JOHN DAY: Public concerns regarding lookouts

JOHN DAY: Public concerns regarding lookouts

(From the Malheur National Forest)

The Malheur National Forest would like to share fire lookout staffing information.

Recently there has been some concern on social media about staffing of lookouts on the forest.  Lookouts are staffed 5 days a week and work on scheduled days off when there is a need.  The main lookout of concern seems to have been Dry Soda Lookout.  In a news release sent out Monday afternoon, the Malheur National Forest stated:  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 by aerial reconnaissance.  Dry Soda Lookout has been staffed every day for the last two weeks due to the lightening and fire activity. Employment regulations require the staff to meet days-off requirements.  As a result of work rest requirements, the Dry Soda Lookout staff are on days off and will be returning to duty Thursday, August 15.  Aviation resources have flown the fire daily.  There have been no visible smoke seen during the aerial reconnaissance flights.

When lookout staff need time off the forest, fire staff evaluate if there is a need for a replacement to cover behind them due to high probability of lightning and fires; and to ensure replacement staff is needed.

For more information on staffing of lookouts please contact fire staff at 541-575-3000.


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