Firefighters are actively suppressing three lightning-caused wildfires near the southern boundary of the Baker City Municipal Watershed. These fires are small and weather is currently favorable for successful initial attacks.
Rapellers and ground crews are supported by fire engines, and aerial support and other resources are available. The Wallowa-Whitman National Forest and Pacific Northwest Region are at Preparedness Level 3, so additional local and regional resources are at the ready.
“Protecting the Baker City Municipal Watershed is a high priority, so our objective is to put these fires out as soon as possible and minimize acres burned,” said Kendall Cikanek, Whitman District Ranger for the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest. “There is no imminent threat to municipal watershed infrastructure.”
While firefighters work to extinguish these fires, there may be some smoke visible from Baker City, Baker Valley, Bowen Valley, and Phillips Lake. However, smoke will be minor relative to other fires in the region.
Multiple lightning starts have been remotely detected or reported south of Whitney Meadow. Crews from the Forest Service, Oregon Department of Forestry, and Powder River Rural Fire Department are confirming and actively suppressing these fires. Meanwhile, a fire-spotter plane is looking for other fire starts across the National Forest.
Please call 911 if you spot a wildfire. Keep in mind that fire danger remains HIGH across the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest. Public Use Restrictions (Phase A) and Industrial Fire Precautions (Level II) are in effect.