Burn operations continue on Oregon Lakes Fire

White Mountain Type 2 Initial Attack firefighters use beaters to cool the edges of the burnout on Tuesday. Photo by Evan Stringer, Fire Medic
White Mountain Type 2 Initial Attack firefighters use beaters to cool the edges of the burnout on Tuesday. Photo by Evan Sterling, Fire Medic

Firefighters took advantage of northerly winds that pushed smoke and flames south toward the Oregon Lakes Fire while conducting a burnout Tuesday evening. Work will continue today to fortify this new burned area. Aided by heavy equipment, crews will extend the line farther west past Douglas Creek. The goal is to remove the burnable vegetation between the impact area boundary and the winter trail from the Lester Line on the east, and west to roughly two miles past Douglas Creek. Removing the fuel in front of the fire significantly reduces chances the fire will spread, keeping the fire to the smallest footprint possible and decreasing the threat to values at risk farther to the north.

Graphic of fire statistics.

The Division of Forestry’s Pioneer Peak Interagency Hotshot Crew will join crews already on the fire line today to help with firing operations. Pioneer Peak was on standby at Delta Area Forestry for initial attack response due to very high wildfire. Because conditions are becoming drier around the state, any of the­­­­ crews assigned to the Oregon Lakes fire will be available for an initial attack response.

While the grass has been very receptive to burning, the spruce and birch trees have been resistant to burn. This will change as the summer progresses. The burn operation will provide an obstacle to prevent the fire’s movement north, but will not put this early-season fire out.

Because the Delta area is prone to wildfires, the public is encouraged to take steps to minimize the impact of a fire to their property. More information is available through the Delta Area Forestry Prevention office at (907)895-4225 or Firewise online information.

A Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR) is in place over the fire area to prevent outside aircraft, including military aircraft, from interfering with the suppression efforts.

Forecasted weather:  Warmer and drier weather is forecast to continue until later today when a thermal trough is predicted to move over the fire area. Temperatures in the low 70s with relative humidity levels in the teens are expected. Southeasterly winds will range from 5-13 mph with gusts up to 22 mph. A chance of isolated thundercells near the fire area is expected this afternoon and Thursday, bringing cooler temperatures, higher humidity levels and possible erratic winds.

Map of Oregon Lakes Fire on May 15, 2019.
Map of Oregon Lakes Fire on May 15, 2019.

For more information, contact Public Information Officer Beth Ipsen at (907)388-2159 or eipsen@blm.gov

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About BLM Alaska Fire Service

The Bureau of Land Management Alaska Fire Service (AFS) located at Fort Wainwright, Alaska, provides wildland fire suppression services for over 244 million acres of Department of the Interior and Native Corporation Lands in Alaska. In addition, AFS has other statewide responsibilities that include: interpretation of fire management policy; oversight of the BLM Alaska Aviation program; fuels management projects; and operating and maintaining advanced communication and computer systems such as the Alaska Lightning Detection System. AFS also maintains a National Incident Support Cache with a $10 million inventory. The Alaska Fire Service provides wildland fire suppression services for America’s “Last Frontier” on an interagency basis with the State of Alaska Department of Natural Resources, USDA Forest Service, National Park Service, Bureau of Indian Affairs, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the U.S. Military in Alaska.

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