'Don’t bite your fingernails because we’re going to need all we have to hold on'

Horse Prairie Fire, September 4, 2017. (via Horse Prairie Fire Information)

RIDDLE, Ore. -- “Don’t bite your fingernails because we’re going to need all we have to hold on.” Those were the words of Matt Howard, Oregon Department of Forestry’s incident management team Operations Section Chief, at Monday afternoon’s planning meeting for the Horse Prairie Fire.

Howard wanted to make the point that the next 24 hours are going to be critical to stopping the last remaining area of the fire's growth, officials said in their Monday night update.

At 4 p.m. the fire had moved up to the control line in the southeast corner of the fire that more than 30 pieces of heavy logging equipment have been constructing the past two days and nights. Monday night, firefighters from the cooler parts of the fire were brought to assist the burnout operations on the more active areas of the fire. Firefighters working with fire hose and nozzles and fire engines around the rest of the fire continued to build a security perimeter around the fire’s edge.

Containment remained at 20 percent.

The Horse Prairie Fire is now mapped at an estimated 14,028 acres and staffed with 969 personnel.

Structure protection remains in place at residences currently within the area designated as Level 3 evacuation. The Level 3 evacuation notice and road and area closures remain in effect. The public is asked to stay clear of the area for their safety as well as the safety of firefighters. People that trespass into these closed areas may be cited and fined.

"Firefighters are making the most of the smoke blanket while they can, knowing that the fire will come to life as soon as it lifts," officials said in the update.

To learn more about smoke in the area, log on to

To stay current on any changes in fire activity, follow or on the national incident reporting site known as Inciweb.

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