Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Air Tankers and Helicopters Bombard Old Blue Mountain Fire

Evacuation Level 1 Alert Issued for Humbug Creek Rd. Areas

Thunderstorms late Monday sparked eight lightning-caused fires on Oregon Department of Forestry-protected lands in southwest Jackson County and southeast Josephine County. The largest is the Old Blue Mountain Fire, estimated at 60 acres, located 8 miles south of the city of Rogue River and 3 miles north of the town of Applegate.

A Level 1 evacuation alert (Be Ready) is in effect for portions of Humbug Creek Rd. in Jackson County:
  • All homes on the left fork of Humbug Creek Rd;
  • Addresses 2542 and above on the main fork of Humbug Creek Rd (the dirt portion).
 Notifications to residents affected by the evacuation alert were made by phone trees activated by Applegate Valley Fire District No. 9. Level 1 means to prepare for an evacuation – plan what things are essential to take, care for pets and livestock, and deciding where you will go should the evacuation level rise.

A roadblock is in place on the right fork of Foots Creek Rd. to restrict traffic to local residents and fire-related vehicles. No evacuation alerts are in effect for the Foots Creek area.

The Old Blue Mountain Fire is being fought by ODF Southwest Oregon District firefighters. Crews and bulldozers working overnight established a fire line 75 percent of the way around the fire’s perimeter, and the fire is 15 percent contained. Helicopters and air tankers are being used today to cool flames around the fire’s edge and to reinforce fire lines.

Fire suppression resources assigned to the Old Blue Mountain Fire today include:
  • 9 crews
  • 12 wildland fire engines
  • 8 helicopters
  • 4 air tankers
  • 3 bulldozers
  • 3 water tenders