Oregon fires update

The 2,000-acre Barry Point Fire southwest of Lakeview, Oregon, is burning on the Fremont-Winema National Forest and private lands. This morning the fire was transitioned to Oregon Incident Management Team 4 (IC Brian Watts).  On Tuesday the Lake County Sheriff’s Department and Forest Service law enforcement notified residents and others in the area that threats from the fire are severe.

Barry Point Fire, 08/07/12  ~  photo by Fred Way
Barry Point Fire, 08/07/12 ~ photo by Fred Way

The fire’s burning in heavy dead and down fuels on steep, rocky terrain. Strong gusty winds, high temperatures, and extremely heavy brush and timber pushed the fire to the north and northeast.

One of Butler’s DC-7 airtankers dropped on the fire, then returned to the Medford tanker base with a bad tire; crews at the base had noted tire pieces on the runway after the tanker left Medford. The pilot of another plane in the air saw that the tire was damaged, and the tire was changed after the tanker returned to Medford.

The Barry Point Fire is threatening the Dog Mountain Lookout, and several road closures are in effect.

The Holloway Fire is at 100,000 acres with just 5 percent containment, with about half the fire in Oregon and the other half in Nevada. The fire’s spread significantly in the northeast and southeast, but the south flank’s been secured. The fire’s threatening communities, critical infrastructure, critical sage grouse habitat, and other natural and cultural resources between McDermitt and Denio, Nevada.

Holloway Fire on the Oregon/Nevada border
Holloway Fire on the Oregon/Nevada border

Chris Ourada’s Great Basin Incident Management Team 6 said the fire’s starting spot fires when it’s burning sagebrush, and crews reported torching, fire whirls, long runs, and extreme fire behavior. Repeatedly shifting winds on the west side have pushed the fire over firelines. Firefighters are working in 100+ temperatures and single-digit humidity.

West of Cove Palisades State Park, the Geneva 12 Fire is burning in juniper, bitterbrush, sage, and grass. It’s 80 percent contained at 1,337 acres, and will transfer bck to the local unit tomorrow. Full containment is expected by this evening. Crews today will mop up smokes and hot spots within 300 feet of containment lines, and rehab is under way. The fire’s on the Crooked River National Grasslands managed by the Ochoco National Forest, private land, and BLM’s Prineville District. Some resources will be released today.

The Lava Fire is north of Christmas Valley, about 15 miles northeast of Fort Rock. It was ignited by lightning on July 23. Improved burning conditions yesterday allowed crews to build perimeter along part of the lava flow border. The fire’s about 50 percent contained at 21,300 acres; it’s been actively backing, with individual tree torching in juniper, grass, and sage.

Tanker 42 drops on the Lava Fire.  Photo by Kevin Abel, Lakeview BLM
Tanker 42 drops on the Lava Fire. Photo by Kevin Abel, Lakeview BLM

Incident managers plan to continue firing along the perimeter until there is a line around the entire fire, keeping the fire from moving out of the lava flow area. It’s in a wilderness study area managed by the BLM’s Lakeview District. Containment’s predicted for August 15.

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