Whitewater Fire News Release

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Whitewater Fire News Release

FINAL Update Whitewater fires Sept 26, 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 Closures:
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 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.)

On Wednesday, September 27, the local Type 3 Team will spend most of the day shadowing with outgoing NW Team 11. The Incident Command Post for the new Type 3 Team will be relocated to the Detroit Lake State Park on Highway 22. The Type 3 Team will continue to focus on suppression repair efforts, preparing the fire areas for the coming winter months. Please remember that although the teams will be transitioning, there will still be crews continuing to work along Highway 22 and on Forest Service Road 46. 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.

Closure areas remain in place until further notice and can be found at - https://fs.usda.gov/alerts/willamette/alerts-notices. Once firefighters complete suppression activities and repair work this fall, some closures will be opened. The following trails and roads will definitely remain closed until spring to allow for hazard tree removal and public safety.

Trails:

· Cheat Creek #3441

· Triangulation Peak #3373

· Pacific Crest Trail from intersection of Whitewater Trail #3429 to intersection of Hunts Creek #3440

· Whitewater #3429

· Woodpecker #3442

Roads:

· Whitewater Rd. #2243 beyond the junction with FDR #440

· FDR #440 for its entire length from beginning at the intersection with Whitewater Rd. #2243

· Woodpecker Rd. #040 beyond the junction with FDR #044

· Road closure in the Scorpion Fire area – FDR #812 for its entire length from the beginning at the intersection with FDR #4698

It is important that the public stay informed. Be sure to check for forest closures at: https://fs.usda.gov/alerts/willamette/alerts-notices.

It is strongly advised the public take basic safety measures by staying clear of the burn area once suppression activities are completed. Many hazards may exist. Trees may have lost stability due to fire damage. Any tree that have been weakened by fire may be a hazard. Winds are normally responsible for toppling weakened trees. The wind patterns in your area may have changed as a result of the loss of adjacent tree cover. Please warn your family and neighbors this winter to keep clear of the burn areas.

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

The strategy for managing the fires will continue to move toward suppression repair and cleanup. Crews are continuing 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 continue 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.

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 two days ago 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 behavior 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: A warming and drying trend continues today, with temperatures reaching the upper 50s to mid-60s with relative humidity values falling below 50 percent.

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: The remaining resources for the Type 3 Team will be - 3 crews, 3 engines, 12 heavy equipment, 12 overhead.

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. All evacuation levels have been lifted. 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.

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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