Friday, August 9, 2013

SW Oregon Wildfire Update


Steep terrain, limited access and dry fuels continue to make control efforts difficult on the four remaining uncontained fires in the Southwest Oregon area. These factors will influence the duration of these fires and persistence of smoke. Management of large incidents is anticipated to continue until there is a significant change in weather.

The use of aircraft has been limited by poor visibility due to the smoke inversion impacting the region.  As the inversion lifted early Thursday afternoon fire activity increased. Firefighters have been progressing with line construction on each incident. Thunderstorms moved through the area igniting new starts which are being staffed by local resources which can be supplemented with aircraft, engines and crews from the large fires burning in the area

Southwest Oregon remains in a Red Flag warning due to the threat of lightning until 11 pm this evening. Moisture may increase late today as storms become wetter although not all areas will receive rain. Outflow winds may contribute to fires spread. This weather system is expected to remain over the area into Saturday.

While wetter weather 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.

This is the final summary report coming from the SW Oregon Joint Information Center.  After today remaining inquiries should be directed to individual incidents.

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

Total # Fires
Total Acres
Total Personnel
4
71,029
5,467

 

BIG WINDY COMPLEX

Location:  25 miles NW of Grants Pass

Acres
Size Change in 24 Hours (Acres)
Total Personnel
% Contained
14,364
279
1,233
10

 

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 (advisory) evacuation has been established for residences north of the Rogue River and South of the Marial Byway.

·         A level 1 evacuation is in effect in the Galice area and west.

·         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.

Significant Events: Burnout operations have been progressing very deliberately due to steep terrain, extremely dry fuels, difficult access and changing weather conditions. Burnout operations in the Black Bar Lodge area have been completed and will continue along Bear Camp Road. Crews have been working to establish structure protection for Galice. Other resources not assigned to the fire are protecting the Rogue River Ranch. Firefighters continue to monitor the fires progression along the Rogue River.

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

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


DOUGLAS COMPLEX

Location:  7 miles north of Glendale, OR

Acres
Size Change in 24 Hours (Acres)
Total Personnel
% Contained
44,045
1,394
3,138
32

 

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 homes in the Poorman Creek, Lower Graves Creek Road, Graves Creek Road and Lower Wolf Creek in Josephine County were downgraded from a Level 3 to a Level 2 (Advisory) on August 7th

·         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. Fire activity increased as the inversion lifted early Thursday afternoon resulting in fire growth on the Rabbit Mountain and Dad’s Creek fires.  Reduced humidity recovery along ridges and upper slopes caused active fire behavior through the evening. Crews work to build containment lines in Riffle and Bonnie Creek on Rabbit Mountain and on the Southwest flank of Dad’s fire in the Reuben Creek drainage. Construction and preparation of indirect and direct lines on west flank of Rabbit Mountain and Dad’s Creek will continue as will burnout operations as the weather allows.

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

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
185
0

 

Evacuations/Closures: 

·         Additional road and trail closures are in place.

·         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:  A Type 3 team has assumed command of this incident.

Contact:  541-864-9282, 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
10,600
134
911
40

 

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: Three fires make up the Whiskey Complex: Smith Ridge, Buckeye and Whiskey. Firefighters continue the construction of indirect containment lines for future burnout and holding operations on the Whiskey fire. The Smith Ridge and Buckeye fires are in mop up and patrol status. Residents in the Ash Valley area should remain prepared to leave if conditions change.  Smoke has been hampering aviation support and general vehicle traffic in the area.  Steep inaccessible terrain has made direct attack difficult. Progress is being made with mop up on areas of the fire with burned out direct containment lines.  

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

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