Friday, July 26, 2013

Labrador Fire Burns 45 Acres Near Kalmiopsis Wilderness

In addition to the numerous fire starts on Oregon Department of Forestry, Medford Bureau of Land Management and Coos Fire Protection Association lands, firefighters are currently busy fighting the Labrador Fire, which was estimated to be approximately 45 acres in size at 3:00 p.m. this afternoon. Several other fires reported on the Rogue River-Siskiyou NationalForest earlier today were staffed with firefighting resources and have been contained.  Aerial reconnaissance flights continue to monitor the area for additional starts.

The Labrador Fire is located south of the Illinois River and downstream of Oak Flat, approximately 1 mile SW of Briggs Creek Campground and within 1 mile (east) of the Kalmiopsis Wilderness. Fire behavior was active throughout the afternoon. All sides of the fire perimeter remain active. Private land inholdings in the Oak Flat area are currently at risk and fire officials are in contact with local residents.

Resources assigned to the fire include a Type 3 Incident Management Team (Monty Edwards), 8 smokejumpers, 1 hotshot crew, 1 Type 2 initial attack crew, and 6 engines.  Air tankers have dropped at least one load of retardant and three additional loads have been ordered.  Other firefighting resources ordered include 2 hotshot crews and 5 Type 2 initial attack crews, two medium helicopters and 1 light helicopter.  These additional resources are expected to be on scene tomorrow morning. A Type 2 Incident Management Team is also being ordered.

The public is advised to be extremely careful during this fire season, as conditions in southwest Oregon are very similar to conditions during the Biscuit Fire of 2002. For your own personal safety, please cooperate with local law enforcement officers should evacuations become necessary; a fire behavior advisory is currently in place for SW Oregon.  

[ from Virginia Gibbons, public affairs, Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest ]