Friday, August 21, 2015

Collier Butte Fire 30 Percent Contained

Location: Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest, 18 miles east of Gold Beach
Incident Commander: Doug Johnson
Information Center: 541-247-4447
Inciweb: http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/4461Email: collierbuttefire@gmail.com
Facebook: U.S. Forest Service-Rogue River - Siskiyou National Forest
Oregon Smoke Information: http://oregonsmoke.blogspot.com/

The Curry County Fairgrounds in Gold Beach will host the Fair August 27-30 as planned. The Collier Butte Fire incident command post will be moving to the Gold Beach High School Saturday to make room for the Fair set-up.

Current Situation:
9,000 acres
30% Containment
415 Personnel
5 Crews
5 Dozers
2 Helicopters
8 Water Tenders
11 Engines

With firelines in place on the north, west and south flanks, firefighters will focus on securing containment lines by burning fuel along the fire’s edge and interior pockets within the fire perimeter. Burnout operations will also focus on the containment line between Big Craggies and the Collier Butte vicinities, and will begin only if favorable weather conditions exist. A helicopter equipped with an aerial ignition device is available to assist ground personnel by burning areas that are difficult to access.

Helicopters will shuttle crews into the Wilderness to assist in containing burnout operations. Portable water pumps and hoses remain in place to provide water support, and two heavy lift helicopters stationed in Agness will be available to drop water.

Crews and engines will continue mop up operations to extinguish burning and smoldering vegetation along the fire edge. Firefighters will improve secondary and contingency lines by falling hazard trees and removing excess fuels. These precautionary lines extend north from Forest Road 3318 to the Illinois River and south along Forest Road 1376 to the Chetco River. The fire continues spreading east into remote, inaccessible land in the Kalmiopsis Wilderness, yet remains west of the Illinois River.

Nationally, the wildfire situation remains at a critical level. All available firefighting resources are being called upon to assist, resulting in a shortage of fire crews, helicopters and support personnel. Firefighters are being reassigned to more-critical incidents to protect lives, homes and infrastructure. On the Collier Butte Fire, managers are strategically positioning available resources to focus on holding and securing containment lines, and coordinating aircraft use with other fires in southwest Oregon.

Rugged, steep terrain and an abundance of snags present challenges to firefighter safety. Due to a shortage of firefighting resources and limited wilderness access, management of this wildfire is likely to continue for an extended period. Smoke from the fire may be visible at the times throughout the remainder of the fire season.

Businesses along the south coast and Rogue River remain open and welcome visitors. Residents and visitors to Gold Beach, Brookings and nearby communities are encouraged to drive carefully as firefighter traffic has increased in the area. The public is encouraged to use caution outdoors, as extreme drought conditions persist. Fuels are receptive to any type of spark or flame. For information on closures on the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest, please see the Facebook page or the Inciweb page listed above.

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