George Noorey


George Noorey

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Local News



August 28, 2013 @ 8 AM                                                                                       

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Blackburn Fire Update:

The Government Flats Fire Complex has not grown in size for the last few days. It remains at 11,434 acres and is estimated at 75% contained.

Firefighters were complimented on the good work and safety record they have accomplished, but they were also reminded that there is a lot more work to be done.  The incident commander requested the forces to be vigilant and maintain safety awareness as they work to fully contain this fire. 

Today, crews will continue seeking and extinguishing burning or smoldering hot spots found in downed logs and vegetation, primarily on the west and northwest edges of the fire. Their work is similar to putting out a huge camp fire – drown and stir until the last ember is out.  The work is done in a methodical manner by gridding an area, then re-gridding the area from a different direction until no smoke or other indications of hot embers are found.  It is then rechecked the next day until it is out.  Because this fire is so large, crews start at the outer boundaries and work their way in 200 to 300 feet. 

Four 2-person crews are working each night using infra-red detection devises for locating hot areas.  These areas are then marked with flagging for the firefighters on day shift to extinguish.

Firefighting crews and resources continue to be released from the Government Flats Fire Complex and will be available after a rest period for reassignment to other fires.

The public is reminded that fire equipment traffic will be heavy in areas near to the fire. Please use caution if driving in these areas.  Some roads into the fire area are closed to non-fire traffic.   

There is currently an area closure on some roads, trails and facilities within the Mt Hood National Forest in the vicinity of the fire. Listings of the road, trail and campground area closures may be found at these web sites: Mt Hood National Forest Area Closure  or

Government Flat Complex at a glance:

Reduction in the fire acreage is due to more accurate mapping.

Total Complex Acreage:  11,434                                                   Blackburn Fire Acreage:   11,221

Complex Containment:   75 Percent                                          Total Personnel Assigned:   627

Structures Lost to the Fire: 4 homes/9 outbuildings                  Structure currently threatened:  0

Cost of the Incident to Date:  $ 12 million

Resources:  20 crews/21 engines/ 8 dozers/ 10 water tenders/ 7 helicopters

Ownerships involved: Private, U.S. Forest Service, City of The Dalles, and Bureau of Land Management

Cooperators include Oregon Department of Forestry, Oregon State Fire Marshal, 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, Hood River County Sheriff’s Office, American Red Cross, Oregon National Guard, and Oregon State Police.

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