Elbow Creek Fire Saturday evening update

By on Saturday, July 24th, 2021 in Columbia Basin News More Top Stories

News release from the Umatilla National Forest:

Wallowa, OR – The Elbow Creek fire has burned approximately 21,928 acres and is 25 percent contained.  

Overall, today was a successful day for firefighting operations. An inversion’s blanket of smoke suppressed fire activity and created ideal conditions for successful burnout operations from the crews. Efforts in the Elbow Creek area will continue to be prioritized, and slow burnout operations will be completed during night shift. Eric Perkins, Operations Section Chief commented, “We are very happy with where we are at.” 

In the southwest corner of the fire, a one-acre spot fire occurred, but was caught by a quick response from crews. Currently, the spot fire is being lined by a dozer with assistance from aerial resources.  

The east side of the fire continues to hold steady with mop-up operations in full swing. The fire is nearly lined with additional mop-up slated for tonight and tomorrow, as well as additional small sections of burnout left to be done.  

The Sickfoot Creek area, while improving, has fire managers evaluating next steps on whether they can safely attack the fire on its edge, or fall back and slowly burn out pockets to finish the line around the fire. 

Winds were minimal today, and in favor of firefighting efforts. Tomorrow’s outlook looks similar, warmer temperatures with dry conditions continuing. The relative humidity is expected to be in the mid to low teens with minimal recovery at night. 

The north end spike camp will be relocated to Elgin, beginning Monday. Logistically, it will be easier to provide firefighters with the support they need from Elgin.  COVID-19 protocols return to fire camp. To mitigate risk associated with the spread of COVID-19, fire incidents across the region will implement mask use, social distancing and ensure sanitization supplies are readily available.

The public will see some changes to how we disseminate information, specifically no longer hosting in person community updates. We will continue to provide virtual opportunities for public meetings though and keep social media platforms and Inciweb up to date with the latest fire information. ODF Incident Management Team 3 will also provide information at Goebel Service Station (Wallowa), Boggans Oasis, and in Troy.