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Silver Falls State Park fire updates

 

July 19, 2018 ,3:11 p.m.

Silver Creek fire - final update

SILVERTON, Ore. – Crews working on the Silver Creek fire are in the final stages of mop-up operations. Most of the remaining hazard trees will be removed today and fire managers expect to begin demobilizing crews tonight. The fire is currently 80% contained and remains at 27 acres. While about 115 personnel are still working the fire, that number will decrease by the weekend. Remaining personnel will continue to locate and extinguish hot spots. Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) fire crews will continue to check the fire through the first fall rains. A Type II helicopter on standby in Salem will be available through the fire season. To date, no injuries or facility damage have been attributed to the fire.


Light smoke may continue to come from the fire, but should not impact operations in Silver Falls State Park. Waterfall areas are accessible during normal park hours. The 214 Trailhead, Howard Creek Horse Camp and Day-use Area, and Camp Silver Creek remain closed. Managers will continue to evaluate those closures and announce any changes.


As fire danger increases statewide and firefighting resources are stretched thin, the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD) is prohibiting all campfires and open flames in all state park properties effective 10 a.m. today. Visitors planning a trip to a state park should check for up-to-date information about fire restrictions at http://bit.ly/2uLzdwY.

For current fire restrictions in other areas, visit the ODF Website: www.oregon.gov/ODF/Fire/Pages/Restrictions.

 

July 18, 2018, 3:28 p.m.
Silver Creek Fire Update 6

SILVERTON, Ore. – Crews working on the Silver Creek fire overnight used an infrared camera to look for hot spots within the fire’s perimeter. Results show crews have made good progress with mop-up operations as they continue to improve lines and extinguish remaining heat. The fire remains at 27 acres and is now 65% contained. Approximately 115 personnel continue to work on the fire. Most of the snags that have posed a threat to firefighter safety are now removed, though some hazard trees remain. Smoke can still be seen from areas of remaining heat, which includes several large standing trees that continue to smolder. Crews will remain focused on mop up for the next couple days.

Visitors to Silver Falls State Park will find pleasant conditions. Light smoke may be visible at times, but heavy smoke is unlikely. Other fires burning in the region may be responsible for increased haze in the area. While some closures remain in the park, there are no interruptions to scheduled events. Waterfall areas remain accessible to visitors during normal park hours.

Supporting media will be available on InciWeb at https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5938/.

More details:

  • Investigators have officially determined the fire was caused by lightning, most likely from a storm that passed over the area on June 18, 2018. Oregon Department of Forestry fire crews routinely track and investigate lightning strikes, though tracking technology is imperfect. Embers can remain hidden within trees or thick duff for weeks or months – producing no visible smoke – before emerging as weather and fuel conditions change. On Silver Creek, initial reports of smoke first came in late on July 12 and crews located the fire on July 13.
  • The Silver Creek Fire demonstrates how changing weather and fuel conditions impact fire behavior. As we move into the hottest and driest part of the year, fire danger increases significantly. Keep informed about current fire restrictions by visiting the Oregon Department of Forestry’s Website:  https://www.oregon.gov/ODF/Fire/Pages/Restrictions.aspx.
  • A Type II helicopter remains on standby in Salem to support work on the fire. Fire managers have been using this platform to minimize fire activity during the hottest period of the day.
  • Park Closures: The 214 Trailhead and several back-country trails, Howard Creek horse camp and Howard Creek day-use area, and the youth camp (Camp Silver Creek) remain closed. The Ranches have been reopened. Conditions can change quickly; watch for updates on https://bit.ly/2meFGMP.
  • No injuries or facility damage have been reported.

 

July 17, 2018, 11:55 a.m.
Silver Creek Fire Update 5

Silverton OR – Firefighters continue to make good progress mopping up the Silver Creek fire, located in a remote southeast corner of Silver Falls State Park. The fire has been mapped at approximately 27 acres and no further growth is expected; it is 100% lined and 55% contained. Around 125 personnel remain on the fire, and will continue mopping up the fire’s perimeter, as well as removing dangerous snags.

Investigators have officially determined the fire was caused by lightning, most likely from a storm that passed over the area on June 18, 2018. Known as a lightning holdover, the fire smoldered for several weeks before emerging during a windy period with high temperatures, low relative humidity and drier fuels on the ground.

While some closures remain in the park, there are no interruptions to scheduled events. Waterfall areas remain accessible to visitors during normal park hours. Visitors may notice light smoke at times, but the fire is not anticipated to produce heavy smoke.

More details:

  • A June 18, 2018 lightning event initially caused the fire. The ignition went undetected for several weeks as the fire smoldered until fuel and weather conditions allowed it to grow. Initial reports of smoke first came in late on July 12 and crews located the fire on July 13. Air resources dropped water and retardant to help stop the fire’s spread as crews worked to gain access on the ground.
  • Crews will continue heavy mop-up around the fire perimeter for the next several days. Mop-up includes working from the perimeter into the fire’s interior, ensuring all heat has been extinguished. Mop-up is especially challenging on this fire because of thick brush, a heavy layer of duff and dangerous snags. Firefighters have been carefully removing large snags around the fire’s perimeter. Night crews have used infrared cameras to help identify hot spots. Fire managers anticipate maintaining current staffing levels for the next several days to continue this work and secure the fire area.
  • A Type II helicopter remains on standby in Salem to support work on the fire.
  • Park closures: The 214 Trailhead and several back-country trails, Howard Creek horse camp and Howard Creek day-use area, and the youth camp (Camp Silver Creek) remain closed. The Ranches have been reopened. Conditions can change quickly; watch for updates on https://bit.ly/2meFGMP.

Photos and videos from Saturday and Sunday, July 14-15 remain available online at https://drive.google.com/open?id=19RlLpHp3XPlNq0d-H8ZBz7SqEvDUG3Yy.

No injuries or facility damage have been reported.

July 16, 2018, 11:50 a.m.
​Silver Creek Fire Update 4


Silverton OR – This is an update on the small fire burning in a remote southeast corner of Silver Falls State Park. Smoke was first reported late in the evening on Thursday, July 12, and after confirming the location, attack began early on Friday, July 13. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

Main points:

  • Containment is currently estimated at 35% with 75% of the perimeter lined. The area is especially challenging for firefighters due to steep slopes, thick undergrowth and numerous large snags posing safety hazards. 
  • Burning in the Howard Creek drainage, a remote, steep, timbered area over a mile from the park boundary. Improved mapping and information from firefighters on the ground, rather than fire growth, has allowed for a more accurate measurement of 27 acres. Initial acreage estimates were hampered by the dense canopy, extensive understory, and limited visibility due to smoke.
  • The number of personnel engaged remains at approximately 125.
  • Today’s aerial support includes a Type 1 helicopter, with Heavy Airtankers and Single Engine Airtankers (SEATs) available if needed.
  • Park facilities remain unchanged from earlier reports: the 214 Trailhead and several back-country trails, Howard Creek horse camp and Howard Creek day-use area, youth camp (Camp Silver Creek), and the Ranches are all closed. Howard Creek and the Ranches are closed to serve as incident command posts.
  • Other areas of the park are currently operating normally, with no interruptions to scheduled events.
  • Conditions can change quickly; watch for updates on https://bit.ly/2meFGMP.

Photos and videos from Saturday and Sunday, July 14-15 are online at https://drive.google.com/open?id=19RlLpHp3XPlNq0d-H8ZBz7SqEvDUG3Yy . Aerial video from Sunday, July 15 is included.

No injuries or facility damage have been reported.
 

July 15. 2018, 11 a.m.
Silver Creek Fire Update 3

Silverton OR – This is an update on the small fire burning in a remote southeast corner of Silver Falls State Park. Smoke was first reported late in the evening on Thursday, July 12, and after confirming the location, attack began early on Friday, July 13.

Main points:

  • It’s burning in the Howard Creek drainage, a remote, steep, timbered area over a mile from the park boundary. The fire is currently estimated at 27 acres (see attached rough map). A good portion of the change in acreage over the last day is due to improved mapping and information from firefighters on the ground rather than fire growth. Initial acreage estimates were hampered by the dense canopy, extensive understory, and limited visibility due to smoke.
  • Containment is currently estimated at 25%. The area is especially challenging for firefighters due to steep slopes and the nature of a mature forest; thick undergrowth slows progress and snags pose a falling hazard. Firefighter and public safety remains priority for all involved.
  • The number of personnel engaged is approximately 125.
  • The current aerial support includes two Type 2 helicopters and a Type 1 helicopter. Heavy Airtankers and Single Engine Airtankers (SEATs) are on standby if needed.
  • Park facilities remain unchanged from earlier reports: the 214 Trailhead and several back-country trails, Howard Creek horse camp and Howard Creek day-use area, youth camp (Camp Silver Creek), and the Ranches are all closed. Howard Creek and the Ranches are closed to serve as incident command posts.
  • All other areas of the park are currently operating normally, with no interruptions to scheduled events. Visitors are enjoying the Historic Silver Falls Day event (https://silverfallsstatepark.wordpress.com/category/historic-silver-falls-days/ and the Silver Falls Lodge and Conference Center (http://silverfallslodge.com/) continues to serve customers, including a wedding reception.
  • Conditions can change quickly; watch for updates on https://bit.ly/2meFGMP.

Photos and videos from Saturday, July 14 are online at https://drive.google.com/open?id=19RlLpHp3XPlNq0d-H8ZBz7SqEvDUG3Yy

No injuries or facility damage have been reported.

July 14, 2018, 5:20 p.m.
Silver Creek Fire Update 2

Silverton OR – This is an update on the small fire burning in a remote southeast corner of Silver Falls State Park. Smoke was first reported late in the evening on Thursday, July 12.

Main points:

  • After successfully forging trails to reach the fire, ground and air attacks made headway and containment is currently at 10%.
  • The fire is currently estimated at 12-15 acres and is burning in the Howard Creek drainage, a remote, steep, timbered area over a mile from the park boundary.
  • Approximately 110 personnel from Oregon Department of Forestry and partner organizations are involved, with most directly engaged in firefighting on the ground.
  • The aerial component involves Heavy Airtankers, Single Engine Airtankers (SEATs), helicopter, and ground support.
  • Park facilities remain unchanged from earlier reports: the 214 Trailhead and several back-country trails, Howard Creek horse camp and day-use area, youth camp (Camp Silver Creek), and the Ranches are all closed. Howard Creek and the Ranches are closed to serve as command posts. Other areas of the park are currently operating normally, with no interruptions to scheduled events.
  • Conditions can change quickly; watch for updates on https://bit.ly/2meFGMP.

The Oregon Department of Forestry and Oregon Parks and Recreation Department expect to issue one update daily starting Sunday, July 15 unless conditions change dramatically. Photographs and video from the active area of the fire will be posted later this evening. REVISED: Photos and videos frlom July 14 are available for download at https://drive.google.com/open?id=19RlLpHp3XPlNq0d-H8ZBz7SqEvDUG3Yy.

No injuries or facility damage have been reported.

July 13, 2018, 11 p.m.
Silver Creek Fire Update 1

Silverton OR – This is an update on a small fire burning in a remote southeast corner of Silver Falls State Park. Smoke was first reported late in the evening on Thursday, July 12. Crews from Drakes Crossing Fire District responded quickly, but the small size of the fire and thick undergrowth made it difficult to pinpoint the source before darkness made further work impossible. Crews from the Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) joined Drakes Friday, July 13 to cut a trail toward the fire while aviation resources dropped water and retardant through the day.

Main points:

  • The fire is currently estimated at 10 acres and is burning in remote, steep, timbered terrain.
  • ODF crews are still actively engaged on the fire. Additional resources will join the effort and engage the fire early in the morning Saturday, July 14.
  • Oregon Department of Forestry and local fire crews are engaging with Heavy Airtankers, Single Engine Airtankers (SEATs), helicopter and ground support.
  • A YMCA summer camp at Camp Silver Creek, a facility inside the park about a mile from the fire, ended a day early as a precaution, with 142 youth and several dozen staff leaving between 4-5 p.m.
  • While other areas of the park are currently scheduled to open on Saturday, July 14, there will be abundant firefighter equipment and aircraft in the area. Any visitors who plan to visit the park this weekend are advised to wait until more information is available about the status of this small fire.
  • Conditions can change quickly; watch for updates on https://bit.ly/2meFGMP.

No injuries or facility damage have been reported.

July 13, 2018, 6 p.m.
Small fire closes back-country trails at Silver Falls

Silverton OR – A fire, currently less than 6 acres, in the southeastern corner of Silver Falls State Park has forced the closure of several back-country trails. Drakes Crossing Fire District and the Oregon Department of Forestry have responded with  aircraft and 30 personnel.

Main points:

  • There is a small fire -- less than 6 acres -- near the eastern boundary of Silver Falls State Park.
  • Back country trails in the area are closed. See attached map. Camp Silver Creek, a YMCA youth camp, is in the affected area and was in use, but all children and staff, totalling about 185 people, have left the site.
  • Oregon Department of Forestry and local fire crews are engaged with Heavy Airtanker, Single Engine Airtankers (SEATs), helicopter  and ground support.
  • While other areas of the park remain open, there will be equipment and aircraft in the area. Any visitors who planned to visit the park are advised to wait until more information is available about the status of this small fire.
  • Conditions can change quickly; watch for updates on https://bit.ly/2meFGMP.

No injuries or facility damage have been reported.