A wildfire was spotted yesterday burning in a remote area of the Gold Beach Ranger District of the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest. The Cedar Creek Fire has grown to an estimated 70 acres this morning as smokejumpers will be reinforced with four additional handcrews, and helicopter water drops.
The Cedar Creek Fire was initially reported by aerial reconnaissance Sunday at noon and estimated to be 2 acres at that time. The fire is located two miles west of Sourdough Camp and two miles north of the Oregon-California state line. Burning in grass and brush with pockets of heavy timber, twenty smokejumpers, two air tankers, and helicopters assigned to the Oak Flat Fire were deployed yesterday to attack the fire.
Today crews will work to establish a fire line around the fire and helicopters will be used to cool hot spots. Air tanker support will again be available. A Red Flag Warning has been posted for the area until Tuesday morning for high winds and low humidity.
An Incident Command Post has been established at the Coos Forest Protective Association compound in Brookings, and the Winchuck Campground will be utilized as a spike camp for the crews. Helicopter and some logistical support for the Cedar Creek Fire will be provided by the ORCA Type II Incident Management Team currently assigned to the Oak Flat Fire burning on the Wild Rivers Ranger District.
The public is warned to avoid using the Sourdough Trail (#1114) from Sourdough Camp to Packsaddle Mountain at this time.
Oak Flat Fire:
Firefighters were able to burn out large areas of the Oak Flat Fire yesterday and have successfully completed all perimeter line construction and burning out of perimeter lines. A large area of unburned fuel remains on the interior eastern portion of the fire, which fighters will burn today as weather and fire behavior permit.
Today’s fire weather forecast calls for very low humidity and higher temperatures, with an easterly wind. This means that the main threat to firelines will be down wind on the western portions of the fire. Since this area has been successfully lined and burned out, firefighters will focus control effort primarily on the eastern portions. The weather will be in their favor, although the combination of hot, dry and windy weather is expected to boost fire activity in the unburned portions of the interior through Wednesday.
Crews continue to mop up the west and south portions of the fire perimeter, and rehabilitation efforts will continue along the fire lines. Rehabilitation includes installing water bars on firelines to divert rainwater and help prevent erosion. Firefighters will use wood chippers to clean up and mulch vegetation that was cut in line construction.
Smoke can be expected in the general vicinity of Grants Pass and Cave Junction. People with respiratory conditions or those concerned about the smoke are encouraged to minimize outdoor activities.
No private lands or structures are immediately threatened by this fire. A road, trail, and campground closure is still in effect. For more information on closures and fire status, visit the following website: www.inciweb.org/incident/2066/.