JOHN DAY: 20 new fires on Malheur Nat. Forest following lightning

JOHN DAY: 20 new fires on Malheur Nat. Forest following lightning

(From the Malheur National Forest)

Fire crews on the Malheur National Forest are responding to new smoke reports following passing thunderstorms Friday and Saturday.  Significant lightning activity occurred across much of the Forest, with approximately 20 new incidents on the Malheur National Forest reported so far to Burns Interagency Communication Center (BICC) and John Day Interagency Dispatch Center (JDIDC). Most of the Forest also received anywhere from a quarter of an inch to three-quarters of an inch of rain.

Local initial attack resources have been busy responding to these incidents with support from aerial resources.  All of the reported fires are staffed and remain small. However, as the week progresses new smoke reports are expected throughout.  Aerial reconnaissance and fire lookouts are assisting with detection efforts.

The northern portion of the Malheur National Forest received the most significant fire activity with 16 fires reported between the Blue Mountain and Prairie City Ranger Districts.  Of these Incident 204 located near Glacier Mountain on the Prairie City district is currently being monitored, this fire is located in the Sheep Mountain Fire scar and has received a significant amount of moisture.  With the cooler and wetter conditions forecasted for the next week and the remote high elevation location, Fire Management will be keeping a close eye on the incident and looking at tactical plans for the future if the fire shows any activity.  Smoke may be visible as fuels dry out.

Incident 224 is located in the East Fork of Canyon creek on steep and rocky slopes inside the Canyon Creek Fire scar, due to the steepness of terrain and numerous snags, for firefighter safety the fire will be monitored by Dry Soda lookout and aerial reconnaissance.  The fire area received measurable moisture and fire is creeping and smoldering in brush and downed logs.  Fire Managers will be keeping a close eye on the incident and be looking at tactical plans if it becomes necessary.

On the southern portion of the Malheur National Forest, 4 fires have been reported on the Emigrant Creek Ranger District.  Fire crews are engaging these fires and patrolling for additional starts.

For current fire information the public can visit BICC and JDIDC online at http://bicc-jdidc.org/index.shtml or WildCad at www.wildcad.net. Once at the Wildcad site scroll down to Burns Interagency Communication Center which is OR-BIC or John Day Interagency Dispatch Center which is OR-JDCC.

The Malheur National Forest would like to remind visitors that the fire danger is High across the forest and that we are at Phase A of Public Use Restrictions and at Industrial Fire Precaution Level II.

More reported fires are expected and existing incidents may produce additional smoke throughout the rest of the week.  To report wildfires, please call 911 or John Day Interagency Dispatch at 541-575-1321 or Burns Interagency Communications Center at 541-573-1000.