Fast-moving fire reported 12 miles NE of Ukiah, OR

Update from the Umatilla National Forest

Area and road closure implemented on the Birch Creek Fire

PENDLETON, Ore. – Forest officials have implemented an area and road closure surrounding the Birch Creek Fire for public and firefighter safety. The Birch Creek Fire is burning on the North Fork John Day Ranger District west of the junctions of Forest Service Road (FSR) 54 with FSR 5412 and FSR 5411, approximately 12 miles northeast of Ukiah, Oregon.

The closure is effective immediately and includes portions of Forest Service Road (FSR) 54, FSR 5411 and FSR 5412. A detailed map and description of the closure order is available on the Forest website and at any Forest office. Closure barriers and signs are posted on the ground and visitors can take alternative routes out of the area including Yellowjacket Road (FSR 5412 and FSR 5420), FSR 54 south to Highway 244 and FSR 5427 east to Indian Lake. Access to the popular area south of Granite Meadows toward Oregon Highway 244 is still available via FSR 5412 and the 030 spur.

The Birch Creek Fire, which is currently estimated at 50 acres, was reported on Monday, Sept. 14. The cause of the fire is under investigation. The fire is burning to the northeast in grass and timber. Yesterday’s fire behavior consisted of active fire runs, spotting and torching. Gusty winds contributed to increased fire behavior and growth and prompted officials to evacuate campers within the Granite Meadows and Pearson Canyon areas.  Visibility within the area is poor. Numerous resources aided in initial attack efforts, including support from Oregon Department of Forestry.

With cooler temperatures overnight fire behavior has moderated, but the fire activity may increase as weather conditions warm up throughout the day. Today firefighters will focus on establishing access points to the fire and identifying anchor points where firefighters can build containment lines. A dozer line was constructed last night on the southwest edge of the fire and firefighters will extend that fireline along the eastern edge of the fire today. Current resources on scene include the Union Interagency Hotshot Crew, four engines, two hand crews, and two dozers. Additional resources are on order. A local Type 3 Incident Management Team was inbriefed this morning at 8 a.m. and will take command of the fire today at 12 p.m. An incident command post will be set up at the North Fork John Day Ranger District office.  The health and safety of the public and wildland fire responders is top priority and mitigations are being taken regarding group sizes by dispersing firefighting resources through separate and smaller fire camps and conducting virtual meetings when possible.

Hot and dry conditions are expected to persist throughout the week. Fire officials want to remind everyone that the current fire danger rating remains at EXTREME and public use restrictions involving campfires, chainsaw use, smoking and off-road travel are in effect.

For more information regarding Restrictions, please contact:

Umatilla National Forest:

Information Hotline: Toll-Free (877) 958-9663

www.facebook.com/UmatillaNF

Twitter: @UmatillaNF

The latest fire information will be posted on the Blue Mountains Fire Information Blog. To receive updates on fires in the Blue Mountains, follow our blog at http://bluemountainfireinfo.blogspot.com/.

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Firefighters are actively suppressing a wildfire west of the junctions of Forest Service Road (FSR) 54 with FSR 5412 and FSR 5411, approximately 12 miles northeast of Ukiah, Oregon on the North Fork John Day Ranger District.

The Birch Creek Fire, which is currently estimated at 30 acres, was reported on Monday, Sept. 14 at 11:22 a.m. The fire is burning in grass and timber. The cause of the fire is under investigation. The fire is burning to the northeast with active runs, crowning, torching, and spotting with some slow backing growth to the south.  Gusty winds are contributing to increased fire behavior and growth.  Visibility within the area is poor. The movement of the fire has prompted evacuations of individuals camping in Granite Meadows and Pearson Canyon area. Fire crews, with support from the Umatilla County Sheriff’s Office, are escorting campers outside the fire area to safety.

All available resources are aiding in initial attack efforts, including support from Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF).  Current resources on scene include two Forest Service engines, two ODF engines, the Umatilla Veterans Crew, and the North Fork John Day hand crew. With the large number of wildfires across the region, resources are stretched thin and currently no aircraft are available to assist with suppression efforts. Additional resources are en route, including dozers, hand crews and engines.

The Forest will inbrief a local Type 3 Incident Management Team tomorrow at 8 a.m. with plans for the team to take command of the fire tomorrow. An incident command post will be set up in Ukiah. The health and safety of the public and wildland fire responders is top priority and mitigations will be taken regarding group sizes by dispersing resources and conducting virtual meetings when possible.

Visitors traveling in the area are reminded that the northern portion of FSR 54 remains closed due to flood damage. Closure barriers and signs are posted on the ground and visitors can take alternative routes out of the area including Yellowjacket Road (FSR 5412 and FSR 5420), FSR 54 south to Highway 244 and FSR 5427 east to Indian Lake.

Hot and dry conditions are expected to persist throughout the week. Fire officials want to remind everyone that the current fire danger rating remains at EXTREME and public use restrictions involving campfires, chainsaw use, smoking and off-road travel are in effect.

For more information regarding Restrictions, please contact:

Umatilla National Forest:

Information Hotline: Toll-Free (877) 958-9663

www.facebook.com/UmatillaNF

Twitter: @UmatillaNF

The latest fire information will be posted on the Blue Mountains Fire Information Blog. To receive updates on fires in the Blue Mountains, follow our blog at http://bluemountainfireinfo.blogspot.com/.

Previous:

UKIAH – According to the most recent information from the Blue Mountain Interagency Dispatch Center, the fire. The Birch Creek Fire is approximately 10 acres in size. The cause is unknown.
The following information was issued by the Umatilla County Sheriff’s Office:
Umatilla County Sheriff’s Office deputies and SAR are being requested by Forest Service personnel to respond to the area of 5411 road, Ukiah to assist with evacauting people from the area due to a fast moving fire. – Information is just coming in now. Updates to follow.We are asking people that are simply “curious” please DO NOT call the Umatilla County 911 dispatch center seeking information, the dispatch center is handling multiple calls and incidents and this burdens them with excessive calls. The City of UKIAH is NOT effected at this time. Information is still very new regarding this fire. As more information is available, we will provide it or provide a resource page to obtain information. This has been reported as a fast moving fire, people in the area are requested to be aware of their surroundings and watch out for their safety.