Friday, June 19, 2015

Buckskin Fire: Friday Morning Update

Firefighters initiated a burnout operation in the northeast section of the Buckskin Fire in their effort to contain the wildfire, which is now 2,635 acres and six percent contained. Ground personnel used drip torches to carry fire along the indirect containment line to just south of Buckskin Peak. A helicopter utilized a helitorch, an ignition device suspended beneath a helicopter, to ignite and consume fuels between the fireline and the main body of the fire.

The burnout progressed slowly due to strong westerly winds that blew embers across the containment line, challenging crews assigned to keep the fire within the containment lines. With the helicopter support, firefighters worked hard and kept the burnout in check.

Today, crews will continue bringing fire south by utilizing drip torches to provide a buffer and a helitorch to add depth to the burnout. This operation will likely last several days and increase the amount of smoke affecting nearby communities.

The fire continues to grow toward the south and east, but well within the containment lines. Crews continued to bolster the containment lines in this area. The wildfire exhibited minimal fire behavior along the western edge, where a contingency line is in place to provide a safeguard in the event fire activity increases in this area.Two 10-person fire crews remain on the west flank to monitor fire behavior and take suppression actions if necessary.

The 90-acre spot fire southwest of the main fire has been contained and will be monitored by aerial patrol.

Several plant and animal species remain at risk from the Buckskin Fire and deliberate measures are being taken to protect these natural resources.

Communities in the Illinois and Rogue Valleys may continue to be impacted by smoke.Those sensitive to smoke should be aware and take appropriate actions. Detailed air quality information can be found on Oregon Smoke at

A Fire Area Closure Order remains in place closing forest land around the wildfire area to provide for public health and safety. For more information, log onto the Buckskin Fire Inciwebsite or Buckskin Fire Facebook pages.

Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR): A TFR remains in place over the Buckskin Fire. Please check the NOTAMs for current information.

Start Date - June 11, 2015
Location - 10 miles southwest of Cave Junction on the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest.
Cause - Lightning
Resources - Crews – 12; Dozers – 7; Engines – 6; Water Tenders – 13; Helicopters – 11
Total Personnel - 581