Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Collier Butte Fire is 8,000 Acres and 25 Percent Contained

The Collier Butte Fire is estimated at 8,000 acres, 25 percent contained and staffed with 385 personnel. The fire is burning in the northwest region of the Kalmiopsis Wilderness and remote Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest System lands on the Gold Beach Ranger District. Fire managers have implemented direct and indirect containment lines to protect values at risk located to the south, west, and north of the fire. Rugged, steep terrain and abundant snags present a multitude of challenges to firefighter safety. Management of this fire is likely to endure for an extended period due to the shortage of firefighting resources and the limited access in the Kalmiopsis Wilderness.

Firefighters plan to burnout along Forest Road 3680 in order to strengthen the fireline. A smoke inversion is expected again today delaying burnout operations until afternoon. Winds are expected to be light from the northeast, switching to northwest later in the day. Firefighters will patrol and mop-up containment lines and watch for possible reburn due to falling tree needles accumulating in recently burned areas. Fuels reduction and chipping will take place along Forest Road 3318 today and along dozer line in the southern portion of the fire.

There are approximately 100 uncontained large fires in the nation resulting in a scarcity of resources. Crews, aircraft and qualified support personnel are in high demand and short supply. High-priority values at risk on other fires are in need of vast numbers of resources to protect lives, homes and infrastructure. Firefighting resources are being reassigned and moved to protect these values. Collier Butte Fire managers are strategically positioning available resources to focus on holding and securing primary and alternate containment lines. Additionally, aviation managers are coordinating the sharing of aircraft with other fires in southwest Oregon.

Closures:
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 in the area has increased.

The Curry County Fair in Gold Beach will take place Aug. 27-30 as planned.

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