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Sunday, August 13, 2017

8/13/2017 Whitewater Fire Update

Whitewater Fire Update

8/13/2017 8:00 AM
Fire Information: (503) 867-7707

Today Northwest Interagency Incident Management Team 7 begins to transition all operations to Pacific Northwest Team 2, who will take command of the Whitewater Fire tomorrowmorning at 6:00 am.

Yesterday’s Operations— Successful burnout operations throughout the past week resulted in an increase in acreage. Two hand crews hiked into the Devils Ridge area to evaluate and check the spread of the two smaller fires, three miles SE of the Breitenbush Hot Springs Retreat Center and community. The smaller ½ acre fire was lined last night but the larger 30 acre fires hugs the ridge and is imbedded on a steep and rocky slope, making it difficult to attack directly with hand crews. When the smoke cleared yesterday helicopter bucket drops were used to limit this fire’s growth. The moderating weather continued to hamper burnout operations on the Whitewater Fire. Aircraft assigned to the fire worked to support initial attack on new fires on Willamette National Forest and lands protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry, North Cascade District.

Today’s Operations—Today’s operations will again focus on keeping the small fires on Devils Ridge in check.  Firefighters will continue to work to further secure the fire lines on the southwest and northwest flanks of the Whitewater Fire in anticipation of warmer and dryer weather yet to come. Again today, if needed air support will be provided to assist with initial attack on other fires in the area.

Weather and Fire Behavior— The forecast today calls for a chance of scattered showers, cooler temperatures and westerly winds by mid-day. Active fire behavior today should be greatly diminished. A slow warming trend is expected next week.

Smoke Forecast: Expect minimal to no smoke from the Whitewater Fire today. Smoke from other fires are impacting Sisters, Bend, and Prineville. Check the Oregon Smoke Blog for more updates and other useful information:  http://oregonsmoke.blogspot.com/

Location—The Whitewater Fire is burning in the Mount Jefferson Wilderness and adjacent forest lands, approximately 13 miles east of Detroit, Oregon. The Incident Command Post, located at Hoodoo Ski Resort, is closed to non-fire traffic.

Area Closure— To protect public and firefighters safety, the Willamette and Deschutes National Forests have closed all trail access points into Jefferson Park inside the Mt. Jefferson Wilderness, including a 28-mile stretch of the Pacific Crest Trail. The area closure also includes a portion of the Willamette National Forest west of the wilderness boundary and east of the town of Detroit. Individuals who have private lands within the closure, or leased lands, will be allowed to enter as long as it is safe to do so. For specific land closures, see the area closure order and map. 

Fire Prevention— Please be cautious and remember that any new human caused fires will take valuable resources away from the efforts to contain the many wildfires in the region. Please follow your local restrictions.

The following trailheads are now closed:
·         Willamette NF—Bingham Ridge, Minto Mountain,  Pamelia Lake, Woodpecker Ridge, Whitewater Creek, Cheat Creek, Triangulation Peak, Leone Lake, South Breitenbush and Crown Lake.
·         Deschutes National Forest—Bear Valley/Rockpile Lake, Cabot Lake, Jefferson Lake and Brush Creek.
·         PCT – For a closure order and map in Inciweb: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/article/5420/37544/

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