Bear Butte Fire Update, Aug. 11, 2017 at 12:30 p.m.
Public and firefighter safety continue to be the number one priority. Fire crews continue mop-up along Highway 73 to secure the northern fire perimeter and patrol for hot spots so that no new fire starts occur.
The coordinated effort to implement a specialized water system earlier this week is working well to plumb and control established fire line. Firefighters are also gridding burnt areas for hot-spots. Damaged trees are being cut or removed to prevent falling snags. Firefighters continue to secure bulldozed lines along the southeast ridge. Air resources are available when needed and a total of 452 personnel are working on the Bear Butte Fire incident.
This week a U.S. Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Disaster Assistance Support (DASP) team visited the Bear Butte Fire incident command post (ICP). Their goal was to learn how an incident management team (IMT) functions. The Northwest Interagency Incident Management Team-9 (NW9), that is managing the fire, has a learning culture and knowledge transfer philosophy. The USAID team shadowed NW9 command and general staff to add to their skill set when responding to international disasters such as the earthquake in Haiti, floods in Pakistan or wildfires in Russia.
Similar to wildfires, foreign disasters can be managed using the incident command system (ICS). USAID roles correlate to command and general staff. NW9 section chiefs met with their counterparts to exchange ideas and best practices.
The Anthony Lakes Highway (Hwy. 73) remains closed and the Anthony Lakes Resort area has been evacuated. The U.S. Forest Service also has an area closure order in effect. For additional road closure information visit www.fs.usda.gov/alerts/wallowa-whitman/alerts-notices.