Friday, September 19, 2014

Onion Mountain Fire Update for Friday

Fire at a Glance
Size: 4,102 acres
Containment: 20%
Assigned personnel: 962
  • 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
Closures: Sam Brown Campground and Horse Camp, Briggs Campground, Myers Campground, Portions of Forest Road (FR) 2500, FR 2509, and FR 2706.
Firefighters had another productive day building containment lines around a good portion of the fire perimeter, taking advantage of decreased burning conditions from cool, wet weather. Crews progressed significantly in their effort to contain the western and northern flanks by constructing direct line along the unchecked fire edge.
Crews began installing pumps and hoselays so water can be used to bolster completed handline and dozer line and begin mopping up burning materials along the fire perimeter. As a contingency or back up plan, crews and heavy equipment will continue brushing road systems and use chippers to dispose of the debris.
The majority of aircraft assigned to the fire remained grounded yesterday due to poor visibility, but clear skies today should enable helicopters and airplanes to assist the firefighting effort by dropping water and providing aerial surveillance.

Fire personnel will now dig in as hot and dry weather paired with steady east winds and poor overnight humidity recovery should elevate fire activity and test existing control lines over the next few days. The forecast calls for daytime highs in the mid-70s and mid-80s with relative humidity bottoming out at 20 to 25 percent.

Approximately 150 people attended the public meeting last night at Fleming Middle School. Fire management team members and local agency representatives addressed the audience providing the fire situation, dispelling community rumors, and answering questions from concerned citizens.

Evacuation levels have been removed for all of Riverbanks and Limpy Creek roads. A Level 1 Evacuation Notice advising residents to be aware of fire danger in the area remains in effect for residents in the Pickett Creek, Shan Creek, Taylor Creek, and Galice Creek areas.