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Eugene Daily News
Tim Chuey

Tim Chuey

Tim Chuey is a Member of the American Meteorological Society and the National Weather Association and has been Awarded Seals of Approval for television weathercasting from both organizations.
chuey@teleport.comhttp://timchueyweather4u.comhttps://www.facebook.com/tim.chueyweatherlion

Have You Noticed That It’s Very Dry Out There?

Yes, this is the dry season and it is really getting dry all over the Pacific Northwest. I was sitting in my living room when I noticed a rather strong smell of smoke coming through the open windows. I have experienced the same situation many times in the past and the answer is almost always the same. That answer is a wildfire. There was one in Oakridge, Oregon July 25th and the smoke made its way to Eugene. It seems a dead tree fell onto power lines starting a fire which destroyed a home. Brisk winds spread the flame which spawned a grass fire. Highway 58 through Oakridge was closed from about 2 pm until 6:15 pm.

"Wildfires"

“Wildfires” | Image by chumstickcoalition.org

There are some serious large wildfires scattered over the state of Oregon so let’s take a look at where they are and what is being done to fight them. The following wildfire summaries were prepared by the Northwest Interagency Coordination Center (NWCC). I  started monitoring the site for this column on Monday 7/24/17.

Large Wildfire Map

Large Wildfire Map 7/29/17| Image by NWCC

The Blanket Creek fire: Located 9 miles northeast of Prospect, Oregon. The number of acres involved is 624. The fuel is timber (litter and understory). It started on 7/23/17 and the cause is listed as lightning/natural.  Resources being used: 350 people, 9 crews, 0 helicopters, and 4 engines. The fire is 3% contained.

The Bowden fire: Located 22 miles south of Rome, Oregon. The number of acres involved is 17,773. It started on 7/24/17 and the cause is listed as under investigation.  Removed from list.

The Chetco Bar fire: Located Kalmiopsis Wilderness, Oregon. The number of acres involved is 2,181. The fuel is timber, brush, Closed timber litter. It started on 7/12/17 and the cause is listed as lightning/natural.  Resources being used: 131 people, 3 crews, 2 helicopters, and 0 engines. The fire is 0% contained

Crane Creek Fire

Aerial View Of Crane Creek Fire | Photo by Mike Leach, ODF through blogspot.com

The Crane fire: Located 4 miles southeast of Lakeview, Oregon. The number of acres involved is 602. The fuel is grass and understory.  It started on 7/24/17 and the cause is listed as lightning/natural. Resources being used: 159 people, 5 crews, 5 helicopters, and 3 engines. The fire is 40% contained.

The Dry Creek Buttes fire: Located 23 miles west of Adrian, Oregon. The number of acres involved is 3,000. The fuel is brush, grass. It started on 7/28/17 and the cause is listed as unknown. Resources being used: 135 people, 1 crews, 0 helicopters, and 17 engines. The fire is 20% contained.

Emerson Fire

Emerson Fire Near Madras | Photo by Pat Boyle FM News 101 at kxl.com

The Emerson fire: Located 4 miles northeast of Madras, Oregon. The number of acres involved 10,527. The fuel is tall grass and brush. It started on 7/25/17 and the cause is listed as human. Resources being used: 92 people, 2 crews, 0 helicopters, and 9 engines. The fire is 70% contained.

The Hawk fire: Located 10 miles northwest of Jordan Valley, Oregon. The number of acres involved 1,412. The fuel is brush and short grass. It started on 7/27/17 and the cause is listed as lightning/natural. Singe residences threatened- 1. Resources being used: 56 people, 0 crew, 1 helicopter, and 12 engines. The fire is 75% contained.

The Haystack fire: Located 11 miles southwest of Adrian, Oregon. The number of acres involved 512. The fuel is short grass and brush. It started on 7/28/17 and the cause is listed as lightning/natural. Resources being used: 69 people, 1 crews, 0 helicopters, and 13 engines. The fire is 90% contained.

The Indian Creek fire: Located Eagle Creek Trail System, Oregon. The number of acres involved 74. The fuel is timber (litter and understory). It started on 7/04/17 and the cause is listed as under investigation. Resources being used: 66 people, 1 crews, 2 helicopters, and 0 engines. The fire is 0% contained.

The Oxbow fire: Located at Adrian, Oregon. The number of acres involved 1,454. The fuel is brush; tall grass . It started on 7/28/17 and the cause is listed as lightning/natural. Resources being used: 54 people, 0 crews, 0 helicopters, and 14 engines. The fire is 80% contained.

The Upper Mine fire: Located 8 miles south of Fields, Oregon. The number of acres involved 4,135. The fuel is grass, brush. It started on 7/24/17 and the cause is listed as lightning/natural. Resources being used: 120 people, 2 crews, 0 helicopters, and 14 engines. The fire is 85% contained.

Whitewater Fire

Whitewater Fire | Photo by InciWeb through wtvz.com

The Whitewater fire: Located at Whitewater Creek, Mount Jefferson Wilderness, Oregon. The number of acres involved 99. 1 minor structure threatened. Resources being used: 127 people, 3 crews, 4 helicopters, and 0 engines. The fire is 60% contained.

The Wildcat fire: Located 1 mile south of Green Mountain Lookout, Oregon. The number of acres involved 657. The fuel is tall grass and the terrain is brush. It started on 7/24/17 and the cause is listed as lightning/natural. Resources being used: 31 people, 1 crew, 0 helicopters, and 2 engines. Removed from list.

Wildfire Map

Large Wildfire Map 7/30/17 | Image by NWCC

The wildfire information listed here is as of 8:00 PM Sunday 7/30/17. If you wish to continue monitoring the Oregon wildfires you can go to the NWCC interactive map and see the updated information  at the  NWCC webpage. A last check at the current fire danger at publication time is as follows: Fire Danger is Extreme in the Central Oregon District, the Douglas Forest Protective Association, The Klamath Lake District, Northeast Oregon District, the Southwest  Oregon District, and The WalkerRange Fire Patrol Association;  Fire Danger is High in the Coos Forest Protective Association, The North Cascade District, South Cascade District, the Western Lane District, and the West Oregon District; The Fire Danger is Moderate in the Northwest Oregon Protection District. With the extreme heating we are experiencing those areas could be expanded and the danger level raised at any time.

Fire Safety Tips

Fire Safety Tips | Image by treadlightly.org

With the very hot temperatures and very dry grass and brush extra care must be taken with any burning materials whether they be cigarettes or campfire. Also, be careful where you park your car. Parking off the side of the road in the grass or anywhere with grass under the vehicle can be an extreme fire hazard. The engine, muffler and tailpipe get very hot particularly in this extreme weather. They can catch the grass or brush under your vehicle on fire very quickly. Please be careful whether you are in the city or out in the forest.

Let me know what you would like me to talk about or explain. You can comment below or email me at: tim.chuey@eugenedailynews.com.

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