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GROUSE MOUNTAIN FIRE UPDATE AUG. 8, 2013


News Release from Oregon Dept. of Forestry
Posted on FlashAlert: August 8th, 2013 11:29 AM

 

The Grouse Mountain Fire started on Wednesday afternoon, August 7. It continues to actively burn 3 miles north of John Day. The city is not threatened by the fire at this time. The fire is currently estimated to be 2,000 acres. The fire is burning primarily in rugged terrain with juniper, grass, and brushy fuels. Active fire spotting, torching, and fire runs have been observed and are expected to continue today. Large piles of decked juniper in the area have added to the intensity of the fire. Immediate concerns are for further fire spread north and east towards the Forest Service.

Fire crews worked through the night with dozers, engines, and hand crews to begin establishing containment fire lines. Steep terrain has made dozer and engine access difficult.

Today, 8 engines, 2 dozers, 2 water tenders and 3 hand crews are assigned to the fire.

The fire is on private land but is within one-half mile of USDA Forest Service ownership. Immediate concerns are for further fire spread north and east towards the Malheur National Forest boundary
.
The fire is east of Highway 395. The highway remains open but fire-related traffic in the area may be heavy.

Two cabins are within the fire perimeter but there are no reports of damage. Two other structures near the fire area are threatened. The Mt. Vernon Rural Fire District has been providing structural protection.

The cause of the Grouse Mountain is under investigation. The fire is currently 15 percent contained with no estimate the date for full containment at this time.

The Oregon Department of Forestry is directing suppression actions on the wildfire. Plans are for oversight of all wildfires currently burning in Grant County to transition to Oregon Interagency Incident Management Team 4 Team later today. At that time, ODF will continue working on the Grouse Mountain Fire as a branch of the larger "GC Complex" (GC for Grant County).

Current weather forecasts predict continued chances for lightning and erratic winds through the weekend. Safety hazards for fire fighters include rattlesnakes and falling snags.

In related fire activity, the Department of Forestry, along with federal resources, assisted the John Day Rural Fire Department to suppress at least three lightning-caused fires that started Wednesday afternoon on the southeastern edge of John Day threatening an estimated 400 homes. Aggressive air and ground attack successfully reduced the risk of these fires spreading beyond an estimated 400 acres and onto nearby Department of Forestry-protected lands. Two outbuildings and a garage were damaged by these fires.

 

 

Traffic & Weather

 

 

 

King Solomon Lane closed between Ferguson Road and King David. (7/25)

 

Jones Road, full road closure between Bennington Lane and NE Butler Market Road. May 18 – August 18, local access only.
 

Oregon State University off-site improvements for intersection reconstruction, July 11 – August 3,    7 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., at intersection of Chandler Avenue and Yates Drive.

 

Orion Drive closed in two locations for sewer work; at the intersection with Avery Lane and between Desert Woods Drive and King Hezekiah Way.  From July 11 to Sept. 6. Detours marked.

 

Valhalla Sewer Relocation Project, Mt. Washington Drive at Shevlin Park Road intersection and North to Regency Street. Nighttime closures with detours marked during roundabout construction. Daytime closures for construction towards Regency Street.    7 p.m. – 7 a.m., July 11 – November.

 

R.A.B. Construction:

 

Murphy Road and Parrell Road closed with detours. (9/30)

 

Powell Butte Highway at Neff and Alfalfa Market Roads (8/31)

 
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