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Update on Government Flats Fire


Fire crews had a good night of work. The positives were: they were able to continue building and strengthening control lines and fire growth was low. The negatives were because of the rain and 80% humidity along the lines, they were not able to burn out vegetation between the constructed lines and the active fire. Today crews will continue to build and improve firelines, taking advantage of cooler temperatures and lower fire intensity to place control lines closer to the fire edge. Crews will attempt to conduct burn-out operations as conditions allow. Firefighters were reminded to be cautious of the rain-slickened exposed soils when driving or walking.

Structure resources managed through the Oregon State Fire Marshal are continuing to mop up around structures that were saved along Mill Creek and Upper Mill Creek roads today. In addition, overhead personnel will be going through neighborhoods that were placed under evacuation notices yesterday to formulate structure protection contingency plans in case the winds today cause the fire to break from containment lines.

The general fire area received a tenth of an inch of rain. The fine fuels (small branches and grass) react to the environment quickly. They will dry out faster than larger fuels, within an hour or two. As the day progresses, these finer fuels may ignite and burn more readily. Breezy west winds are forecast over the fire today, with gusts up to 35 mph over exposed ridges.

The three-fire complex has burned approximately 12,023 acres. The Wells Road fire (66 ac) and the Government Flat fire (229 ac) are both 100% contained. The Blackburn fire (11,728 ac) is estimated at 20 percent containment. There are currently 1008 personnel assigned to the fire comprised of 36 hand crews, 180 engines, 10 helicopters, 14 dozers, 10 water tenders, and associated support and overhead personnel.

Evacuation Notifications Summary: Evacuation levels were modified this morning at 10:00 AM by the Wasco County Sheriff's Office and the Hood River County Division of Emergency Management to reflect the following:

Level III (GO NOW)
* Residences on Ketchum Road and any side roads up to the junction with Vensel Road.
* Residences on Upper Mill Creek Road west of 9595.
Level II (Get Set)
* Residences on Upper Mill Creek Road east to the junction of Reservoir Road.
* Residences on Reservoir Road
Level I (Get Ready)
*Residences between the junction of Upper Mill Creek Road and Reservoir road east to the 6500 block of Mill Creek Road.
*Residences on Chenoweth Road between Vensel Road and Browns Creek Road and any side roads.
*Residences for ALL of Browns Creek Road and any side roads.
*Residences for the 5000 block of Cherry Heights to Browns Creek Road and all side rods.
*Wells Road and any side roads
*Obrist Road.
*Residences on Mosier Creek Road between addresses 2855 to 3475 and any side roads.
*Residences on Vensel Road to the Osburn Cut-Off and any side roads.
*Residences on Godberson Road within three miles of the southern end of Godberson Road and any side roads.

Level I Evacuation Notice in Hood River County for Fir Mountain , Fir Mountain Loop, and Swyers Drive has been removed.

When you hear the terms Level I, II, or III evacuation notice, remember "ready, set, go." Level I means be aware of the fire in your area and start getting ready, Level II means make final preparations and get and set to evacuate, and Level III means evacuate immediately--GO NOW.

The American Red Cross is available to provide shelter as needed to residents affected by the evacuations. Residents can register on their Safe and Well program on line at www.redcross.org. Their public number is (888) 680-1455.

For information regarding evacuation notices, please contact the Wasco County Sheriff's Office at 541-506-2580 or the Hood River County Division of Emergency Management at 541-386-1213 during business hours.

The Mt. Hood National Forest has announced the following closures:
Information on Mt Hood National Forest road, trail and campground closures can be found at their web site: Mt Hood National Forest.

The following campgrounds are closed: Knebal Springs, Lower Eight Mile Crossing, Eight Mile, and Gibson Prairie. Five Mile Lookout is also closed.

The following major trails are closed:
*Surveyors Ridge # 688 both south and north trailheads
*Eightmile Loop #496
*Knebal Springs # 474
*Bottle Prairie #455
*North-South #451
*Oak Ridge #688A
*Dog River #675
*Zig Zag #678

Forest Roads 17, 1720, 4430 and all their associated spur roads are closed along with and all other National Forest System Roads and minor trails within the closure area depicted on a map posted on InciWeb.org at http://inciweb.org/incident/maps/3662/

Cooperators working the incident include Oregon Department of Forestry, Oregon State Fire Marshall's Office, BLM, USDA Forest Service, City of The Dalles, Wasco County Sheriff's Office, Wasco County Emergency Operations Center, Hood River County Division of Emergency Management American Red Cross, Oregon National Guard, and Oregon State Police.

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