September 16, 2022
Daily Update – 8:00 AM
Highlights: The Sturgill Fire is in patrol status as of yesterday evening. Remaining smokejumper crews and medical personnel that completed structure protection were pulled from the fire yesterday. The fire will be monitored by air until weather conditions change and firefighters can be flown in to maintain a presence at the Minam Lodge and other values, possibly as soon as today. The Sturgill and Goat Mountain 2 Fires will continue to be monitored by air as smoke and weather permit. Additional precipitation fell across the fire areas yesterday, coupled with thunderstorms and lightning. Four new fire starts from lightning strikes were reported and Pacific Northwest Team 2 was requested to respond to one with initial attack support.
There will be a community meeting tonight to discuss the Double Creek, Sturgill, Nebo, and Goat Mountain 2 Fires at 6 p.m. The meeting will be held at the Joseph Event Center (102 E First, Joseph, OR) and streamed live on Facebook.
Today is the final day of Pacific Northwest Team 2’s assignment. The Southern Area Blue Team will assume command of the fires at 6:00 a.m. on Saturday, September 17.
Double Creek Fire: 157,185 acres | 27% contained |740 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. Crews made great progress containing the area that spotted to the west of the Imnaha River which will now be in patrol status like the majority of the Imnaha corridor. The fire has had minimal growth to the south and an additional hot shot crew was inserted to help improve control lines around Imnaha River Woods. There was moderate fire activity in timber to the north and an initial attack crew was added to support the area. Crews are working closely with Oregon Department of Forestry to keep the fire off private ground by building line along Horse and Lightning Creeks.
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: 12,588 acres | 0% contained | 92 personnel assigned
The Nebo Fire received almost half an inch of rain accompanied by lightning strikes yesterday. Crews were pulled from the 39 Road chipping project as a safety precaution after lightning touched ground close to an engine. They will work to complete chipping on the remaining one mile of 39 Road today in order to move those resources to fireline projects to the north and east.
Sturgill Fire: 20,075 acres | 0% contained | 52 personnel assigned
Remaining smokejumper crews and medical personnel that completed structure protection were pulled from the Sturgill Fire. Activity on the fire is minimal. The fire will be monitored by air until weather conditions change and firefighters can be flown in to maintain a presence at the Minam Lodge and other values. Crews will continue thinning fuels on Lostine Road and others will continue creating a shaded fuel break to the north on Bear Creek Road where the trees are thinned and pruned to reduce the fire potential.
Goat Mountain 2 Fire: 536 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: Cool, cloudy, and wet weather was observed on Thursday. Showers and thunderstorms moved across the Wallowa Mountains and over the ICP in Joseph through much of the morning and afternoon hours. Rainfall totals across the Nebo and Sturgill fires ranged from just a trace to almost half an inch. Less rainfall was observed across the Double Creek, where generally less than a quarter inch of rain was observed. Today is expected to be sunnier and warmer but light precipitation is forecasted again for the weekend.
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.
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). 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: A Temporary Flight Restriction is in place for the Double Creek Fire (TFR 2/5592) to provide a safe environment for firefighting aircraft operations over the fire. The Sturgill Fire TFR (TFR 2/3189) was released on September 15 after the fire was placed in patrol status. 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/