Storm brings more wildfire

By Katy Nesbitt, The Observer August 01, 2014 09:59 am

ENTERPRISE — Reports of wildfires continued into the evening, following thunderstorms that moved through Northeast Oregon Thursday afternoon.

A fire was held to a half acre in Idaho’s Seven Devils Mountains in the Hells Canyon National Recreation Area by crews from the Payette National Forest, said Nathan Goodrich, Wallowa-Whitman National Forest north zone fire management officer.

A fire on Powatka Ridge north of Wallowa was discovered on the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest a quarter mile from private land. Three engines responded and it was controlled late Thursday, said Matt Howard of Oregon Department of Forestry’s Wallowa Unit.

Another fire on private land broke out in Olson Meadows and was extinguished with a single-engine response, Howard said.

A fire on Cougar Ridge, up from Big Canyon west of Wallowa, had four Blue Mountain helicopter rappel crew members, two engines, a single-engine air tanker and a helicopter respond.

“It was at a half acre when crews got there, but they stopped it at 1-1/2 acres,” Howard said. “It was a good catch.”

Goodrich said a fire was reported late Thursday near Little Storm Lake in the Eagle Cap Wilderness west of Lostine. It will be assessed today. There were a couple reports of fires on Harl Butte, east of Joseph, but they weren’t located. Goodrich said a reconnaissance flight Friday will try to locate them.

During Thursday’s storm, a lot of rain came down in some parts of the forest. Goodrich said the China Cap Fire, east of Union in the Eagle Cap Wilderness, received quite a bit of rain and there is minimal fire behavior.

For the complete story, see Friday's edition of The Observer.