Saturday, August 24, 2013

Who to Contact For Douglas Complex Information

Starting Monday evening, management of the Douglas Complex will be returned to the Douglas Forest Protective Association. Eighteen crews and 21 engines will remain to finish mopping up the perimeter of the fires. At night, engines will patrol the perimeter. Helicopters and additional fire suppression resources will be available from the Douglas Forest Protective Association and the Oregon Dept. of Forestry’s Grants Pass Unit.

The Douglas Complex’s incident command post at the Glendale High School will disappear in a few days. All the tents and trailers will get packed up – along with the telephones.

For information about the Rabbit Mountain or Dad’s Creek fires, call the Douglas Forest Protective Association at:

(541) 672-0379 (recorded fire information)
(541) 672-6507 (office, M-F 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.)

For detailed information about the road closures in the Douglas Complex area in Douglas County, contact the BLM district office in Roseburg at 541-440-4930.

For road closure information on the Josephine County side of the Douglas Complex, call the BLM’s Grants Pass office at 541-471-6500.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Big Windy Complex Fire Update 8/23/13

Yesterday’s Fire Operations:  The Big Windy Complex received approximately 1/10” of rain yesterday morning when thunderstorms moved over the fire area.  Due to the wetting from the light rain no burnout could be accomplished.  One new lightning start, the Rafters Fire, was spotted and reported by rafters floating the Rogue River.  The Rogue River Hotshots located the fire and contained it.  Additional firefighters, engines, and aircraft assigned to the fire were deployed to assist local agencies as they attacked numerous new starts from the lightning storms.  These resources will return to the Big Windy as initial attack activity subsides and the fuels dry enough for burnout operations to be re-initiated.

Today’s Fire Operations:  Fire behavior is expected to be minimal today.  It is likely to take at least two days of warm, dry conditions to enable fire crews to continue the burnout operations on the northeast and western flanks.  Smoke may linger in the low lying areas.
Weather:  There should be smoke and fog in low areas early today with the inversion lifting between noon and 2 pm.  Expect mid and high level clouds with temperatures in the valley to peak at 80–85 degrees and no more than 73 on the ridges.  Winds will be light.
Evacuations: A Level 2 evacuation is in place north of the Rogue River and south of the Marial Byway.  Residents should be prepared to leave if asked.   A Level 1 evacuation is in effect in the Galice area and west where hazards from the approaching fire may be severe.  Residents should take precautionary measures to protect persons with special needs, pets, livestock, and mobile property.
Closures:
·       Grave Creek to Marial Back Country Byway, which includes Mt. Reuben Road (34-8-1 Road), 32-8-31 Road, a portion of the 32-8-9.2 Road, and the Marial Access Road (32-9-14.2).

·       Bear Camp Road (BLM # 34-8-36 and Forest Service #23) is officially closed.  See websites above for additional information. The National Guard is providing staffing at all road closure checkpoints.

·       Burnt Ridge Road, Forest Service Road 2308, is closed from the junction with Forest Road 23 to the junction with Forest Road 33.

·       Rogue River Trail from Grave Creek to Rogue River Ranch.
 
 
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[Oringinally posted by Big Windy Complex Information, 8/23/13]

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Josephine & Jackson County - Today's Lightning Caused Fires

The Oregon Dept. of Forestry's Southwest Oregon District tallied about 16 fires from today’s thunderstorms. Josephine County accounted for 10 of those confirmed fires, most of which were a tenth of an acre or smaller and were considered lined with firefighters continuing mop up as the evening progresses. One 3-acre fire near Williams out by Nine Mile Creek on U.S. Forest Service lands is currently staffed with four twenty person crews, four engines and a helicopter was doing bucket work throughout the day in order to build a wet line around the fire’s perimeter.

Jackson County also experienced scattered lightning throughout and accounted for six of the confirmed fires. These lightning caused fires that strew across the County ranging from a tenth of an acre fire outside of  the Butte Falls, Willow Lake area to a tenth of an acre fire up Keno Access Road East of Howard Prairie Lake. The largest fire in Jackson County was reported at a quarter of an acre and was located up Shale City Road off Dead Indian Memorial Highway.
Most of the fires were smaller than one-quarter acre and all are currently staffed.  Firefighters will be working on containing those that are not already considered contained through this evening.  

More thunderstorms are expected in Jackson and Josephine counties this evening and through tomorrow.

Illinois River Road to Remain Closed

The Illinois River Road (Forest Road #4103) is expected to remain closed for an extended period due to concerns for firefighter and public safety in the area of the Labrador Fire.   The closure will periodically be reassessed based on current and expected fire conditions with the highest regard for safety. 

“The Forest Service recognizes that the closure of this popular road has consequences for the public and local businesses.   We appreciate your cooperation and patience during the closure, allowing safety to remain our number one priority,” said Acting District Ranger James Simino.

Although currently exhibiting minimal activity due to sparse vegetation and moderate fire weather, the Labrador Fire has no containment lines around it.  The potential to grow rapidly remains, given the right weather conditions such as strong, sustained winds. 

An analysis conducted by an U.S. Forest Service Long-Term Fire Assessment Team indicated the Labrador Fire could demonstrate significant, periodic growth until a season - ending rain event occurs.  It is essential that the narrow forest road provide a rapid, safe access route for both firefighters and residents living within the closure area.
For more information on the Labrador Fire call (541) 864-9282 or visit http://www.inciweb.org/incident/3563/.  Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest information is available at www.fs.usda.gov/rogue-siskiyou.

[Originally posted by Virginia Gibbons]

Archery hunters note: Fire conditions are severe

The Oregon Dept. of Forestry issued this news release today.

Archery hunters note: Fire conditions are severe

August 22, 2013
Contact: Rod Nichols, 503-945-7425, rnichols@odf.state.or.us

From the first crunching step, bowhunters will know just how dry conditions are in Oregon’s forests. This summer, nearly 70,000 acres have burned in wildfires - six times the average at this point in the year. For this reason, the Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) is asking early-season hunters to exercise extreme caution as they head afield this month.

This summer the largest wildfires have been caused by lightning, not people. But firefighting resources throughout Oregon and the West are stretched as tight as a bowstring. Any additional fires, regardless of cause, could place added strain on ODF and its sister fire protection agencies.  

When the forest is so very dry, a wildfire can do long-term damage, actually sterilizing the soil. As a result wildlife habitat is devastated, and game populations may take years to recover.

Fire safety restrictions are tight on public and private lands. Activities that could cause wildfires – campfires and warming fires, off-road motorized vehicle use and smoking are restricted or prohibited, depending on the location.

Hunters are advised to check the current rules right before heading afield, since fire restrictions are subject to change on short notice under such volatile conditions. Oregon’s hunters are traditionally among the most conscientious users of the forests. In this severe fire season, ODF asks them to take extra care to ensure that the 2013 hunt leaves the habitat on which game animals depend intact.

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[Originally posted by Rod Nichols Oregon Dept. of Forestry]

SW Oregon Firefighters Gear up for Thunderstorms

Oregon Dept. of Forestry firefighters in Jackson and Josephine counties are continuing to gear up for the predicted storms through this week. Although small amounts of moisture are expected with several of the storms, firefighters remain on extreme alert.

Oregon Department of Forestry’s Lighting tracking software confirms small clusters of lightning located in the Upper Applegate and Willow Lake areas from last night and this morning. Currently an ODF reconnaissance aircraft is in the air searching for smokes caused by confirmed lightning strikes that have made contact with the ground.      

The only fire that was on Oregon Department of Forestry protected lands was a tenth-acre fire near Butte Falls, 1 mile southwest of Big Butte Springs. Medford Unit engine crews distinguished the fire yesterday evening.

The fire danger level on all forestlands in southwest Oregon remains extreme, and thunderstorms are expected across the region through tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Douglas Complex 79% Contained


Total Complex Size:   48,679 acres
 
Fires in the Complex:
  • Rabbit Fire: 23,952 acres
  • Dad’s Creek Fire: 24,428 acres
  • Farmer Gulch Fire: 249 acres
  • Misc small fires: 50 acres
Cause: Lightning on July 26
 
Containment:  79%
 
Expected Containment:  9-1-13
 
Crews and Equipment:
  • Crews: 25 Type 2
  • Helicopters:
    • 1 Type 1 (Heavy Lift)
    • 2 Type 2 (Medium Lift)
    • 3 Type 3 (Light)
  • Engines: 45
  • Dozers:12
  • Water Tenders: 13
  • Total personnel: 1,243
Night shift crews used infrared detectors to identify hot spots that were flagged for the day crews to extinguish.  Mop-up, patrol, and rehabilitation continued around the 127-mile perimeter of both fires. A helicopter equipped with mapping capabilities will fly “low and slow” over the fires today.
 
Full suppression of the Douglas Complex fires continues, even though some suppression resources may be released for assignment to wildfires elsewhere in the West.
 
Gusty 20 mph winds for the past two days tested fire lines in the southwest portion of the Dad’s Creek Fire, but no spot fires outside the fire perimeter were reported.  Crews continue to patrol and hold while extinguishing remaining hot spots.
 
The Rabbit Mountain and the Dad’s Creek fires are active fire areas and closed to the public due to firefighting traffic and dangerous debris rolling onto the roads.  BLM has posted signs and maps at road blocks. For more detailed information about the closure contact the BLM Districts in Roseburg at 541-440-4930 or Grants Pass at 541-471-6500. For website information and maps:  http://www.blm.gov/or/districts/roseburg/newsroom/index.php


All evacuation levels have been lifted. 

To date, one cabin and two outbuildings were burned.  Twelve minor injuries and two minor vehicle accidents have been reported. 

Monday, August 19, 2013

Big Windy Complex Fire Update 8/19/13

BIG WINDY COMPLEX FIRE INFORMATION 541-476-1252


Fire Update – 08/19/2013 9:00 a.m. PDT

Big Windy Complex: The Rogue River is open with some restrictions. Please be aware that firefighters are working on the roads and near the river. Boaters are encouraged to use Argo or Almeda Dock for boat ramp access rather than Grave Creek since this will help reduce congestion with fire traffic. Please contact the Smullin Visitor Center at 541-479-3735 if you have questions about river operations.

About 50 people turned out for the public meeting yesterday afternoon at the Galice Community Hall to hear a briefing from fire officials and local land management agencies.

Yesterday’s Fire Operations: With yesterday’s winds, the fire was more active. Containment lines continued to hold, however, and crews implemented burnouts to strengthen those lines on the southeast, southern, and southwestern flanks. Air support on the fire was limited due to poor visibility from smoke. The River Group staffed structures at Zane Grey and Rogue River Ranch. Remaining equipment was removed from the north side of the river.

Today’s Fire Operations: Fire fighters will continue to burn along the western containment line, towards the north, as conditions permit. They will work to keep the south and southeast flanks in check since a lot of heat remains in those areas. Aerial ignition will be used to assist with burnout if conditions are favorable.

Weather: Warm and dry air is in the forecast for the next few days. Northerly winds are expected to increase leading to more active fire behavior with torching, spotting, and the potential for runs, particularly in areas where winds and steep slopes align.

Evacuations: A Level 2 evacuation is in place north of the Rogue River and south of the Marial Byway. Residents should be prepared to leave if asked. A Level 1 evacuation is in effect in the Galice area and west where hazards from the approaching fire may be severe. Residents should take precautionary measures to protect persons with special needs, pets, livestock, and mobile property.

Closures:
  • Grave Creek to Marial Back Country Byway, which includes Mt. Reuben Road (34-8-1 Road), 32-8-31 Road, a portion of the 32-8-9.2 Road, and the Marial Access Road (32-9-14.2).
  • Bear Camp Road (BLM # 34-8-36 and Forest Service #23) is officially closed. See websites above for additional information. The National Guard is providing staffing at all road closure checkpoints.
  • Burnt Ridge Road, Forest Service Road 2308, is closed from the junction with Forest Road 2300 to the junction with Forest Road 3300.
  •  
  • Rogue River Trail from Grave Creek to Rogue River Ranch.
 
Quick Facts
Incident Summary
Location:
NW of Galice, OR
Approximate
Size:
19,598 Acres
Fire
Containment:
20%
Start Date:
July 26, 2013
Cause:
Lightning
Incident Commander:
Ed Lewis
Resources on the Fire:
Crews: 30
Helicopters: 6
Engines: 57
Dozers: 6
Water Tenders: 15
Total Personnel:
1,113
Jurisdiction:
Oregon Department of Forestry
 
Bureau of Land Management




















FOR ADDITIONAL AND UPDATED FIRE INFORMATION, PLEASE VISIT:

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Douglas Complex Fire Update 8/19/13

    Douglas Complex Fire Update

Oregon Department of Forestry Team 2- Dennis Sifford, Incident Commander
Phone Numbers:  541-832-0136; 541-832-0137
Douglas County Information Number: 888-459-3830
Hours of operation: 8:00 am – 9:00 pm

August 18, 2013

8:00 am                       

Current Situation:  As the fire reaches further containment, crews were released to other incidents around the state.  With fewer fire fighters, the Riddle fire camp was closed yesterday. All remaining personnel moved to the Incident Command Post at Glendale.   Burnout operations continue as well as patrol and holding of fire lines throughout the complex. On-going handheld and aerial infrared patrols along the perimeters are detecting hotspots to aid mop up crews.

Rabbit Mountain – 23,951 acres 
Crews will be working to hold and patrol containment lines while focusing on extinguishing remaining hot spots.

Dad’s Creek – 24,444 acres
A few unburned pockets of fuel still exist in the southwest portion of the fire.  Crews hope to complete hand lighting in order to finish the burnout operations started several days ago.   Containment lines in the Rattlesnake Creek, Dry Creek and Poorman Creek areas are being patrolled to ensure containment lines are secure.

Weather:   The warmer and drier weather will test the fire lines.  Any remaining hot spots will be more visible for fire fighters to seek and extinguish. 

Evacuations and Closures:  remain the same

·        Cow Creek Road from Riddle into the fire area and from Glendale into the fire has been closed except for residents.  The National Guard will be conducting traffic control at the road blocks to limit public interference with firefighters working in the area. 

·        The Level 2 evacuation remains for McCullough Creek Road, Reuben Road, and Mt. Reuben Road in Douglas County and Lower Grave Creek, Grave Creek, and Lower Wolf Creek in Josephine County. 

·        Glendale is at a Level 1 evacuation.

·        The area from the community of Wolf Creek to Watertank Gulch is at a Level 1 evacuation.

·        Residences in the area are still considered threatened.  This means evacuations could be necessary at some point in the future.  Any official evacuation orders would be issued by the Douglas County or Josephine County sheriff’s offices.

Public Safety/Prevention:  Firefighters are contending with the following hazards: rolling boulders, falling trees, old mine shafts, and narrow roads which are affecting access into some of the fire area.  Values at risk include: homes, commercial timberland, and critical wildlife habitat.   To date, no homes have burned, but two outbuildings have been lost. Ten minor injuries and two minor vehicle accidents have been reported.

Douglas Forest Protective Association has increased prevention restrictions for both industry and the public. Check www.dfpa.net before commencing your activities.

Fire Statistics: 

Location:  7 miles north of Glendale, OR    Percent Contained: 75%     
Complex Size: 48,395 acres                         Cause:  Lightning        
Start Date: 7/26/13                                      Total Personnel: 1,622
Estimated cost to date: $ 46,582,322                                                                                                    

Resources Include: 38 Type 2 hand crews, 1 Type 1 hand crews, 53 engines, 15 dozers, 17 water tenders, numerous overhead personnel, and National Guard resources.

Air Resources:  2 Type 1 helicopters, 3 Type 2 helicopters, and 4 Type 3 helicopters and National Guard Medivac

Places to get more fire information:

Douglas Forest Protective Association -www.dfpa.net

Twitter - www.twitter.com/DouglasFPA




Douglas Complex Photos – To view:   http://tinyurl.com/DouglasFire2013


ODF Southwest Oregon District - www.swofire.com

 Air Quality – www.oregonsmoke.blogspot.com

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Sunday, August 18, 2013

Big Windy Complex Update & Community Meeting 8/18


A community meeting will be held today at 3:00 PM at the Galice Community Hall, located at 10821 Galice Road. Members of Pacific Northwest Team 3 will provide an overview of the fire and discuss the suppression effort.  Local agency representatives will also be present.  The public is invited to attend.
 
The Rogue River is open with some restrictions.  Please be aware that firefighters are working on the roads and near the river.  Boaters are encouraged to use Argo or Almeda Dock for boat ramp access rather than Grave Creek.  This will help reduce congestion with fire traffic.  Please contact the Smullin Visitor Center at 541-479-3735 if you have questions about river operations.  
 
Yesterday’s Fire Operations: On the south side of the river, crews have been working diligently to burn out along the containment lines when conditions are favorable, and then hold the burned areas.  Burning out creates greater depth and makes the line more secure, should the main fire moves towards it.  Conditions were not favorable for aerial ignition.   
 
Today’s Fire Operations: Crews will continue to burn out and secure containment lines south of the river, working their way to the west.  A River Group has been assigned to protect the structures at Zane Grey. Extremely steep slopes, oak litter and rocky conditions are creating challenges.



Evacuations: A Level 2 evacuation is in place north of the Rogue River and south of the Marial Byway.  Residents should be prepared to leave if asked. A Level 1 evacuation is in effect in the Galice area and west where hazards from the approaching fire may be severe.  Residents should take precautionary measures to protect persons with special needs, pets, livestock, and mobile property.
 
Closures:
·       Grave Creek to Marial Back Country Byway, which includes Mt. Reuben Road (34-8-1 Road), 32-8-31 Road, a portion of the 32-8-9.2 Road, and the Marial Access Road (32-9-14.2).
 
·       Bear Camp Road (BLM # 34-8-36 and Forest Service #23) is officially closed.  See websites above for additional information. The National Guard is providing staffing at all road closure checkpoints.
 
·       Burnt Ridge Road, Forest Service Road 2308, is closed from the junction with Forest Road 2300 to the junction with Forest Road 3300.

 
   ·       Rogue River Trail from Grave Creek to Rogue River Ranch.
 
[originally posted The Big Windy Complex Information, Sunday, August 18, 2013]