Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Blue Mountain Fire Information Blog

Oregon Department of Forestry's Northeast Oregon District has joined with the Wallowa-Whitman and Umatilla National Forests and the Blue Mountain Interagency Dispatch Center to provide fire information through the Blue Mountain Fire Information Blog.  This Blog will provide daily fire information to the public for fire activity on lands protected by ODF and the US Forest Service.

Please join us at our new interagency blog to keep updated on recent fire activity in the Northeast Oregon District.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Fire Season Ends in Northeast Oregon

As of 12:01 p.m. on October 23, 2014, fire season is officially terminated for forestlands protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF), Northeast Oregon District.  This includes private, state, county, municipal, and tribal lands in seven counties: Union, Baker, Wallowa, Umatilla, and small portions of Grant, Malheur, and Morrow.  Scattered rain showers throughout the district over the past few weeks combined with cooler fall temperatures has reduced the fire danger.  However, John Buckman, Northeast Oregon District Forester reminds the public to implement safe practices when using fire in the fall months. “Fall is a good time to burn forest slash or yard debris but please recognize that just one sunny and windy day can change conditions very quickly.  Each fall we respond to escape fires so please continue to use fire in a responsible manner.”  Technical advice for burning and smoke management can be obtained from your local ODF office. 
With the termination of fire season, requirements such as providing fire-fighting equipment at logging sites or obtaining a burning permit for burn barrels are no longer in effect.  However, terminating fire season does not relieve landowners or forest operators of lawful responsibilities concerning the safe burning of debris or slash.  Windy conditions combined with warm weather could cause unpredictable fire behavior.  
Specific Smoke Management/Burning Advisory Information:
·         Unless you are in a rural or city fire department protection area, burn permits for burn barrels and small amounts of yard debris are not required. If you are under the protection of a rural or city fire department, please call and ask what their burning restrictions are.  Burning within the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation requires a permit from the CTUIR.  Follow all requirements within the permit.
·         Burning of slash from forestry and logging activities requires a Notification of Operation/PDM from the Oregon Department of Forestry.  In addition to this permit, the local Oregon Department of Forestry office must be contacted prior to ignition. 
Before burning in northeast Oregon, it is important to check weather conditions related to smoke management.  For smoke management forecasts call (541) 963-9781 or visit the following website:
·         Slash Burns must be registered with the local Oregon Department of Forestry office at least 7 days prior to burning and burning accomplishments reported within 7 days after burning.
The Northeast Oregon District of the Oregon Department of Forestry would like to thank forest landowners, forest operators and the public for their efforts in fire prevention, detection, and suppression activities this season.    After back to back record fire seasons for the State of Oregon the Northeast Oregon District was again able to keep acres burned below the ten year average of 2,207 acres.  Firefighters in the district suppressed 105 fires, burning just 1,038 acres.  Additional resources such as helicopters, dozers and single engine air tankers, partially paid for with General Fund monies from the State of Oregon helped significantly to check fire spread quickly in a year where there were numerous large fires burned throughout the state.  These additional resources were part of the coordinated effort used by ODF which also included rural fire departments, Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation, Bureau of Indian Affairs, local contractors, landowners, and a long standing relationship with the US Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management.  
For further information, contact the Oregon Department of Forestry at these local offices:           
            La Grande Unit                          (541) 963-3168
            Baker City Sub-Unit                   (541) 523-5831
            Wallowa Unit                             (541) 886-2881
            Pendleton Unit                          (541) 276-3491  
 To report a fire, call 9-1-1.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Due to the hard work from firefighters from around the area, the Mt Harris Fire will reach full containment by the end of shift Wednesday evening. Local firefighters will continue to mop-up and monitor the fire until significant precipitation arrives.
"This was another good example of how interagency resources come together to successfully fight fire. ODF really appreciates the response from all the agencies, rural fire departments and landowners that showed up and helped us out." Incident Commander, Mitch Williams with the Oregon Department of Forestry said.

The Mt Harris Road-62 Road is now open to the public, however people are encouraged to use caution. Rolling rocks and debris will continue to be an issue. There will also be continued firefighting traffic in the area.

Regulated use closure is still in effect for lands protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry. There are no campfire allowed and no open burning without a permit. For more detailed information on fire regulations, call your local ODF office.

More information for fire danger in Northeast Oregon can be found at

Contact a local Oregon Department of Forestry office for complete information on ODF Restrictions:

La Grande Unit (541)963-3168

Baker City Sub-Unit (541)523-5831

Wallowa Unit (541) 886-2881

Pendleton Unit (541)276-3491

To report a fire, contact:

Blue Mountain Interagency Dispatch (541) 963-7171

Or, call 9-1-1

This will be the last update for this fire.

Photo Credit:  Jana Peterson-Oregon Department of Forestry

Monday, October 6, 2014

Mt Harris 62 Road to Remain Closed

Firefighters are continuing to make progress on the Mt Harris 14 fire, which began Saturday afternoon East of La Grande.  No fire growth was reported yesterday.

Due to concerns for public and firefighter safety, the Mt Harris Road (62 Road) will remain closed in the fire area until further notice.  ODF would like to thank the public for their cooperation and patience in this matter! 

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Firefighters Continue Control Efforts on Mt Harris Fire

The Oregon Department of Forestry is using a variety of resources in continuing efforts to contain and control a wildfire burning East of La Grande. The cause of the fire is still being investigated. Fire size is estimated at approximately 260 acres. The increase is in size is due to better mapping and being able to see the entire fire in the light of day. The fire is currently at 40% containment.

A small fire camp has been established near the fire and will support firefighting efforts for several days. Again, the public is reminded that fire traffic in the area will remain heavy for the next few days. Currently, the Mt Harris Road is still closed due to heavy firefighting activity and traffic. Fire traffic is also using the Market Lane, Lower Cove Road and Alicel areas heavily. If travel in the area is necessary, people are urged to use extreme caution.

Firefighting resources that are supporting the efforts are eight engines, four tenders, seven hand crews, one dozer and several other resources. The firefighters are working to strengthen control lines and begin mopping up hotspots on the fire. Due to areas of heavy fuels, this process will take some time.

The current near term forecast is calling for the weather pattern to stay the same, with warm and dry temperatures throughout the week.

Oregon Department of Forestry is still under a modified Regulated Use Closure. No campfires are allowed on lands protected by ODF. Open burning is allowed only by permit. For other regulations or to obtain a burn permit, please check with your local Oregon Department of Forestry office.

More information for fire danger in Northeast Oregon can be found at

Mt Harris Wildfire Proves Fire Season Isn’t Over Yet

A fire broke out Saturday afternoon East of Imbler, Oregon, proving that fire season isn’t quite over yet. The fire moved quickly from near Market Lane and is now burning approximately 97 acres in mixed timber, brush and grass on Mt Harris. It is currently burning on private lands. The cause of the fire is under investigation at this time.

Interagency firefighting resources were integral in battling the fire on Saturday afternoon. Firefighters, led by the Oregon Department of Forestry responded from around Northeast Oregon to the scene. Local Rural Fire Departments from around Union County and the US Forest Service assisted ODF with containment efforts.

Resources currently on scene include air attack, two helicopters, eight engines, multiple dozers and hand crews. Firefighters will work through the night to secure control lines and then operations will continue for several days to continue patrolling and monitoring the fire for hotspots, as well as mop-up operations to further secure the fire area.

Firefighting resources will be prominent in the Mt Harris area for the next few days. Currently, the Mt Harris Road is closed to all uphill traffic and downhill traffic will be led through the fire area. People are reminded to use caution while travelling in the area. Public and firefighter safety are primary concerns for fire managers.

The weather forecast for the week calls for more warm and dry temperatures with no precipitation in sight. The public is reminded that lands protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry are still under a Regulated Use Closure. No open fires are permitted at this time.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Fire Restrictions ease on private lands in Northeast Oregon-Campfire restrictions still in place

As of 12:01 am, October 2, 2014, the Oregon Department of Forestry has modified the fire prevention related Regulated-Use Closure which is in place on private forestlands protected by the Northeast Oregon District.  This includes private, state, county, municipal, and tribal lands in the following counties: Union, Baker, Wallowa, Umatilla, and small portions of Grant, Malheur, and Morrow Counties.  Rain and cooler temperatures have moderated the fire danger allowing the district to remove most of the restrictions implemented in July.  The reduction in restrictions is intended to allow people to recreate in the woods and participate in normal fall activities.  Cooler weather may give a false sense of security which frequently results in a higher occurrence of human-caused fires.  Forecasted warmer temperatures and dry conditions combined with an increase in activity in the woods still cause concern for fire managers that campfires could be left unattended and spread to wildland fuels.  Due to these concerns campfires and warming fires will still be prohibited on lands protected by Northeast Oregon District except in designated locations.  All other open fires on ODF protected lands require a burn permit, contact your local office for information.
Limiting human-caused fires within the Northeast Oregon District is the objective of the closure, which includes the following restrictions:
·         Open fires are prohibited, including campfires, charcoal fires, cooking fires and warming fires, except at designated locations.  Designated locations within the Regulated Use Closure area includes but is not limited to the following Oregon State Parks:  Emigrant Springs, Ukiah Dale, Catherine Creek, Hilgard Junction, Red Bridge, Wallowa Lake, Minam and Unity Lake.  Portable cooking stoves using liquefied or bottled fuels are allowed.