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Weather change helps on 105,000-acre Canyon Creek Fire

KTVZ

Strong weekend winds have pushed the Canyon Creek Complex Fire near John Day to over 105,000 acres as of Monday, two days after it consumed three more homes, bringing the total to 43 lost to the nearly 3-week-old blaze.

But officials said Sunday’s calmer winds made for a better day on the fire lines.

Here’s the Monday morning update:

Fire Information: (541) 820-3643 or (541) 820-3633 (staffed 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.)

Email Address: canyoncreekcomplex@gmail.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/canyoncreekfireoregon

Malheur NF: www.fs.usda.gov/malheur/

Inciweb: http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/4495/

Twitter: @MalheurNF

Air Quality Index: http://oregonsmoke.blogspot.com/

Type of Incident: Wildfire

Cause: Lightning

Date of Origin: August 12, 2015

Location: One mile south of the towns of John Day and Canyon City, Oregon.

Types of Fuel: Timber with brush/grass understory; areas of medium density logging slash.

Structures Threatened: 100

Structures Damaged: 50

Residences Destroyed: 43

Current Size: 105,048 acres

Percent Containment: 49%

Number of Personnel: 1026

Types of resources: 3 Type 1 (hotshot) crews, 20 Type 2 crews, 5 helicopters, 69 engines, 17 dozers, 27 water tenders, 9 skidgines, 1 masticator.

Evacuation levels remain the same as yesterday.
Canyon Creek Complex Recent Activities:

• Night shift crews continued to make progress strengthening fire lines and mopping up along the entire northern perimeter of the fire. Fire activity moderated through the night due to higher relative humidity and operation occurred with no issues.

• Additional resources continue to arrive and are being incorporated into the operational plan, mostly on the northern and eastern flanks.

• Moderate weather and higher relative humidity will allow firefighters opportunities to improve lines and use direct attack methods in some areas of the fire. The priority area today will be the northern and eastern flanks of the fire.

• The dozer lines have been extended around spot fires south of Shaw Creek to the wilderness boundary and the arrival of additional Hotshot crews will allow direct attack along the fire further south.

• Burnout operations will continue in the Road’s End area and fire fighters are confident that section of the fire to the south will be secure.

• Firefighters continue providing structure protection and constructing additional dozer and handline to protect the Dog Creek, Pine, Indian, and Strawberry Creek areas.

• Firefighters will assess the possibility to bring fire downhill to firelines in the Dean Creek area and remove the threat of uncontrolled fire spread.

• An eight-person fire module will assess the possible opportunities for addressing the section of the fire within the Strawberry Wilderness as protecting the Strawberry Creek watershed in the wilderness continues to be a top priority.

• Fireline repair operations will continue along the entire western and southern flanks.

• The Oregon National Guard will continue to work on the western and southern edge of the fire focusing on suppression repair and reinforcing the line.

• With lighter winds in the forecast, aviation resources are available for use today.

ODOT: CR 62, the 16 Road and Highway 395 are open for through travel with no restrictions. Be advised that crews may still be working on the roads and drivers are urged to use caution. Smoke will continue for some time, please do not report unless active fire is seen.

Public Safety Alert: If traveling through the area that has burned, please do not leave your vehicles and walk through ashes due to hot spots, stump holes and falling trees.

Grant County Sheriff: The Grant County Sheriff’s Office reminds people to be respectful of private property and to remain on the road unless invited. Trespassing is punishable by law and violators will be prosecuted.

Burned Area Emergency Response (BAER): A BAER team has been ordered and will begin to conduct a water shed assessment of the area in order to plan rehabilitation of fire lines and mitigate soil erosion

Air Quality Index: Smoke levels are predicted to in the moderate to unhealthy for sensitive groups range. For more specific information visit Oregon Smoke Information at http://oregonsmoke.blogspot.com.

Here’s the Oregon Department of Forestry Monday summary of other wildfires burning around the state:

Light to heavy precipitation occurred on the west side of the Cascades over the weekend, with scattered light precipitation on the east side.

The cooler temperatures and higher humidity moderated fire behavior in some areas, but fire danger persists.

The public is asked to continue to exercise extreme caution in the forest with any activity that could potentially start a wildfire. Firefighting resources are scarce due to the large fires burning in Oregon and Washington, and any new fires would strain the fire protection system.

The 12,504-acre Eagle Complex 20 miles NW of Richland, Oregon, is 60 percent contained. The fires are currently staffed with 327 total personnel. Resources include: nine hand crews, 12 fire engines and five helicopters.

The 20,635-acre Eldorado Fire five miles SE of Unity is 99 percent contained. The fire is currently staffed with 32 total personnel. Resources include: one hand crew and four fire engines.

The 102,089-acre Cornet-Windy Ridge Complex 16 miles south of Baker City is 85 percent contained. The fire is currently staffed with 32 total personnel. Resources include: one hand crew and four fire engines.

The 74,471-acre Grizzly Bear Complex 20 miles SE of Dayton, Wash., and near Troy, Ore., in the Northeast Oregon District is 17 percent contained. The fires are currently staffed with 915 total personnel. Resources include: 17 hand crews, 34 fire engines and five helicopters.

The 26,452-acre Stouts Creek Fire 16 miles east of Canyonville is 90 percent contained. The fire is currently staffed with 343 total personnel. Resources include: five hand crews, 11 fire engines, and one helicopter.

The 353-acre Falls Creek Fire five miles south of Joseph is 50 percent contained. The fire is currently staffed with 116 total personnel. Resources include: three hand crews, four fire engines and one helicopter.

The 280-acre Cove Fire in the Central Oregon District three miles NW of Culver, Ore., is expected to be fully contained later today .

KTVZ News Team

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