Weather conditions last night produced a localized lightning storm in the area of the Horseshoe Fire in the Mt. Adams Wilderness. Lightning strikes started two fires. The size of the fires is unknown, as the Incident Team managing the Horseshoe Fire is also investigating these new fires. 305 personnel are on the scene as mop-up work around the perimeter of the fire continues and some are working suppression on the new fires. The Horseshoe Fire is still 250 acres and now 15% contained. Full containment is still expected on Sunday. The lower temperatures and higher humidity this weekend should help, although gusty winds could mitigate some of that help. The cause of the Horseshoe Fire is still unknown.
Effective today (Friday), the Gifford Pinchot National Forest will increase the Industrial Fire Precaution Level from Level 2 to Level 3. There are restrictions on firewood cutting with personal use firewood cutting prohibited, and timber operations and other industrial operations on National Forest System land will be required to follow Level 3 rules. Some activities are allowed between the hours of 8pm to 1pm. These precautions are in addition to Public Use Restrictions that began July 1st. For more details, contact the Gifford Pinchot Forest Headquarters at fs.usda.gov/giffordpinchot .
Firefighters will begin using direct suppression techniques today on the 250-acre Horseshoe Fire burning in the Mt. Adams Wilderness. According to incident commander Brian Gales, crews are laying hose lines to suppress the fire and begin mop-up along the perimeter. The reasons include the drought in the Western U.S. and the potential for the fire to leave the wilderness and impact tribal and private lands. The first priority for containment is the northern boundary of the fire, where the blaze is smoldering in abundant fuels. Second priority is the reduction of hazard trees and mopping up along the west flank. The third priority is cleaning up hotspots along the east flank and inside the perimeter of the 2012 Cascade Creek Fire. Hotspots have been observed inside that area. There will be flaggers and a pilot car on Forest Road 23. 189 personnel are working on the fire, along with helicopters and a water tender. Containment is still considered 0%, although the size of the fire hasn’t grown the last couple of days. The cause of the fire is unknown.
The Horseshoe Fire continues to burn on the southwest flank of Mt. Adams and in the Mt. Adams Wilderness. As of Tuesday morning, the fire had not grown since the weekend, with 250 acres burned so far. According to incident commander Brian Gales, a scout team found the fire had burned to the 2012 Cascade Creek Fire boundary along the fire’s south and east perimeter. Minimum impact suppression techniques, or MIST, are being used in all firefighting activities in the Mt. Adams Wilderness. Crews are attempting to limit impacts on the wilderness and cultural resources. A spike camp for firefighters is being established to increase efficiency. At last report, there were 5 crews onsite, 3 helicopters and 1 water tender. 170 personnel are fighting the fire, which has a containment of zero precent. The cause is undetermined at this point.
The Junction Fire in south central Klickitat County is being reported by Klickitat County Emergency Management as 60 percent contained as of Friday morning. The fire started late Thursday as two separate fast moving grass fires in the area of the junction of Highways 14 and 97, and quickly grew together. The fire has burned about 2,000 acres between mile markers 100 and 105 on Highway 14 and mile markers 2 and 3 on Highway 97. Klickitat County Emergency Management confirmed that one home, an apartment, a hay barn, and seven outbuildings have been destroyed in the fire. Three people were displaced from their homes. There are a total of twelve Klickitat County fire departments involved in the firefighting effort along with the Washington Department of Natural Resources and Sherman County. One firefighter is reported to have sustained a minor leg injury. Another set of fires nearby on the eastside of Highway 97 at about milepost 7 that grew together are now fully contained. The Viewpoint Fire burned approximately 1,025 acres.
A Celebration of Life will be held on July 12 in honor of Gary Honald of The Dalles, who recently passed away. It will take place in The Dalles Civic Auditorium ballroom from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. on what would have been Honald’s 80th birthday. The Dalles Kiwanis Club is sponsoring the event as a way to provide the community a way to share their memories of Honald, who was involved in numerous community events, as well as enjoy his favorite desserts: cherry pie and apple pie. Honald drove the Santa Sleigh in the Starlight Parade every year, and The Dalles Kiwanis Club is working to ensure the tradition continues in his honor through a fund has been set up by The Dalles Kiwanis Club to make sure that the sleigh continues to operate and continues to be filled with toys. There will be an opportunity to contribute to the fund at the celebration. Donations may also be sent to The Dalles Kiwanis, P.O. Box 604, The Dalles, Oregon 97058. For more information contact The Dalles Kiwanis Secretary, Sherry Munro at 541-298-4825.
A White Swan man was killed Wednesday afternoon in a one-vehicle accident on Highway 141 in Klickitat County. Sheriff Bob Songer says a pickup driven by 31-year-old Samuel Smartlovit of White Swan was southbound at milepost five at around 2:15 p.m. Wednesday when the truck failed to negotiate a curve, went off the road, hit a rock and two trees, then rolled over on its side. Smartlovit died in the accident. Songer says two passengers in the pickup suffered non-life threatening injuries.
North Central Public Health District has schedule a free T-DAP vaccine clinic for July 9 to deal with an ongoing outbreak of Pertussis. The clinic will be on July 9 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at The Dalles Middle School, and will offer free vaccinations to all persons age seven and older that are not up to date on their T-DAP vaccine. As of July 1, there were 16 cases of Pertussis, also known as whooping cough, reported in The Dalles. The clinic is targeted for those who are not up to date on their T-DAP vaccination, those who work closely with people vulnerable to Pertussis like infants and young children, pregnant women, and those with a weakened immune system, and those without insurance. The vaccine is also available at doctor’s offices and pharmacies
Crews have entered the mop-up stage on the five-acre Willow Springs Fire in the Mill Creek area near The Dalles. Rod Nichols of the Oregon Department of Forestry says quick response to the fire that was reported Wednesday morning was crucial to keep it small. ODF and other agencies put together several engines, two hand crews, and air support to fight the fire. Nichols added conditions were such that had the fire gotten away, it could have become very large very quickly. The fire was on a ridgeline that was at the northern edge of the Government Flats Fire two years ago.
Farmers Irrigation District in Hood River County has declared an emergency and is implementing three-and-a-half day on, three-and-a-half day off water rotation procedures in its Upper and Middle districts to address drought conditions. District Manager Jer Camarata says the rotation schedule is an effort to cut the flow from their Kingsley Reservoir by half to help get through the drought and have water through the end of the harvest. The lower part of the district gets irrigation water from a diversion off the Hood River. The district is asking all of its water users to voluntarily stop watering lawns and any non-essential landscapes for the duration of the summer to help farmers. The list of roads and their assigned days for watering is available on the Farmers Irrigation District website at fidhr.org and will be mailed to all of the district’s users, and anyone with questions can call 541-387-5261.