Elbow Creek Fire

The Elbow Creek Fire burns in northeastern Oregon on July 16.

WALLOWA, Ore. — Firefighters have performed a successful burnout operation to the southeast of the Elbow Creek Fire, while at least two other places are giving them fits, staff working the fire said Sunday night, July 18, during a Facebook live stream. 

The fire had burned 11,908 acres of northeast Oregon as of Sunday morning, and was 10% contained. Operations Chief Eric Perkins said a burnout operation at Wildcat Creek conducted Saturday and Sunday was successful. 

He said, though, that there are at least two locations to the west of the fire near Elbow Creek are "problematic." There also is a problem spot to the south near the Sickfoot Creek. 

Task forces from the west fighting the fire are from Yamhill, Columbia and Marion counties. 

Wallowa County deputy Paul Pagano, serving as sheriff while sheriff Joel Fish is ill, said Troy is fine for now, and resources has been able to protect property on Eden Bench. He said he is aware of only one structure lost to the fire so far: a "vacation structure" to the south of the Grande Ronde River.

Incident commander Link Smith, in recapping the initial stages of the fire's spread, said there was "extreme fire behavior," and said there were stories of it spreading 1,000 acres per hour at the outset. 

The rapid spread allowed the fire to get beyond the scope local resources could handle the blaze despite their best efforts, which led to the Conflagration Act being involved and additional resources being called in.

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