BLM launches Covid protocol for fire season’s first big blaze in Malheur County

At least once a day, fire personnel undergo temperature checks and conduct self-assessments through a checklist while staffing the Indian Creek Fire burning east of Juntura. (BLM photo)

JUNTURA – When the U.S. Bureau of Land Management rallied to thwart the fire season’s first large wildfire in Malheur County, it did so under new protocol adapted for Covid.

The Vale BLM debuted the new precautions in its response to the Indian Creek Fire, which started Aug. 16 along U.S. Highway 20 about 13 miles east of Juntura. 

As of Sunday, 317 people were assigned to the fire, according to the BLM. The wildfire spread to about 49,140 acres and was 20% contained as of Monday morning.

Aaron Shuh, an incident commander trainee for the Vale BLM, said the Covid protocol . . .