Fire near Falls City fully contained

The Riley Central fire burned just west of Falls City.

KC WAGNER
The Riley Central fire burned just west of Falls City.

FALLS CITY — The Oregon Department of Forestry said the Riley Central Fire, which began on July 9 just west of Falls City, has finished mop up duty.

ODF Public Information Officer Jim Gersbach said they have entered a check and patrol phase.

“We will continue to monitor the fire to make sure that something wasn’t fanned by winds and came back or something like that,” Gersbach said. “With fires, you want to be careful with ever saying a fire is completely out. We want to make sure that everything looks good.”

The length of the check and patrol phase will depend on the terrain.

“If you have a lot of logs, you have to make sure there aren’t any embers burning underneath,” Gersbach said. “It varies by the type of fire and terrain. There’s no telling how long it might be.”

The fire was more than 4 miles away from the Black Rock Mountain Bike trail system, Gersbach said.

Gary Weaverli, a trail manager for the Black Rock Mountain Bike Association, said he did not hear of any damage to the mountain bike trails.

“As far as I know, BRMBA is OK,” Weaverli said.

ODF, assisted by firefighters from Falls City, Dallas, Toledo and Philomath, contained the fire to about 40 acres. It started on private land in steep terrain in a mix of slash and standing trees.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

According to ODF, there have been 323 fires statewide in 2017.

Four-fifths of them have been caused by humans and have burned about 406 acres of ODF-protected lands.

The ODF imposed heightened fire restrictions on private and public lands it protects on Monday.

The fire was more than 4 miles away from the Black Rock Mountain Bike trail system, Gersbach said.

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