Public Use Restrictions, area closures, and fire activity decrease...
Incident: South Fork Complex WildfireJOHN DAY, OR – Effective 0001, Saturday, September 27, the Industrial Fire Precaution Level (IFPL) will drop to 1, and will reduce to Seasonal Campfire Restrictions on the North Zone, Blue Mountain and Prairie City Ranger Districts.Under these restrictions, firewood cutting is permitted, with a one hour fire watch following chainsaw shutdown. Campfires allowed only in fire pits surrounded by dirt, rock, or commercial rings and in areas not conducive to rapid fire spread, at a minimum clear of flammable material within a radius of 5 feet from the edge of the pit and free of overhanging material. Use existing pits wherever possible.The South Zone, Emigrant Creek Ranger District will remain in Phase A of the PUR’s, and IFPL II until weather conditions warrant a reduction. The specific PUR and IFPL information can be found at http://www.fs.usda.gov/malheur/.FIRE UPDATE: With cool, moist, fall weather in the air, the Bald Sisters Fire has only had minor creeping and smoldering. The fire was last recorded at 2,820 acres through infrared imagery. Cloud coverage has prevented any further infrared flights over the area. Another attempt will be made over the weekend.Contingency lines were established and reinforced last month by firefighters, who thinned trees and surface vegetation along Forest Roads 2635 and 2652, and County Road 13, to slow any approaching fire. Fire crews have been positioned to respond as needed to keep the fire in check along these defensible lines, and to protect the Elkhorn Communication Site and power lines.For further Bald Sisters Fire Information visit http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/4055/. Crews continue with mop up and rehabilitation on the South Fork Complex, contained on September 14th. A Burned Area Emergency Rehabilitation (BAER) team has been actively working on the South Fork Complex to assess fire impacts to natural and cultural resources. While area closures remain in effect in both fire areas to ensure public safety, the South Fork Complex will reopen Forest Service Roads 2490 and 2150 for through travel along the area closure perimeter. Interior roads will remain temporarily closed. The current Area Closure Orders, along with maps, are available at: http://www.fs.usda.gov/alerts/malheur/alerts-notices. The public is responsible for knowing if restrictions are in place and can obtain information through many avenues: Call the Forest’s offices or District offices at:· Malheur National Forest/Blue Mountain Ranger District: 541-575-3000· Prairie City Ranger District: 541-820-3800· Emigrant Creek Ranger District: 541-573-4300
OR Visit the Forests website at: http://www.fs.usda.gov/malheur/.