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Wednesday, August 24, 2016

8/24/2016 Rail Fire Morning Update

The continuing strategy for containment of the Rail Fire consists of keeping it within the eastern and western boundaries of the Monument Rock Wilderness while it moves southward. Toward that end, firefighters on Tuesday initiated a firing operation along the southeast flank that extended nearly three miles as they tried to stay ahead of the fire’s southward progress.
Today’s plan includes hand firing operations on both sides of the fire and aerial ignition in the fire’s interior to bring fire slowly down steep slopes to the established lines. The smoke created by the firing operations will flow primarily to the south, toward Juntura. In the days to follow, as the lines approach the southern extent of the Wilderness, firefighters plan to cut across from east to west, effectively boxing the fire in and preventing it from spreading farther.
Last night’s on-the-ground palm infrared crew found six smokes along 2.5 miles of the eastern fireline near the Stevens Barney OHV trail. Crews are extinguishing those hot spots today, as well as another spot fire located on the southwestern edge of the fire.
A Level-1 Pre-Evacuation Advisory has been issued by Grant County for the area of Summit Rock, Elk Creek Campground and the Hunters Creek area. The area extends from Summit Prairie Road, east to the Grant County line and south from the Grant County line three miles to Tub Springs. This was initiated per county policy because the fire is within five miles of the closest residence. In Grant County, Level 1 is a Pre-evacuation advisory used primarily in slow-moving events. At this level, residents are made aware that danger exists and encouraged to monitor the local news outlets for information. Residents with special needs or those with pets or livestock should take note and make preparations for relocation.
Beginning today, Malheur National Forest has banned all campfires, chainsaws, and combustible engines (except motor vehicles) within the Forest boundary.
The public is reminded to be vigilant with respect to fire, and to report any suspicious activity. Investigators are looking at arson as a cause for 14 Central Oregon fires ignited over the past three weeks.

Fire at a Glance
Size: 32,530
Containment: 45%
Location: 5 miles west of Unity, Oregon
Cause: Under Investigation
Personnel: 867
24 Crews
42 Engines
7 Dozers
25 Water tenders
4  Masticators
5  Skidders/Skidgins
4 Type 1 heavy helicopters
1  Type 2 medium helicopter
2  Type 3 light helicopter
The fire area and nearby roads are closed. The closure order can be found at (Click Maps” for the closure map)

Fire Information:
(541) 446-3592

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