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Wednesday, June 8, 2016

6/8/2016 Owyhee Canyon Update

Owyhee Canyon Fire 90 Percent Contained
Vale, Ore. – The Owyhee Canyon Fire that burned just a mile and a half southeast of Rome, Oregon has been 90 percent contained. The fire began 10 miles southeast of Rome and crept along the rim of the Owyhee Canyon to burn nearly 23,000 acres.
Demobilization has begun at the Owyhee Canyon Fire today, with resources and personnel being gradually withdrawn. Engines, along with bulldozers and water tenders, are still on site.
The Jenkins Reservoir Fire continues to be a concern, although fire suppression personnel have been successful in limiting the fire’s size to around 170 acres. There is no exact date or time anticipated for containment, but fire personnel are hopeful that it will be contained soon.
While suppression is going well given the conditions, personnel have been cautious in declaring total containment.
“With the temperatures, the lightning, and the wind, we were nervous that this fire could potentially get out of control at any time,” said Sam Delong, Incident Commander for the High Desert Type 3 Team at the Owyhee Canyon Fire. Delong also said that the terrain in and around the Owyhee Canyon further complicated suppression efforts by making access extremely difficult.
“We were very worried that the fire could get into the Owyhee Canyon and use the old debris from the river to carry itself across the river to the other side,” Delong said. “Luckily, the Vale Hot Shot crew was able to get down into the canyon and keep that from happening.”
Despite terrain and weather difficulties, crews were able to limit the spread of the fire and are now hoping to have the fire contained by the end of the day on Wednesday.
Cooler temperatures are forecasted for the remainder of the week, potentially aiding in suppression efforts and limiting new starts. Still, members of the public should remain cautious in preventing human-caused fires and vigilant in reporting suspected fires.
More information on the Owyhee Canyon fire can be found at:
If you suspect a wildfire or see suspicious smoke, report it to the Vale BLM Dispatch Center at 541-473-6295.

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