Umatilla National Forest Lightning Fire update: new fires report - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Umatilla National Forest Lightning Fire update: new fires reported across forest

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PENDLETON, OR – Several new fires have been detected across the forest today as cloudy conditions have given way to clear skies. The majority of the fires are contained and remain small, less than one acre in size. More smoke reports are expected throughout the next few days as weather conditions continue to stay warm and dry.

The Pomeroy Ranger District has three new fires located within the Wenaha-Tucannon Wilderness. All fires are staffed, with one fire contained and firefighters working to secure and mop up the other two fires.

Walla Walla Ranger District resources are currently responding to one new fire on the district located eight miles west of Troy.

The North Fork John Day Ranger District reported four new fires today. The Nelson Fire is currently estimated at ten acres and is located near Lehman Hot Springs on Highway 244, 25 miles southwest of La Grande. The fire was reported today at 12:16 p.m. and is burning in grass and timber. Firefighters have been successful in stopping the spread of this fire. Crews and engines are currently working to build fire line and contain the fire. Current resources include five engines, one crew, two water tenders, and one dozer. 

The Howard Meadows Fire is approximately 130 acres and is located 36 miles southwest from Pilot Rock. The fire was reported today at 12:33 p.m. and is burning in grass and timber. The fire is located on both Umatilla National Forest and John Day Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) protected lands. Currently, four ODF engines, two Malheur National Forest engines, the Umatilla Veterans Crew and two dozers are working the fire. Firefighters are being supported by aerial resources, including a helicopter and air tankers.

The North Fork John Day Wilderness fires have been staffed. The largest of these fires is located near Winom Butte and is three acres in size. Firefighters are currently working to build fire line and contain each of these fires.

The Heppner Ranger District had no new fires reported today, but crews continue to patrol and mop up hot spots on existing fires.

The weather conditions are forecasted to continue to warm up and remain dry; it is expected that the forest will continue to detect new fires over the next several days.

The fire danger rating is EXTREME and Public Use Restrictions involving campfires and chainsaw use are in effect.  For more information about the Umatilla National Forest’s Public Use Restrictions, please contact any forest office, call our Forest Information hotline at 1-877-958-9663, or visit our website at www.fs.usda.gov/umatilla/.

The latest fire information will be posted on the Blue Mountains Fire Information Blog. If you are interested in receiving updates on fires in the Blue Mountains, follow our blog at http://bluemountainfireinfo.blogspot.com/.

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