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Wednesday, August 10, 2016

8/9/2016 pm Juntura Complex Update

Helicopter flight allows accurate mapping of Juntura Complex fire boundaries
Vale, Oregon – While crews have produced great success toward containing the fires and eliminating
spread, better mapping, aided by aircraft and on the ground technology, has measured the overall size of the three fires that make up the Juntura Complex at 24,301 acres.
After aerial mapping, the size of the Simmons Gulch fire has increased to 11,362 acres. Containment is approximately 60%. This fire is located on the south side of Highway 20, roughly 30 miles west of Vale and 20 miles east of Juntura, Oregon. Crews continue to monitor hot spots and work on the perimeter of the fire area.
The Sheep Rock fire has increased to 12,783 acres and is 50% contained. This fire is six miles south of Juntura along the Shumway Road. Yesterday the fire crossed the Road but was caught by crews. It is burning on both sides of the Malheur River.
The Rooster Comb fire is approximately 156 acres and is 95% contained. It is located southeast of the
Easterday Reservoir.
Cool and moist conditions this spring have produced heavier than normal fuel loads in the form of dense, continuous grasses that carry fire rapidly across the landscape. Temperatures approximately ten degrees below average, little wind, and cloud cover through much of today reduced fire behavior on most perimeters. Where needed, hot spots were doused with retardant applied by Single Engine Air Tankers and buckets of water dropped by helicopters, allowing crews and ground equipment opportunity to improve containment lines. While the fires cool and are being contained, there is still a risk for re-ignition of remaining unburned fuel, which could spread quickly because the local grasses and brush are extremely dry.
Management objectives include providing for public and firefighter safety as we work to protect forage for livestock and habitat for sage grouse by minimizing the area that is burned.  Over the next days, as containment progresses, many of the local firefighters and equipment operators who provided initial attack and sustained effort to contain these fires will be relieved to rest and return to initial attack duties or their regular lives.
QUICK FACTS
Three Fires:
Simmons Gulch: 11,362 acres, 60% contained
Sheep Rock: 12,783 acres, 50% contained
Rooster Comb: 156 acres, 95% contained
Location: West of Vale, Oregon and south of State Highway 20
Hazards: Heavier than normal fuel loads contribute to rapid rate of spread
Values at Risk: Rangelands, sage grouse habitat
Cause: Lightning
Containment: Complex 51%
Resources Committed or Available:
5 Type I Crews
6 Type II Crews
20 Engines
4 Dozers
3 Water Tenders
1 Grader
Personnel: 431
Road Closures No road closures in place at this time. Be aware of fire traffic, especially in the vicinity of Vale and
Juntura, Oregon.

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