Fire officials and representatives of the Stahlman Cabins community are discussing plans for residents’ reentry and crews are working with Mt. Hood National Forest personnel to repair and winterize recreational
cabins at Olallie Lake.
Sunday, monitoring crews hiked out to assess fire activity within islands of unburned vegetation in the northeastern corner of the fire, reporting it is at least 3,000 feet within the black — a fire term for previously burned ground. Areas of active burning are also being monitored in the “finger” to the north.
Helicopters dropped water on several visible smokes to the southeast of Mt. Bruno, but had to stop when afternoon shadows made it too dark to fly safely. Smoke columns large and tall enough to see from a distance signify active burning. In inaccessible areas, water drops are used to cool the fire, slowing its progressing and reducing its intensity. That work will resume this morning.
Aviation also provided a Burned Area Emergency Response reconnaissance flight and is coordinating with various power companies conducting infrastructure assessments. Suppression repair is ongoing across the fire footprint. One example is the installation of water bars on sloping fire lines and roads to help control erosion. Another is opening up the earthen berms created when bulldozers cut fire line and ensuring there are no live coals buried in them. Seeding equipment has been ordered to further stabilize soils on now-exposed ground.
Other work includes removing thousands of tons of downed trees and slash – branches, brush and other woody debris– along roads and rights-of-way. Once cleared, grading and repairing or replacing damaged culverts is needed in many areas. Hundreds of pumps, tools and other equipment must be gathered and returned to camp and accounted for. Aluminized structure wrapping must be removed and miscellaneous garbage is collected and disposed of.
Safety: Evacuees returning to their communities should remain alert, as many hazards remain. Soils may be unstable; ash can camouflage trip holes and trip hazards; hot embers may still be smoldering in stumps, roots and holes; and trees and branches weakened by fire can fall at any time.
Weather: Temperatures will be in 60s and 70s today, climbing higher into the 70s through Wednesday. A front is expected to bring cooler temperatures, higher humidity and potentially significant precipitation next weekend.
Evacuations and closures: Breitenbush Hot Springs remains at Level 3 – “Go!” Detroit, Idanha, Hwy. 22 east of Detroit Dam to milepost 56, and Opal Creek Wilderness/Jawbone Flats are at Level 2 – “Be Set.” Elkhorn, Gates east of Gates Hill Road, and Hwy. 22 from Gates Hill Road east to Detroit Dam are at Level 1 – “Ready.” Residents of Linn County can find up to date information at www.LinnSheriff.org. Closure orders and maps for the Mt. Hood, Willamette and Deschutes National Forests, and Prineville Bureau of Land Management scan be found at https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/7049/