Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Southwest Oregon Wildfire Update

Steep terrain, limited access and dry fuels continue to make control efforts difficult on the four uncontained fires in the area. The use of aircraft continues to be limited by poor visibility due to the smoke inversion impacting the region.  Line construction on each incident continues to progress. Large fires continue to grow in size mainly due to burn out operations to strengthen fire line.

Higher temperatures and moderate instability in the weather resulted in an increase in fire behavior Monday. Reduced humidity recovery overnight is allowing for additional fire activity in the evenings. Hot unstable weather continues today bringing with it a chance of dry thunderstorms beginning this afternoon and evening. As this weather pattern continues into the week a chance of wetting rain with the storms is expected.

Although the potential for precipitation is in the forecast, public use restrictions are in effect for private and public lands in the area and people should to be aware of current closures and restrictions.

The Medford Rogues baseball team will be holding a benefit game for the Wildland Firefighters Foundation on Thursday August, 8th at Harry and David Field in Medford. Proceeds of the game benefit Wildland Firefighters Foundation in their efforts to support the Wildand Firefighting community and their families. Please see the attached flyer for details.

The following is consolidated information for each of the major fires burning in Douglas and Josephine Counties:

Total # Fires
Total Acres
Total Personnel
5
61,976
5,698

 

BIG WINDY COMPLEX

Location:  25 miles NW of Grants Pass

Acres
Size Change in 24 Hours (Acres)
Total Personnel
% Contained
10,841
1,649
932
0

 

Evacuations/Closures:  Bear Camp and Burnt Ridge Roads are closed, as well as numerous trails. The BLM portion of the Wild Section of the Rogue River is closed from Grave Creek to Mule Creek. The Rogue River Trail from Grave Creek to the Rogue River Ranch is temporarily closed. A level 2 evacuation has been established for residences north of the Rogue River and South of the Marial Byway.

Significant Events: The Recreation Section of the Wild and Scenic Rogue River is open to rafters. However, the Grave Creek takeout is closed and law enforcement officials will not allow traffic into Grave Creek. Rafters floating on this section of the river should use the Argo, Almeda, or Rand river exits. Fire behavior Monday was moderate and progress was made on containment lines. Fireline construction continues to progress along the Peavine road area. Crews continue to monitor the progression of the Jenny fire along the river. Steep terrain, extremely dry fuels and difficult access make control efforts difficult. Firefighters continue to monitor the fires progression along the Rogue River. Utilizing aircraft has been limited due to inversion.

Contact:  541-476-1252, bigwindycomplexinfo@gmail.com

For additional information visit: http://www.inciweb.org/incident/3570/

BRIMSTONE

Location:  10 miles NW of Merlin, OR

Acres
Size Change in 24 Hours (Acres)
Total Personnel
% Contained
2372
0
136
100


Brimstone is fully contained and in mop up status. The fire has transitioned to a local Type 3 team and will no longer be included in this summary


DOUGLAS COMPLEX

Location:  7 miles north of Glendale, OR

Acres
Size Change in 24 Hours (Acres)
Total Personnel
% Contained
38,406
1,174
3,080
17

 

Evacuations/Closures: 

·         Evacuations of homes along Reuben Road, Mt. Reuben Road and McCullough Creek Road in Douglas County were downgraded from a Level 3 to Level 2. Local residents have access, but the roads are closed to the public.

·         Evacuations of  thirty homes for Poorman Creek, Lower Graves Creek Road, Graves Creek Road and Lower Wolf Creek in Josephine County.

·         Cow Creek Road from Riddle into the fire area and from Glendale into the fire area is closed.

Significant Events: The complex is made up of the Milo Fire, Rabbit Mountain Fire, Dad’s Creek Fire and Farmer’s Fire. An early lift of the inversion increased fire behavior and the Rabbit Creek and Dad’s fires increased in size. The combination of higher temperatures, lower RH and increased instability resulted in active fire behavior with torching and short range spotting. Air operations were able to engage Monday to check fire spread. Construction of indirect and direct lines on the west flank of Rabbit Mountain and along Grave Creek continued. There was continued mop up of the Farmers Gulch fire. An additional fire camp has been established in Riddle in support of the Douglas Complex.

Contact:  541-832-0136 or 541-832-0137

Pubic Meeting: A public meeting is scheduled for Wednesday August 7th at 6:30 pm. Location to be determined.

For additional information visit: http://www.inciweb.org/incident/3559/

LABRADOR

Location:  13 miles NW of Cave Junction

Acres
Size Change in 24 Hours (Acres)
Total Personnel
% Contained
2,020
0
366
0

 

Evacuations/Closures:  Road closures and Level 2 (advisory) evacuation for Oak Flat and Brushy Bar. Level 1 (precautionary) for the area between Kerby Flat and McCaleb Ranch.

Significant Events:  Crews have completed all planned contingency lines.  Resources continue to suppress isolated pockets of creeping fire. Aviation resources will engage in suppression as smoke clears to identify outstanding hot-spots along the edge of the fire.

 Contact:  541-597-1160, labradorfire13@gmail.com                    

For additional information visit: http://www.inciweb.org/incident/3563/

WHISKEY COMPLEX

Location:  6 miles east of Tiller, OR

Acres
Size Change in 24 Hours (Acres)
Total Personnel
% Contained
8,337
2,092
957
30

 

Evacuations/Closures:

·         The Level 3 evacuation order for Ash Valley was reduced to Level 2 (advisory)

·         Forest Road closures are in place for the area southwest of Beaver Creek.

·         Campground Closures:  Skillet Camp Comfort Cover Camp, South Umpqua Falls, South Umpqua Day Use Area, Ash Flat, Whiskey Camp, Butler Butte.

Significant Events: Four fires make up the Whiskey Complex: Smith Ridge, Buckeye, Whiskey and Big Brother. Good progress continues to be made in securing containment lines burning and holding operations. As of Monday August 5th the Level 3 evacuation order for Ash Valley has been reduced to a Level 2 (advisory). Residents should remain prepared to leave if conditions change. With active fire behavior and burn out operations the Whiskey and Big Brother Fires have grown into one fire and will be reported as the Whiskey Fire. Air operations are continuing to utilize bucket work to check fire spread and fire spots.  The Smith Ridge and Buckeye fires are in mop up and are in patrol status.

Contact:  541-839-3099, whiskeycomplex@gmail.com

For additional information: http://www.inciweb.org/incident/3562/

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