Bear Butte Fire Update, Aug. 12, 2017, 12:45 pm PDT
The current Type 2 Incident Management Team (IMT) is planned to transition with a smaller Type 3 IMT team Monday morning. Mop-up around fire perimeter should be mostly completed by the end of the day Sunday. The Type 3 IMT will continue securing the fire in the days to come.
Firefighters will be repairing impacts of fire suppression actions on the land. Hand lines, primarily along the east and west perimeters of the fire, will have water bars installed to reduce potential for erosion. The dozer line along the north boundary will be left open for use by local firefighters until the fire is completely controlled this fall. After that, the dozer line will be rehabilitated to reduce soil compaction and erosion. Barriers will be placed to prevent vehicle access.
The Anthony Lakes Highway (FS Road 73) remains closed. Firefighters have scouted and removed hazardous snags within a tree length of the road, but there remains a threat of loosened boulders falling down the slope onto the road. Because the fire has changed tree density and soil holding ability, green trees can also fall readily. Firefighters will continue to travel on and inspect along the road, and will also be parked along it. For these reasons, the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest will maintain the highway closure for the safety of the public and firefighters. 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.
Fire managers are also responsible for initial attack on new fires. Three small fires in remote locations in the Elkhorns were reported yesterday and fire crews are working to extinguish them. The weather forecast this afternoon, a Red Flag Warning, is for thundershowers and lightning, with sudden wind shifts, and then increasing westerly winds following the passage of a cold front. These potential changes in weather could affect fire behavior, firefighter responses, and require additional precautions to insure firefighter safety.