Saturday, July 19, 2014

Significant progress made on the Buzzard Complex

Firefighters assigned to the Buzzard Complex in coordination with the Crane, Jordan Valley, Juntura, Blue Mountain, and Frenchglen Rangeland Fire Protection Associations, were able to take advantage of an inversion that occurred Friday, July 18th, and successfully complete containment lines around the fire. Air Attack flew the entire fire throughout Saturday morning and the line continues to hold this afternoon with only a few smokes reported.

Many unburned pockets of juniper and sage brush remain within the interior of the fire area and have potential to ignite under the right conditions. A dry cold front is expected on Wednesday with increased winds. Until then, firefighters continue to strengthen the containment lines and address problem areas.

As of 6 p.m. this evening, the Buzzard Complex will be divided into east and west zones. The Northern Rockies National Incident Management Team, Incident Commander Greg Poncin, will take command of the east side [Juntura Riverside Road south to Cob Creek Reservoir, south to Dowell Reservoir] and the west side will remain under command of Oregon Incident Management Team 4, Incident Commander Brian J. Watts.

The reason for zoning the Buzzard Complex is due to the size of the incident which has 380+ miles of perimeter, creating logistical and safety concerns for long-distance travel of firefighters. Zoning of the incident will reduce exposure to driving hazards to incident personnel.

The east zone Incident Command Post (ICP) is located at the Juntura School. The west zone ICP remains at the Crane School.

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