ODF firefighters continue mop-up on fires and prepare for more

By on Thursday, August 5th, 2021 in Eastern/Southeast Oregon News More Top Stories

JOHN DAY – (Release provided by the Oregon Dept. of Forestry Central Oregon District)

No new fires were reported in the John Day Unit Wednesday.  Extended attack on fires in the John Day Unit have been fully transitioned to mop-up.  Today this work will continue as firefighters prepare for strong winds as thunderstorms pass through the area.  Firefighting resources from these fires will be available to assist in initial attack of any new fire starts today.   

Management of the Cottonwood Creek Fire transitioned to a Type 4 incident commander Wednesday.  Crews on the fire continue to grid for smoldering fuel and extinguish hot spots as they work toward the interior of the fire from the perimeter.  Two hand crews, five wildland engines, and one water tender are assigned to the fire.  The remaining mop-up work is expected to last several more days.

Resources on the Dissel Creek Fire, reported Tuesday evening burning five miles southeast of John Day, will continue mop-up work today.  The ~1 acre fire is staffed with four engines and a squad.  The fire is anticipated to be transitioned to patrol status at the end of shift today.

Fireline construction is nearly complete on the 150-acre Cole Canyon Fire.  Yesterday helicopters and Single Engine Air Tankers were used to slow the spread of the fire, allowing hand crews to build fireline adjacent to the fire’s edge.  This work, along with mop-up in other area’s of the fire have increased containment to 25%.  Today four 20-person hand crews, two wildland engines, two water tenders, and four skidgines will work to complete the line around the fire, strengthen the existing fireline, and work to increase the cold black area between the fire and the fireline.  Aircraft is available to assist firefighters as needed. 

A red flag warning has been issued by the National Weather Service for the area for abundant lightning and gusty winds.  This weather in combination with severely dry fuels poses a high risk of rapid fire spread. 

A Regulated-Use Closure is in effect for the Central Oregon District to reduce human caused fires.  The full proclamation and restrictions are available at https://gisapps.odf.oregon.gov/firerestrictions/PFR.html.  Preventing human caused fires allows firefighters to focus suppression effort on fires started by lightning.  These focused activities result in smaller fires with less damage to natural resources and communities and fewer impacts to air quality.

For additional information on ODF’s Central Oregon District, including contact information and unit offices, please visit www.ODFcentraloregon.com.