Friday, June 26, 2015

Buckskin Fire: Friday Update

A Type 3 fire organization, headed by Incident Commander Monte Edwards, will assume command of the Buckskin Fire on Saturday at 6 am. This team is meeting today with Rogue River-Siskyou National Forest managers for an in-brief of the fire. The Type 3 team will continue to monitor the fire, complete suppression repair and be available to respond should the fire situation warrant.

The Buckskin Fire is estimated at 5,345 acres. Overall containment remains at 60%. Full suppression of this fire remains the operational strategy.

The fire was quiet following yesterday’s test of the suppression lines with warm temperatures, lower humidity, and strong gusty winds. A Red Flag Warning has been issued by the National Weather Service for abundant lightning Friday afternoon through Sunday. These thunderstorms could produce dry lightning and erratic winds creating very active fire behavior. Firefighters are prepared and will remain vigilant to take additional suppression actions needed on the Buckskin Fire.

Today, crews will chip piled woody material stacked along the southeast containment line, gather equipment for back haul, and complete any suppression damage repairs. The north, west and south flanks of the fire are being patrolled by air. A Wildland Fire Module will be shuttled by helicopter to the southeast containment line to monitor the fire. A hand held palm infra-red camera will be flown by helicopter around the fire flanks and identify hot spots. Those spots will receive water drops by helicopters to extinguish.

Helibase at the Illinois Valley Airport will be closed today and all helicopters will operate from the Grants Pass Airport. The heliwell will remain near the Illinois Valley Airport for use. All water used in bucket drops from helicopters for any additional suppression efforts will come from the heliwell to protect critical Coho habitat in Baldface Creek.

Although there are lines surrounding the fire, several interior unburned islands remain within the primary containment lines. Smoldering of these unburned islands will likely continue until a season ending event.

Resources no longer needed in the suppression efforts of the fire are being released for reassignment or to return home.

With burnout operations completed, less smoke will be generated by the Buckskin Fire. Oregon Smoke at is an excellent resource for air quality information.

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, please see the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest, Buckskin Fire Inciweb, or Buckskin Fire Facebook web pages.

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

Resources - Crews – 5; Engines –1; Water Tenders – 6; Helicopters – 3
Total Personnel - 295