Saturday, September 20, 2014

Onion Mountain Fire 30 Percent Contained

Fire at a Glance

Size: 4,105 acres

Containment: 30%

Assigned personnel: 1,001


  • 5 Heavy-lift helicopters
  • 5 Medium-lift helicopters
  • 2 Light-lift helicopters
  • 5 Air Tankers available
  • 2 Fixed-wing air management aircraft

Location: 15 miles west of Grants Pass, Oregon

Firefighters fortified existing containment lines by wetting down the fire’s edge with water pumps and hoses, extinguishing burning material within the fire perimeter. Crews made progress establishing and securing fireline on previously unlined areas, including the west and northwest flanks, leaving most of the fire with at least a minimal control line. Several spot fires found outside of the fire perimeter were corralled and secured during the previous shift.

Yesterday’s clear skies allowed helicopters to drop water on areas of heat inside the fire perimeter. Air operations will continue supporting ground troops today, especially in areas posing containment issues due to inaccessible terrain. Dozers finished a contingency line east of the fire, providing an additional safeguard between the fire perimeter and residences.

Firefighters will brace for another round of hot and dry weather today as near-record temperatures may reach 100 degrees with minimum humidity in the upper teens to lower 20s. Strong east winds transitioning to west winds in the afternoon and an unstable atmosphere will also challenge containment efforts on all flanks by stimulating fire activity.

A Level 1 Evacuation Notice advising residents to be aware of fire danger in the area remains in place for residents in the Pickett Creek, Shan Creek, Taylor Creek, and Galice Creek areas.

Please be careful while recreating in the forest this weekend as fire season is still in effect with an extreme fire danger warning. Local residents and visitors to the Merlin area are advised to drive cautiously and adhere to posted closure notices for both public and firefighter safety.

For further information, call (541) 471-7441, send an e-mail, or visit the Josephine County Emergency Preparedness page on Facebook, or the Onion Mountain Fire's pages on InciWeb.