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08/15/2015 John Day hits Hazardous on the Air Quality Scale

John Day Oregon is experiencing extremely poor air quality today and is getting smoke from the nearby Canyon Creek Complex.  Below is a summary of the fire from the Northwest Coordination Center. In some ways, air quality is the least of their worries at the moment.  Advise for Hazardous air quality is in the Maroon table.

Hazardous (>250)
The entire population is even more likely to be affected by serious health effects.
The following groups should remain indoors and keep activity levels low: People with heart or lung disease; children and older adults. Everyone else should avoid prolonged or heavy exertion

 This lightning-caused complex of fires located south of John Day Oregon and reported Wednesday afternoon is now estimated at 34,143 acres. The fire exhibited extreme behaviors including crowning, wind-driven runs and long-range spotting up to two miles. Strong winds pushed the Berry Creek and Mason Springs Fires to the north toward Canyon City and John Day on Friday. The fires merged together creating a fast moving fire forcing residents to evacuate and fire fighters to retreat from the fire line. Air resources were grounded in the late afternoon because of the heavy winds. Today the fire is being managed by a local Type 3 Team, including ODF resources, with support from the Oregon State Fire Marshal's Red Team. Structural task forces are in place, working to protect homes in the path of the fire. Crews working to assess structures are challenged by access due to damage to road infrastructure such as burned wooden bridges and fallen trees. There are currently 26 primary residences confirmed destroyed. This number may rise as crews make assessments. The fire is estimated to be approximately 34,000 acres based on an IR flight from Friday night. Fire fighters will face calmer winds and increased humidity today. Resources Throughout the night dozers worked to put in line south of Canyon City. Available resources continue to be limited; approximately 225 people are currently assigned to this fire including 5 crews and 1 helicopter. Today at 4pm the Great Basin Team (Type 1) will be in-briefed, with plans to take command of the fire on Sunday. Firefighting resources are depleted at a national level in the west. Multiple evacuations have been issued by the Grant County Sheriff's Department across the area. Due to the severity of the situation of the Canyon Creek Complex, the Conflagration Act has been enacted. Evacuations Level 2 evacuation notices have been issued for: Laycock Creek Road, Nance Rock Road, West Bench Road, Dog Creek Level 3 evacuation notices have been issued for: South of Canyon City to the J-Bar-L Ranch, Marysville Road, Adams Drive, South side of Marysville Road, Pine Creek Those under a Level 1 evacuation notice need to be aware of the situation Level 2 - prepare to leave on short notice Level 3 - evacuate immediately Please continue to monitor KJDY at 1400 am for more evacuation information Closures and shelters Highway 395 south is expected to remain closed for potential three more days at least due to active fire, hazard trees and heavy fire fighter traffic. A Red Cross shelter has been set up at the Mount Vernon Community Hall. Multiple churches are also providing assistance. Multiple landowners are offering space for livestock as well as the Grant County Fairgrounds. Canyon Creek Complex Fire information (541) 263-0661