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The Observer Paper 10/29/14

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Home arrow News arrow Local News arrow Pittsburgh Fire continues burning in Hells Canyon

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Pittsburgh Fire continues burning in Hells Canyon

BAKER CITY — The Pittsburgh Fire located in Hells Canyon National Recreation Area on the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest was caused by lightning and is located on the Idaho side of the Snake River in Hells Canyon north of Pittsburg Landing between Jones Creek and Big Canyon Creek, and is currently burning on federal land within the HCNRA.

It is burning mostly in grass and is currently estimated at between 1,000 – 2,000 acres. No structures are immediately threatened. Resources on the fire Monday included: 2 Type 3 helicopters, 1 Type 1 helicopter, 3 Single Engine Air Tankers (SEATs), 1 heavy air tanker, 11 smokejumpers, and 1 Type 2 Initial Attack crew.  A Type 3 organization has transitioned to take over the fire. The fire is currently spreading up and down the canyon north and south. The fire is expected to increase in size due to hot and dry conditions, with temperatures in the 100s and RH in low teens predicted this week.

The current dry conditions in the Hells Canyon National Recreation Area and across the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest and extremely hot temperatures are of concern and forest officials ask the public to be extremely careful with flammable material.

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. The following yearlong fire restrictions are in effect in the Hells Canyon National Recreation Area: 

Yearlong fire restrictions (building, maintaining, attending or using fire or campfires) on land within a ¼ mile of the Snake River in Hells Canyon NRA.

 All lands within ¼ mile of Hells Canyon Reservoir between the mouth of Spring Creek and downstream to Hells Canyon Dam on the Oregon side only.

 All lands within ¼ mile of the Snake River on both sides of the river from Hells Canyon Dam downstream 71.5 river miles to the Oregon-Washington border at Snake River Mile 176.0.

Additional Public Use Restrictions may be imposed later this week depending on the fire conditions.

Updates will be provided as conditions change and further information is available.

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