Fire Alert

White River Fire nearly two-thirds contained

Firefighting force tops 450; cost at $1.1 million

Good news on White River Fire

TYGH VALLEY, Ore. - Significant progress was made overnight by crews mopping up the 652-acre White River Fire, located 12 miles west of Tygh Valley, increasing the number of acres inside the fire line that are fully extinguished, officials said Tuesday.

Here's the rest of the Tuesday morning update - you can get a map and more details at the fire's InciWeb page,

The increase in acreage is due to more accurate information and not to further spread of the fire, which officials said  is 65 percent contained.

Day shift crews Tuesday were working to hold the recently completed fire lines on the east and west sides of the White River Canyon and run hose deeper into the canyon. Mop-up also continues on the high ground on the north and south sides of canyon.

Nearly 460 personnel are assigned to the White River Fire, and crews have the following equipment available to assist them in fire suppression:
* Three Type II (medium) helicopters
* Two Type III (light) helicopters
* Eight engines
* Three bulldozers
* Four water tenders

The cost of suppression so far is estimated at $1.1 million.

Crews heading for the fire lines have been reminded to keep hydrated as a defense against working in 100-degree temperatures on blackened ground. Yesterday, a firefighter was treated for a heat-related injury. Firefighters were also cautioned to watch for and avoid rattlesnakes and poison oak. Other hazards to firefighters include falling trees and snags, rolling rocks, and poor footing on the steep slopes inside the river canyon.

The White River Fire is on land protected by the Oregon Dept. of Forestry's Central Oregon District. Much of the land is wilderness inside the White River Wild and Scenic Area, under the administration of the Bureau of Land Management. The Oregon Dept. of Fish and Wildlife administers other lands inside the fire area for wildlife conservation purposes.

Fire suppression operations are run by the Oregon Dept. of Forestry Incident Management Team 1 led by Incident Commander John Buckman. Crews and support personnel from across the state have been running the fire suppression operation out of an incident command post at Wasco County Fairgrounds in Tygh Valley.

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