The lightning-caused Neals Hill fire was reported on Wednesday, August 5 around 4:00 p.m. PST. Located approximately 20-25 miles southeast of Princeton, Oregon, near Folly Farm and Hwy 78/East Steens Road, the fire is burning in mostly in short grass and juniper.
August 6, 4:00 p.m.: Gusty winds were prevalent in the area yesterday evening and into the night. Firefighters worked until at least 2 a.m. and dozers worked all night cutting a break between the fire and unburned fuel. Many resources are currently on site and working the fire perimeter - fire spread looks to be most active to the south/southwest, toward 10 cent lake. Aviation resources are focusing their efforts there.
August 7, 10:00 a.m.: Firefighters are located at spike camps near the fires. The Incident Command Post is in Burns, OR. Check Inciweb and the Burns Interagency Fire Zone Facebook page for updated information.Containment lines are holding. Experiencing daily late afternoon and evening winds. Managing interior hot spots throughout the day. Expecting continued good progress toward full containment. 30% contained to date. New perimeter map posted with updated acreage.
August 7, 9:00 p.m.: Northwest Incident Management Team 9 (IC-Brian Goff) is managing the Neals Hill and the Mud Creek Fires as of 6 pm today. The fires which started on Aug. 5 are partially contained, and have hot shot and hand crews along with air resources working to contain them.
Firefighters are located at spike camps near the fires. The Incident Command Post is in Burns, OR.
August 8, 10:00 a.m.:Containment is now at 60% and mop up of the perimeter is ongoing with extinguishing hotspots and limbing junipers to prevent torching trees. The weather forecast is similar to yesterday with temperatures in the low 80s and afternoon winds.
Recommended COVID-19 safety practices used by Northwest Incident Management Team 9 are in place. They include maintaining social distancing and use of face coverings.
August 9, 7:30 a.m.: Fire containment has increased to 80% as mop up operations continue around the fire perimeter. Yesterday, an infrared heat sensing drone was flown over the fire perimeter to help locate remaining hot spots for crews to extinguish. No changes in the weather conditions are expected today as crews continue mop up approximately 50-100 feet in along the fire line.
August 9, 5:00 p.m.: Instead of large food tents where firefighters and team members gather in line for meals; this year, because of COVID-19, food is served in individual containers at multiple locations.
August 10, 8:00 a.m.: Work on the fire is moving to the rehab phase to repair physical impacts of firefighting such as dozer lines. Some interior burning in larger fuels remains and no fire spread is predicted. Fire managers are alert to increased winds as well as subtle weather changes capable of influencing existing fire behavior, such as slightly warmer temperatures coupled with lower relative humidity and hints of unstable atmospheric conditions.
August 10, 5:00 p.m.: The folks from the medical unit demonstrated the touchless thermometer and the "A-OK" orange dot signifying a normal temperature.
August 11, 8:00 a.m.: Tomorrow, management of the fire returns to the Burns District BLM. Today, erraticand gusty winds are expected as repair work and mop up are completed.
August 13, 6:00 p.m.: 100% contained; patrol status.