MITCHELL, OR – (Press release from the Oregon Dept. of Forestry)
Oregon Department of Forestry’s Incident Management Team 3, led by Incident Commander Tyler McCarty, assumed command of the Lewis Rock Fire Monday evening. The arrival of the team brings in additional overhead capacity and firefighting resources. The team’s presence also relieves local assets that have been battling the fire since June 30.
Persistent winds that have been challenging firefighters over the past several days finally calmed and allowed crews to hold the fire in check overnight. The fire is now estimated at about 440 acres. While an overnight infrared flight detected heat close to containment lines, firefighters have established hose lays along much of the fire’s perimeter and are beginning to mop-up towards the interior to prevent spot fires.
Crews are also working against the clock as thunderstorms are expected to develop over the area this afternoon bringing the threat of lightning and erratic winds. Some crews will be at-the-ready should additional fires spark from the predicted lightning.
The active early fire season under extreme fire danger conditions gives fire officials cause to spread the fire prevention message. Preventable human-caused fires have the potential of pulling much needed resources away from fires sparked by lightning. The public is required to follow fire season restrictions such as campfires, small equipment use and off-road driving.
Current fire restrictions and information for ODF’s Central Oregon District is available at www.odfcentraloregon.com