Open Burning Allowed 10/28

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As of 7:00 AM Wednesday, October 28, open burning will be allowed in the Mosier Fire District.

No inspection will be required.

Burning permits are required.

Please read and follow the terms of the permit.   In particular, use good judgment, don’t burn on windy days, don’t burn garbage or plastics, and be sure burn piles and barrels have proper clearance – forty feet from buildings and twenty feet from trees or shrubs, and ten feet cleared down to mineral soil.

Daylight hours only.  Please be sure your piles are down to coals by sunset.

For further information, or to request a free, automatically renewing burn permit, contact the Fire Chief at 541-478-3333, mosierfire@gmail.com.  Residents of the City of Mosier please call the City Hall to request a permit.  541-478-3505.

Please burn safely.

A very special thank you to all the fine folks in Mosier who helped keep this remarkably dry year remarkably free from fires.  Good fortune and a community effort kept us safe for another year.  On behalf of the Fire District Board and Volunteers, thank you all for doing your part.

And please don’t forget to ensure fire safety in and around your home in winter, especially overloaded extension cords and other electrical hazards, which account for a high percentage of preventable house fires.

See our website for tips on electrical and home heating safety from the State Fire Marshal.

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Controlled Burn on Washington Side 10/9/2015

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Subject to conditions, USDA Forest Service has announced they will conduct a controlled burn across the Columbia River from Mosier today.

The proposed fire is located on Courtney Road, just west of the Syncline and directly across the River from the City of Mosier.

If the burn proceeds, it should be much like last year’s controlled burn near Tom McCall Point.  Expect considerable smoke and open flame visible from much of the Mosier area.  The same teams have an excellent track record for safety and caution.

BURN RESTRICTIONS REMAIN IN EFFECT IN HOOD RIVER AND WASCO COUNTIES.

OUTDOOR BURNING IS FORBIDDEN UNTIL OREGON DEPARTMENT OF FORESTRY LIFTS THE SEASONAL BURN BAN.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the Fire Chief at 541-478-3333.

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Grass Fire to the East, on the Washington Side

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At about 12:30 PM today, Sunday, September 13, a fire was reported on the Washington side, well east of the Mosier area.

The origin is reported to be at least one mile east of Hwy 197 and north of Hwy 14.  That’s over fifteen miles east of the City of Mosier.  Winds are strong from the west, blowing away from us.

No indication at this time of size or cause.

A large column of smoke may be seen from parts of the Mosier area, and may appear closer than it is.

At this time the fire is not a threat to the Mosier community.  None of our resources are responding at this time. Local crews are well-seasoned in fire fighting over the same ground.

This site will not update unless relevant to the Mosier Fire District.

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Smoke, no fire

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UPDATED AUGUST 26, 2015:

Here is a link to a Washington State University website showing a graphic, animated forecast of smoke conditions in Oregon and Washington.  Many thanks to Cliff Mass at UW for the tip.  The smoke page is now added to our blogroll of links.

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The heavy smoke settling over much of the area is coming from fires in Washington.

There is no cause for concern in Mosier at this time, other than the air quality issue.  Exposure to this level of smoke can be an irritant, and some people may risk breathing difficulties.  Residents are advised to avoid exposure if possible.

Looking at the forecast, we may experience this level of smoke or greater over the next few days.

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New Lightning-Struck Tree from June 29

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click on images to enlarge

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These photographs show a large fir tree which was hit by lightning the morning of June 29, exactly two weeks ago.

Apparently nothing caught fire, but the tree sploded pretty good.

For whatever reason, Ponderosa pine trees and fire trees seem to be affected differently by lightning around here.

A Ponderosa struck by lightning more characteristically shows a “zipper” mark, where just the outer bark is peeled from the tree in a long vertical strip, sometimes straight up and down, sometimes cork-screwing or jumping to another object.

Fir trees, though, sometimes explode like the one shown here.

There may be nothing to this observation.  There certainly are exceptions, and to the extent there’s anything to it there are no doubt many factors involved.  How root physiology affects the propagation of the ground leader, for instance.

In both cases, the mechanism by which the tree is damaged is an instantaneous steam explosion, touched off as the lightning bolt passes through and super-heats water in the conducting materials.

In the case of the pine tree, the bolt seems to pass closer to the cambium layer, between the bark and the relatively dry sapwood.  Hence the fairly shallow blast, generally just affecting the outer bark.

In the fir tree, though, the bolt seems to go deeper into the sapwood, and the steam explosion causes much more damage to the tree trunk as it looks for a path of least resistance from the center of mass.

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Willow Spring Fire reported ten miles south of Mosier

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At about 9 AM this morning Oregon Department of Forestry radio traffic indicated a one-acre fire on a northeast-facing slope, just south of the North Fork of Mill Creek, about a mile south of Ketchum Road, and a little over ten miles south of the City of Mosier.  The location is across Mill Creek from Hedges Grade.  Probable cause is lightning, although no determination has been made at this time.  [UPDATE Noon 7/1:  Strike maps from the 6/29 lightning do not show anything close to the location of the Willow Spring Fire, and there has been no mention of cause or point of origin on the radio.  Still too soon to speculate on a cause.  The fire will continue to smoke for a while, and it’s possible crews will start further intentional fires to eliminate fuel below the heal of the fire.  Otherwise it sounds as if fire suppression has been successful and everyone can relax for the moment.  Have a safe and happy Fourth of July!]
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A light-brown plume of smoke was visible from some parts of Mosier.
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As of 9:35, one helicopter and engines were arriving.  Initial reports suggest fairly good access, creeping fire behavior, and that this fire should pose no threat in another hour or two.

This area burned in the Goverment Flats Fire, which is good in many ways:  fuels are minimal, crews have direct experience on the same ground, and a lot of folks are interested in seeing whether or not frequent burning affects overall ecology and fire hazards.

This site will not update unless things go north …

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LIGHTNING FIRES IN MOSIER
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Mosier Fire responded to two lighting-caused fires on June 29, both near homes high on Hood River Road, about a mile east of the microwave towers.  In both cases large Ponderosa pines were struck.  One of the trees was apparently doused by the heavy rain which followed the strike, and the other fire was called in early enough that it was stopped at about 50 x 100 feet, high on a steep north slope above Interstate 84.  Oregon Department of Forestry and Mosier Fire will continue to monitor for latent fires which may still be out there.
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MOSIER FIRE DISTRICT ELECTION RESULTS

 

A message received from the Wasco County Clerk regarding final results of the May 19 election for the Mosier Fire District Board:

 

Position 1

Joe Sacamano    170 votes

Write-in    5 votes

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Position 3

Mac Jervey    166

Write-in    7

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Position 4

Joanne Rubin    167

Write-in    5

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Position 5

Phil Evans    182

Write-in    2