The fire is burning on steep, heavily timbered slopes with large amounts of downed timber and other heavy ground fuels with occasional tree torching. Columns are very visible from Enterprise and Joseph, as shown in the attached photo. The expected fire growth potential is high.
One wildland fire hand crew, rapellers, and smoke jumpers were working to contain the fire using minimum impact suppression tactics yesterday, July 14th. A Type 3 team will transition to take over the fire at 0600 this morning, Tuesday July 15th.
Due to concerns for public safety, the Forest Service is issuing a Closure Order for the Hurricane Creek Trailhead until further notice. The agency understands the desire to use the trail and will reopen it as soon as fire conditions allow.
The current dry conditions across the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest and extremely hot temperatures are of concern, and Forest officials ask the public to be extremely careful with any flammable material as any new person-caused fires only exacerbate the firefighting efforts.
Public Use Restrictions are in effect for building of campfires; which include: Campfires are required to be in pits surrounded by dirt, rock or commercial rings, with a five feet cleared area around the edge of the pit in areas not conducive to rapid fire spread. In addition, the following yearlong fire restrictions are in effect in the Eagle Cap Wilderness:
· Building, maintaining, attending or using a campfire within 100 feet of any lake or posted wetlands (36 CFR 261.52(a)).
· Building, maintaining, attending or using a campfire within ¼ mile (1320 feet) of the following lakes: Bear Lake (Bear Cr. Area), Blue Lake, Chimney Lake, Dollar Lake, Eagle Lake, Frazier Lake, Little Frazier Lake, Glacier Lake, Hobo Lake, Ice lake, Jewett Lake, Laverty Lake, Maxwell Lake, Mirror Lake, Moccasin Lake, Prospect lake, Steamboat Lake, Sunshine Lake, Swamp Lake, Tombstone Lake, Traverse Lake, and Upper Lake. 36 CFR 261.52(a).
However, we may also see additional Public Use Restrictions imposed later this week depending on the fire conditions.
Updates will be provided as conditions change and further information is available. Feel free to contact Wallowa-Whitman National Forest Public Affairs Officer, Jodi Kramer at 541-519-4623 for additional information.