Whitewater Fire News Release

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Whitewater Fire News Release

Update Whitewater Fires Sept 25, 2017

Incident: Whitewater Fire Wildfire
Released: 9/26/2017

FINAL UPDATE

Fire Information Line: 541-719-8371 Location: Willamette National Forest

willamettewildfires2017@gmail.com Willamette National Forest Closure:

Facebook: WillametteWildfires2017@facebook.com https://www.fs.usda.gov/alerts/willamette/alerts-notices

Inciweb Website: Size: 14,451 acres (total for reported fires) Containment: 47%

https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5420 Resources: 372 personnel (total for reported fires)

(Beginning Tuesday, September 26 at 8:00 a.m., anyone calling for information on the Whitewater Fires will need to call the Forest Service Detroit Ranger District at 503-854-3366. The District Station is open Monday-Friday, 8:00-4:30 p.m.)

Over the next three days the Northwest Incident Management Team 11 (Type 2) will be preparing to transition the Whitewater Fires to a local Type 3 Incident Management Team. Transfer of command is expected to take place on Wednesday, September 27. Fire managers are beginning to downsize and demobilize suppression equipment and preparation for the incoming Type 3 team. The current base camp is located at McCoy and the Incident Command Post is located at the Hoodoo Ski Lodge. Please remember that although the teams will be transitioning, there will still be crews continuing to work in the areas of the fires. Please drive safely and watch for fire traffic in and around the communities. Hunters should be aware that firefighters will continue to work in the area of the fires and several areas remain closed to the public. Be sure to check for forest closures at: https://fs.usda.gov/alerts/willamette/alerts-notices.

Detroit Ranger Districtvisit Whitewater Fire on Inciweb for updates on the following fires.

The strategy of the fires will continue to move toward suppression repair and cleanup. Crews are continueing with chipping and processing of debris. As the roadways dry out crews will be grading and building water bars to help prevent erosion. Returning the area to it’s original state is the focus of crews moving forward.

Whitewater Fire: 11,493 acres, 64% contained. Crews are working today on suppression repair. Chipping and processing is being conducted on the fire control lines. Pockets of islolated smoke continues with the fire smoldering and creeping near Triangulation Peak just over the northern perimeter. Most of the burning is in hard wood and snags with the fire holding firmly at the draws.

Little Devil Fire: 2,162 acres, 17% contained. The Little Devil Fire still has hot spots within the control lines. Chipping and suppression repair continue around the fire control lines as well. Warming trends continue but some of the fuels under the canopy of the trees continue to feel wet causing the fire to smolder in those areas.

Scorpion Fire: 695 acres, 16% contained. The Scorpion Fire is now in patrol status. The fire is still smoldering on the northern end and staying within the control lines.

The Wilderness Fires including Claggett Lake, Slideout and Section Line Fires. An observation flight yesterday was successful with no visible smoke from the Slideout and Section Line fires. The Claggett Fire did have smoke visible on the westside. All of these fires currently have snow and wet surroundings keeping the fire activities almost non-existent.

Potato Hill Fire: 199 acres, 100% contained. This fire was turned back over to the district and the acreage is no longer included in the Whitewater Fires total acreage count.

French Fire: 2 acres, 95% contained. This fire was turned back over to the district and the acreage is no longer included in the Whitewater Fires total acreage count.

Air Quality: Air quality reported from Air Now http://www.airnow.gov/ .

Weather: We have been in a warming trend for the last few days. Today we will be in a holding pattern with no increases or decreases in temperature. Tomorrow the temperature will increase and continue to climb throughout the week. We are expecting a wind event coming from the East. This will begin Tuesday afternoon, peak Wednesday night then taper off and ending sometime Thursday evening. The ridge tops will see the heaviest amount of wind.

Fire Behavior: We will continue to see smoldering throughout the fires. Much of the underbrush and duff continues to hold moisture minimizing fire spread. Soil moisture from the rain and snow will keep the fuels saturated minimizing any fire activity.

Resources: 7 crews, 3 camp crew, 5 engines, 1 fixed wing air attack, 13 dozers, 5 water tenders and 4 ambulances. Total personnel is 372.

Air Operations: Today’s plan is to backhaul the repeaters and radio gear for removal from the fire area. Air support for the Whitewater Fire will be demobilizing after today and returning resources to their home units.

A temporary flight restriction (TFR) will continue today and tomorrow and be lifted on Wednesday morning. The restriction is over the fire area restricting aerial public access, including drones. The public is reminded that all air operations are grounded any time a drone is sighted within the TFR, which inhibits their ability to do critical fire suppression efforts. Flying within the TFR is prohibited and against the law.

Evacuation Levels: Forest Service Road 46 is open to all through traffic. Breitenbush Hot Springs and Breitenbush/Devil Creek summer homes remain at a Level 1 evacuation level. For additional information, contact the Marion County Sheriff’s Office, (503) 588-5108, or visit the ‘Alerts and Emergency’ tab on http://www.co.marion.or.us/alerts.

Highway Closures: No Highway road closures reported. Forest Service Road 46 was reopened on Sept. 20.

Forest Closures: For further information, visit: https://www.fs.usda.gov/alerts/willamette/alerts-notices.

Unit Information

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Willamette National Forest
U.S. Forest Service
3106 Pierce Parkway
Suite D
Springfield, OR 97477
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Detroit Ranger District
Phone: 503-854-3366
Hours: M-F 8:00AM-4:30PM

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National Wildfire Coordinating Group U.S. Forest Service Bureau of Land Managemen Bureau of Indian Affairs Fish and Wildlife Service National Park Service National Association of State Foresters U.S. Fire Administration
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