 3740-030, 3740-040, and 3740-05.

· Forest Road 3734 from its junction with State Highway 204 to its end.

· Forest Road 3200 from its junction with Forest Road 3100 (Summit Road) to the forest boundary.

· Forest Road 3217 from its junction with Forest Road 3200 to its end.

· Forest Road 3100-035.

· County Roads: Sanderson Springs and Ruckle Roads west of Elgin; except to resident travel.

State Highway 204 remains open at this time though travelers should consider alternate routes to avoid firefighter traffic and smoke.

The official Road Closure Orders can be found at: http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/4443/

Smoke continues to be an issue in the Grande Ronde Valley and surrounding communities. To monitor the air quality index, the public can access the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality’s website at www.deq.state.or.us/aqi.

The fire danger rating has increased to EXTREME and Public Use Restrictions involving campfires and chainsaw use are in effect. For more information about the Umatilla National Forest’s Public Use Restrictions, please contact any Umatilla National Forest office, the Information hotline at 1-877-958-9663, or visit the website at www.fs.usda.gov/umatilla/, or view the Blue Mountain Fire Information BlogSpot at http://bluemountainfireinfo.blogspot.com/.

Regulated closures are in effect on State and private lands protected by Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) in northeast and central Oregon. Please check with your local Oregon Department of Forestry office for public use restrictions on lands protected by ODF. Visit the Blue Mountain Interagency Dispatch webpage at: www.bmidc.org or contact a local Oregon Department of Forestry office for more complete information. Similar restrictions may be in effect on State and private lands protected by the Washington Department of Natural Resources (WA-DNR). More information can be found on the WA-DNR website at: http://fortress.wa.gov/dnr/firedanger/BurnRisk.aspx.