Monday, June 15, 2015

WILDLAND FIRE CONTAINED ON LITTLE BASIN CREEK

Firefighters from the U.S. Forest  Service and Oregon Department of Forestry have contained a wildfire in the Little Basin Creek area near Dug Bar Road in the Hells Canyon National Recreation Area.

The fire 10 miles north of Imnaha, first reported at 10:30 a.m. Monday, June 15, was estimated to cover 630 acres, according to the Forest Service.

Lower Imnaha Road has been reopened after being closed from Dug Bar Road to pavement's end at Fence Creek.

On the scene at fire's peak were 99 firefighters, including hotshot crews from La Grande and Union, six engine companies, three hand crews, three helicopter crews and an air tanker pilot.

Fire officials initially listed the fire as "human caused" and now report that it is under investigation.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

JOSEPH AND ENTERPRISE VOLUNTEERS WORK FATAL TRAFFIC CRASH NEAR WASHINGTON BORDER

At dusk on Highway 3, ambulance at left and medical helicopter await victim
Joseph and Enterprise fire departments traveled more than 30 miles north of Enterprise to a traffic accident on Highway 3 late Monday afternoon, Nov. 10.

Responding with Wallowa County sheriff's deputies, Sheriff's Search and Rescue and Oregon State Police troopers, they discovered the body of a deceased Asotin, Wash., woman in an auto 500 feet down the embankment.

An OSP investigation indicated that the northbound car crossed the southbound lane, traveled off the shoulder and rolled into the canyon.

A medical helicopter landed nearby but was not needed.
    

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

MASSIVE FIRE DESTROYS SHEDS AND THE HAY WITHIN




Firefighters from Joseph, Enterprise, the Oregon Department of Forestry and U.S. Forest Service converged on a large fire that consumed a pair of hay sheds filled with hundreds of bales of hay Tuesday, Oct. 14.

The blaze on Tucker Down Road in rural Joseph was first spotted by ODF personnel returning from an assignment in Imnaha. Before long, the orange glow could be seen for more than a mile and the dark smoke was visible for many miles.

The cause is undetermined but possibly was moist hay that has been known to heat up as it dries and can ignite spontaneously.

Firefighters kept the fire from spreading, but a blaze burning inside hay bales couldn't possibly be extinguished from the exterior, so the blaze was left to burn itself out.

To supply water, water tenders shuttled from Joseph to the fire, dumping water into a portable tank that then was pumped to fire hoses. Additional water was drafted from a nearby irrigation ditch.

Friday, September 19, 2014

TWO RESPONSES IN ONE DAY AT WALLOWA LAKE

After many months free of emergencies in the fire district, Joseph firefighters were dispatched twice Friday, Sept. 19, to the Village at Wallowa Lake.

Shortly before 11 a.m., firefighters responded to the Wallowa Lake Tramway, where someone reported spotting smoke in the forest between Tramway Towers 4 and 5. What appeared from a distance to be white smoke turned out to be a column of water spraying from a broken water main.

Just after 3 p.m., Joseph Fire Department was summoned to secure a landing zone for a medical helicopter at Wallowa Lake Marina after a boating accident.

Joseph's volunteer firefighters do not respond for medical emergencies since they aren't trained to do so, but they perform rescues and sometimes provide backup such as traffic control and, as in this case, landing-zone support. Medical copters require a secure 100-foot-by-100-foot landing space free of obstructions and power lines.

Local medical emergencies are handled by Wallowa County Health Care District's ambulance service.