Saturday, July 27, 2013

Southwest Oregon Fire Update

Winds created a number of challenges for firefighters working active fires across SW OR today.  Acreage numbers are difficult to estimate at this time and there should be new numbers tomorrow morning.  Status as of 6 PM:

The Big Windy Fire, in the Big Windy Creek area south of the Rogue River continues to grow in areas difficult for firefighters to access. The rugged, steep country combined with gusty winds allowed the fire to become well established today.  This fire could pose a threat to the Bear Camp Road system tonight or tomorrow.  Anyone travelling on the road is advised to use caution, watch out for fire vehicles, and heed warnings.  The fire is expected to actively burn throughout the night.  A Type I incident management team has been ordered to work this fire and several others in the Rogue River corridor west of Merlin.

The Douglas Complex fires were active this afternoon and the Dad's Creek Fire is threatening some structures west of Glendale.  The Rabbit Mountain Fire threw a spot fire on the south side of Cow Creek that is currently causing containment problems.  The Type II incident management team is in place at the Glendale High School.

The Whiskey Complex on the Tiller Ranger District of the Umpqua NF also saw growth this afternoon with the Whiskey Fire estimated at 1200-1500 acres and the complex total about 1800 acres.  A Type II incident management team is in place and will assume command of the fire tomorrow morning.

The Labrador Fire was shaded throughout most of the day by smoke from the Douglas Complex.  The smoke made it difficult to see the entire fire from the air.  Firefighters did observe active fire backing down slope.  The Type II incident management team is in place at Lake Selmac and will take over the fire tomorrow morning.

Tomorrow morning we hope to have contact numbers for information officers attached to the teams.  A Joint Information Center is also being started and should be operational late Sunday or Monday morning.  When those contact numbers become available, we will send those out.

[ posted by Jim Whittington, public affairs, Medford District of the Bureau of Land Management ]