ODF moves fire danger to ‘extreme’; crews tackling small fires in Central Oregon district

Fire danger in Oregon Department of Forestry’s (ODF) Central Oregon District moved to “extreme” this week based on fuel conditions and the potential rate of spread of wildland fires.

Additional fire prevention measures were implemented to reduce potential human starts across ODF protected lands. Red Flag Warnings issued by the National Weather Service for lightning, wind, and high temperatures starting Monday heightened fire manager’s concern for increased fire activity.

Wednesday, ODF and federal partners have reconnaissance aircraft flying throughout central Oregon to detect fires from lightning.

Locating fires while they are small and taking aggressive initial attack on the fires is critical for reducing wildfire impacts to landowners and smoke effects. ODF’s multi-mission aircraft, a Partenavia Observer, equipped with infra-red and Electro-optical cameras, will also be flying areas across the District that have received lightning the last few days.

ODF firefighters and partners have taken action on three lightning fires on ODF protected lands since Monday.

The largest was the 4-acre Little Grizzly Fire on the Prineville Unit.

All fires on ODF protected lands have been caught during the initial attack.

Mop-up continues on Little Grizzly and Cat Mountain (1.5 acres) fires today. Air resources such as Single Engine Air Tankers and helicopters were crucial in supporting ground resources in slowing the fire and allowing firefighters to construct fireline.

The Black Mountain smoke detection camera was used to locate the Matlock Fire on the Umatilla National Forest near Ukiah, Oregon Tuesday afternoon.

The ODF detection center for all cameras located in Central Oregon and Northeast Oregon districts is located at Central Oregon Interagency Dispatch Center in Redmond.

Firefighters across the Central Oregon District have also responded to escaped debris burns in recent days.

Debris burning is not allowed within the District at this time. Fire season restrictions, regulated-use closure, and industrial forestry operation requirements are in effect. Full details are available at www.ODFcentraloregon.com.

ODF’s Central Oregon District continues to serve landowners and the public as an essential service for Oregonians. Please call or email to talk with our staff or schedule an appointment. For additional information on ODF’s Central Oregon District, including contact information and unit offices, please visit www.ODFcentraloregon.com.

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