Photo: Umatilla Fire District
Wednesday morning, winds on the Hat Rock Fire, east of Hermiston, required quick action by crews as a flare-up added approximately 80-100 acres to the fire footprint near Juniper Canyon. Taskforces worked to prevent the spread of fire into difficult terrain. Coordinating immediate response, Division Supervisor Brent Olson stated, “Local ranchers were instrumental in disking lines during the attack, working alongside our fire crews to provide solid containment lines.”
Task forces concentrated work in the Juniper Canyon area throughout the day to further secure lines and perform isolated clean-up burns to reduce the fuel load near the fire perimeter. Work was conducted along Highway 730, addressing hot spots and strengthening the fire's edge.
Although flare-ups occurred, crews' quick work to attack and limit fire progress on the Hat Rock Fire has grown confidence in the overall containment of the fire. With more accurate mapping analysis together with crews assessing the fire line, we are happy to report that the fire is now 70% contained and total fire acreage is at 16,252 acres. With containment lines holding and dozer lines reinforcing the Juniper Canyon area, the Umatilla County Sheriff's Office downgraded Level 3 (GO) evacuation areas to Level 2 (SET), and Level 2 (SET) areas to Level 1 (READY).
Work will continue with fire crews performing tactical sweeps, putting out hot spots, mopping up perimeters, and ensuring containment lines hold. Transition plans are being developed to transfer fire management back to local authorities. The OSFM Green Team will remain in place until confidence is assured that the fire will hold within the containment lines.
No activity was noted on the Mount Hebron Fire Wednesday as crews continued to maintain containment lines. Because of the work done by taskforces over the past several days, this fire is now contained at 100%. Resources were downsized to one fire engine to continue to patrol the perimeter. The Multnomah County Task Force was demobilized this morning to return to their home districts.
Source: Oregon State Fire Marshal's Office