Highlights: The Wallowa County Sheriff’s Office rescinded all evacuation levels yesterday after reviewing the increased containment level on Double Creek Fire, progress made on the fires in Eagle Cap Wilderness, and moderating weather. The thunderstorms, and associated lightning, that passed through the area on Tuesday resulted in three new fire starts. Initial attack responded to two fires south of the Double Creek Fire yesterday and one to the north. Pacific Northwest Team 2 is committed to supporting initial attack in the region and will continue to monitor the area for any new starts in the coming days.
There will be a community meeting to discuss the Double Creek, Sturgill, Nebo, and Goat Mountain 2 Fires on Friday, September 16 at 6 p.m. The meeting will be held at the Joseph Event Center (102 E First, Joseph, OR) and streamed live on Facebook.
Double Creek Fire: 157,088 acres | 23% contained |759 personnel assigned
The lightning caused Double Creek Fire is a full suppression fire, and the protection of lives and property remain the primary objectives of this incident. Firefighters working the north end of the fire were busy yesterday responding to a new start. They also worked on connecting the fire line between Horse Creek and Lightning Creek, down to Dunbar Road, to protect private structures in the area. Crews continued working on the north end of the fire that spotted over the Imnaha River on September 10. They continue to strengthen fireline and perform mop up operations. Fire managers are anticipating that the spot fire will be in patrol status soon. Today, crews in the south will continue working on the Morgan Ridge trail system and work on creating a north-south fireline on Saddle Road. This will help build additional protection for Imnaha River Woods if the fire were to move further south.
Eagle Cap Wilderness Fires
There are three lightning caused fires within the Eagle Cap Wilderness. The Nebo, Sturgill, and Goat Mountain 2 Fires are being managed to protect public and private infrastructure, while playing a natural role within designated Wilderness.
Nebo Fire: 12,563 acres | 0% contained | 90 personnel assigned
Crews were able to continue chipping operations yesterday after the fire received more than 0.10 inches of rain on Tuesday. About one mile of chipping still needs to be completed on the 39 Road. The dozer line to the north of the fire and the line to the southeast of the fire are still focal areas on the Nebo Fire. Crews will work to wrap up the chipping and clean up on 39 Road today and continue to push forward on the northern and southeastern lines.
Sturgill Fire: 20,036 acres | 0% contained | 64 personnel assigned
Smokejumpers were pulled out of the Sturgill Fire area yesterday with the completion of structure protection efforts. Masticators are still operating on the Lostine River Road to help strengthen a north-south line that could stop any potential eastern progression of the fire. The primary work that remains on the Sturgill Fire is the shaded fuel break to the north along Bear Creek Road.
Goat Mountain 2 Fire: 535 acres | 0% contained | 0 personnel assigned
Fire activity on the Goat Mountain 2 Fire is minimal. Firefighters will continue to monitor the fire by air as smoke and weather permit.
Weather: Cooler temperatures and precipitation have moderated fire activity in the region, but the rain did not reach all areas of the fires. Some areas received significant wetting rains while others remain dry. Residual moisture and cooler temperatures will help dampen fire spread potential until sufficient drying occurs. Additional thunderstorms are forecast today and crews will remain on alert for potential new starts and any initial attack response needs.
Smoke: A smoke outlook for northeast Oregon is available from the wildland fire air quality program. Additional information can be found at PurpleAir website.
Evacuations: The Wallowa County Sheriff’s Office rescinded all evacuation levels at 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday, September 14 after reviewing the increased containment level on Double Creek Fire, progress made on the fires in Eagle Cap Wilderness, and moderating effects of recent weather.
Wallowa Whitman National Forest Temporary Area Closures:
The Wallowa Whitman National Forest issued Temporary Area Closures for the Double Creek Fire, Nebo Fire, and Sturgill Fire (includes Goat Mountain 2 Fire) on Monday. Closure Orders and Maps are available on the Wallowa Whitman National Forest Fire Incident Updates page.
Lostine River Road from Moffitt’s south is closed. Highway 350 (Little Sheep Creek Highway) at mile marker 6.5 is closed due to the following closures: Lower Imnaha Road and Dug Bar Road are closed, Upper Imnaha Road is closed, Hat Point Road is closed, and FS 39 Road is closed from Target Springs Junction to Ollokot Campground [including the Canal Rd (3920) and Lick Creek Road (3925)].
Airspace: Airspace restrictions have been issued for the Double Creek, Nebo, Sturgill, and Goat Mountain 2 Fires. Temporary Flight Restrictions were updated for the Double Creek Fire (TFR 2/5592) and the Sturgill Fire (TFR 2/3189) to provide a safe environment for firefighting aircraft operations over the fires. Notice to Air Missions (NOTAM) 08/234 and NOTAM 08/235 were issued to provide safe airspace for the Nebo and Goat Mountain 2 Fires. Flight restrictions also apply to drones. Drones flying in areas of wildfire activity will cause firefighting aircraft to be grounded.
Restrictions: Forest Order #06-16-00-22-04 covers Phase B Fire Restrictions for all National Forest System Lands within the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest, except for the area within a ¼ mile of the Snake River between Hells Canyon Dam, River Mile 247.5, downstream to the Oregon-Washington border at Snake River Mile 176.0, which is regulated by Forest Order #06-16-04-22-01.
Double Creek Fire
Eagle Cap Wilderness Fires
Sturgill Fire InciWeb: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/
Nebo Fire InciWeb: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/
Goat Mountain 2 Fire InciWeb: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/