Granite Gulch wilderness fire 7 August 2019

NEW USFS UPDATE ON 1000-acre GRANITE GULCH WILDERNESS FIRE

August 7 2019, 7 PM

Started: July 30, 2019

Lightning-caused

1,683 acres (Aug. 6, 10:00pm PST) IncidentCommander,TraineeIncidentCommander,PublicInformationOfficer, Strategic Operational Planner, two Fire Effects Monitors, and a four-person Fire Module
Type 3 helicopter
Type 1 helicopter, fixed wing aircraft

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Joseph, Oregon – Fire activity yesterday was low to moderate across the Granite Gulch Fire. The southwest portion of the fire was the most active. The fire module crew began installing pumps, hose, and sprinklers to protect the Elk Creek Bridge across the Minam River as a precaution in case the fire moves in that direction. They will complete that installation today.

Fire managers continue to follow a confinement strategy as they actively manage the fire. The long term objective is to keep the fire within the upper Minam drainage while allowing fire to play its natural role in the ecosystem. Fire managers will continue to take appropriate suppression actions.

"Given the red flag warning issued today, our crews will be on high alert for increased fire activity and threats to firefighter safety from thunder storm activity,” said Incident Commander, Gabe Hale.

While no trail or area closures have been issued, visitors to the area are advised to be alert to conditions around and mindful that there is active fire within the Minam drainage. Trail 1676 does run through the Granite Gulch Fire area. Users of that trail need to take extra precaution as they traverse the fire area. In areas where the vegetation has been burned away, there is an increased risk of material (rocks and large woody material) rolling on to and/or across the trail. Forest visitors who wish to travel through the upper Minam River area should contact the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest's Wallowa Mountains Office at 541-426-5546 for current conditions.

As the fire continues to burn, residents and visitors should expect to see and smell some smoke over the coming weeks. Even though the fire is located deep within the Eagle Cap Wilderness Area, a column of smoke may rise above the Wallowa Mountains when the fire is active and be visible from communities on both sides of the mountains.

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