Our most recent update from Incident Command tells us that less than one percent of the Bull Run Watershed Management Unit has been burned by the Eagle Creek Fire. Incident Command is the lead agency in fighting the Eagle Creek Fire. It is made up of the U.S. Forest Service, the Oregon Department of Forestry, and local fire departments.
The one percent of the Bull Run Watershed that has been burned is on the northwest corner of the watershed boundary. At this time, the fire is not near the drinking water reservoirs or water supply infrastructure. Water from the Bull Run continues to be safe to drink.
Fire fighters entered the watershed yesterday and evaluated Water Bureau structures. They found that the water supply structures, including Headworks, are “highly defensible.” The agencies have said they will prioritize protecting the Bull Run Watershed.
The Water Bureau has returned to 100 percent Bull Run water supply. Yesterday, our ammonia vendor had a logistical complication with its transportation contractor, resulting in a temporary shortage of ammonia to our Lusted Hill treatment facility. The Water Bureau responded by activating a groundwater blend for less than 24 hours. The activation of groundwater was not due to the Eagle Creek Fire. If the need arises to switch to the Columbia South Shore Well Field, this high-quality secondary water supply is ready for activation.
Unified Incident Command is establishing fire breaks along the southern flank of the fire. The Water Bureau is cooperating with that effort as Unified Command establishes fire lines within the northern perimeter of the watershed. The bureau is helping to provide access to firefighters by opening watershed gates and providing portable restrooms to meet their sanitation needs.
Water quality monitoring continues in the Bull Run and the water remains safe to drink. In past fires near the watershed, falling ash did not have a measurable impact on water quality.
The Water Bureau continues coordination with the Unified Incident Command. The bureau has staff stationed at the Unified Command’s fire camp in Odell, Oregon. Staff is directly coordinating with the fire crews that are fighting the fire near the Bull Run Watershed Management Unit.
Water Bureau managers; emergency management professionals; water quality, water system operations and natural resources experts; engineers; security; and communications staff, are actively coordinating with Unified Command in this emergency.
For the most updated information about the fire, check the Incident Information System website at https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5584/.