Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Burnouts and Fireline Construction Nearly Complete on Stouts Creek Fire

Crews on the Stouts Creek Fire are nearing the goal of encircling the fire with containment lines. Last night, fire crews burned out another small chunk of the fireline, leaving less than one-half mile of fireline to be completed. Once this is accomplished there will be 51 miles of fireline around this fire.

“We are very close to closing this gap and having this fire fully lined. We are getting close to connecting the firelines at the south end of the fire” said John Pellisier Operation Section Chief for the Oregon Department of Forestry.

With firefighting forces focused on the southern end of the fire the Incident Commander reminded fire crews to remain vigilant throughout the day as temperatures climb and conditions change.

“Today we will hold and strengthen our containment lines and, when the time is right, we will close the gap,” said Chris Cline, Incident Commander for ODF Team 2.

Fire weather forecasters predict today will not be as hot and dry as yesterday, however fire conditions are still extreme. As long as the inversion remains above the fire, fire activity will be low and smoke will persist. Crews will continue to patrol the fireline and mop-up any hot spots.

A Level 2 Evacuation notice (Get Set) remains in place for residents on Upper Cow Creek Road east of Devils Flat to the end of the road. This precautionary measure is because of high temperatures and low humidities that may cause increased fire behavior. The Stouts Creek Fire is 74% contained and still has the potential for rapid growth. A contingency plan to protect structures on Upper Cow Creek has been put into place and will be activated if needed. Evacuation levels for all other areas remain unchanged.

Even though personnel and equipment are needed on other fires, fire managers are keeping the resources required to meet the goals of fire containment and resource protection.

The Stouts Creek Fire has been managed under unified command by Oregon Department of Forestry Team 2 Incident Commander Chris Cline and Forest Service Incident Commander Mike Wilde, since August 13.

The fire has burned 25,324 acres and is 74% contained. There are 1,010 personnel assigned to the fire with 17 crews, 22 engines, 25 water tenders, 14 bulldozers and eight helicopters.

To date, the Stout Creek Fire has cost $31.4 million. The Incident Management Team is protecting lands that are about 48% on state protected lands, which include BLM and private lands and 52% on the Umpqua National Forest.