Ponina Fire Update for April 22
BLY, Ore. – The Ponina Fire burning approximately 5 miles north of Beatty is now 75 percent contained and remains 1,641 acres. The cause is under investigation.
Today crews will continue to strengthen containment lines and focus on mop-up activities in preparation for forecasted strong winds today and tomorrow. Firefighters will continue to patrol the fire and seek out any hazards or problem areas. Yesterday crews focused on repairing dozer lines, including smoothing out berms, and were able to mop up 100 feet around the fire’s perimeter.
The fire transitioned back to the local Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF), Lake Unit yesterday evening. Forest Service resources will continue to support ODF on suppression efforts.
Weather today and through Friday will bring increasing winds due to fronts coming through. As a reminder, even with the cooler and wetter weather expected this weekend, fuels are still unseasonably dry and conditions are unlikely to improve significantly.
Evacuations for the Ponina Fire lifted this morning. However, for those living in the Wildland Urban Interface (WUI), it’s always good to have a plan and be prepared in case of an incident. The recent early wildfires are an important reminder to start preparing now.
Smoke will remain visible in the surrounding area for the next few days, including Oregon State Highway 140. There will be increased fire traffic in the area, including on Hwy 140 and the Sycan Road, especially during morning and evening hours. Travelers in the area should use caution.
The fire is burning in an area with narrow roads. The public is advised to avoid the fire area for public and firefighter safety, at least until the fire reaches full containment.
The Oregon Department of Forestry and partners would like to urge the public to know local restrictions and check with your local Fire Departments before burning. These preseason fires can be avoided by looking at the forecast and not burning when high winds are predicted.
Fuels remain dormant and dry, meaning fire can carry quickly. High winds are expected in the coming days which can lead to spotting and rapid fire spread even from a small fire like a campfire. The public is urged to use extreme caution with fire on private and wildlands, especially as the area is already seeing early wildfires.