Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Hot, Dry Weather Prompts Level 2 Evacuation Advisory on Stouts Creek Fire's South End

This fire is not 100 percent contained and still has the potential to grow rapidly, therefore residents in the Upper Cow Creek east of Devils Flat to the end of the road are advised that the evacuation level has been raised to a Level 2 (Get Set). This is a precautionary measure is due to high temperatures and low humidities.

At approximately 7:00 pm tonight fire crews will take advantage of weather conditions and topography to conduct a burnout operation along the established bulldozer lines in the southeast portion of the fire. This area has been prepared well in advance for this operation.

During day operations crews were assisted by heavy lift helicopters cooling hot spots and flare-ups as temperature steady rose throughout the day. The firing operation conducted on Sunday evening was highly successful; the fire continues to back away from containment lines and crews were able to mop up into the perimeter through the day.

Expected warmer and drier conditions on Tuesday will restrict any firing operation as the relative humidity will be in the low teens and temperatures will reach into the mid-eighties. Existing lines will be tested and fire crews will need to remain vigilant as interior burning will be more active. There is a greater probability of embers being carried aloft as the fire burns more intensive. While fire managers are confident, they have a plan to deal with contingencies and have the ground forces and helicopters to attack any fire that escapes.

Throughout the night, patrols will continue monitoring the firelines on the west, north and east sides and addressing any flare ups that are encountered.

Even though resources are needed on other fires, fire managers are keeping as many resources as needed to maintain the integrity of completing the objectives.

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 blackened 24,756 acres and remains 70% contained. There are 1,120 personnel assigned to the fire with 27 crews, 23 engines, 20 water tenders, 19 bulldozers and 9 helicopters.

To date the Stout Creek Fire has cost $29.5 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.

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