Friday, August 14, 2015

Fireline Nearly Complete Around Stouts Creek Fire

Night crews on the Stouts Creek Fire continued to be vigilant, holding and widening control lines while working toward securing the south end of the fire. Overnight fire activity was low as firefighters patrolled the northern portions of the 24,181-acre fire looking for hot spots and flare ups. The fire is 65% contained.

Using heavy equipment, crews have completed the majority of the containment line on the south end in preparation for the large burnout, north of Upper Cow Creek Road and Beaver Creek. Firefighters will install hoses, pumps and tanks as mangers wait for favorable conditions to complete the next phase. Based on current progress and weather forecasts, that burnout could begin in the next few days.

“We should have the line completed today,” said John Pellissier, Operations Chief for the fire. “We’re about 2/3 done with the mechanical work and then we’ll run hose and water sources throughout. Operationally, we’ll be ready. Then it’s up to Mother Nature.”

Fire managers are looking for weather conditions that will allow for a safe, slow burn that will minimize impact on timber and other natural resources. With many factors involved in the burn operations, any number of things out of parameters could delay the burnout.

“All of the weather conditions and other factors have to be right,” Pellissier said. “We are looking to start with a smaller, slow trial process and this could take several days. It will be a slow, steady process.”

The public will be given as much notice before the burnout begins as possible.

There are 1,645 personnel assigned to the fire with 49 crews, 46 engines, 27 water tenders, 20 bulldozers and 11 helicopters. Numbers of personnel and equipment will continue to shrink as objectives are met and these resources move on to fires with greater needs.

The Stouts Creek Fire costs to date are $25.5 million. The Incident Management Team leading the effort under unified command is protecting lands that are about 48% on state protected lands, which include BLM and private lands, and 52% on the Umpqua National Forest. Twenty-three states and three Canadian provinces have provided staff for this effort.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Stouts Fire Nearly 60 Percent Contained

At about 24,000 acres and nearly 60 percent contained, firefighters will continue working through the night on the southern areas of the Stouts Creek Fire. Today, firefighters conducted burnout operations and prepared other areas for future burnouts, particularly north of Upper Cow Creek Road and Beaver Creek.

With lower relative humidity and higher temperatures today, fire activity increased in some areas. These weather conditions will likely help the crews fighting the fire’s south side to conduct effective burnouts, which removes the brush, trees and other fuel, on smaller acreage to eliminate the fuel and assist with working towards containment. On the north side, crews will continue eliminating heat to improve control lines.

“This has been a tough, ugly fire,” Incident Commander John Buckman during Wednesday’s night shift briefing. “It’s only because you’ve persistently and safely fought this fire for 14 straight nights that we’ve made significant progress. Thank you for your dedication to the surrounding communities. Keep persevering.”

All evacuation levels are at Level I.

With continued smoke in the area, those with health concerns should talk to their doctor or go to www.oregonsmoke.blogspot.com. There they will find information on wildfires and health as well as access to Air Quality Index monitors. Motorists are urged to be careful driving through smoke on the roads, and turn on their low beam headlights. Residents and travelers also are asked to not stop along Tiller-Trail Highway to view fire or helicopter activity as traffic is heavy with response vehicles.

There currently are 1,693 personnel assigned to the fire with 62 crews, 53 engines, 30 water tenders, 23 bulldozers and 16 helicopters.

The Stouts Creek Fire costs to date are $22.4 million. The Incident Management Team leading the effort under unified command is protecting lands that are about 50 percent on state protected lands, which include BLM and private lands, and 50 percent on the Umpqua National Forest. Twenty-three states and three Canadian provinces have provided staff for this effort. The fire is being managed cooperatively by the Oregon Department of Forestry and the U.S. Forest Service. The Oregon Department of Forestry’s Incident Management Team 1 develops and leads the wildland fire suppression strategy.

The Incident Command Post, previously located at Days Creek Charter School, was moved to the main camp west of Days Creek. ­

Monday, August 10, 2015

Stouts Creek Fire 23,014 Acres, 40% Contained

Making significant headway connecting the Stouts Creek Fire’s control lines Sunday night, firefighters finished burning out an area along the fire’s north and east sides along Hatchet Creek. Other crews along the Tiller-Trail Highway from milepost 30 to 35 crews walked the fire down to the control lines. They now will begin strengthening those lines. Heavy equipment operators maneuvered a half-dozen pieces of equipment along Forest Road 2301 to strengthen that contingency line overnight.

Type 2 Initial Attack (T2IA) crews from Oregon, Massachusetts, Ohio and West Virginia with expertise conducting burnout operations and falling large trees arrived last night. These crews are heading to the fire line today for operations the south and east sides of the fire. The Santa Fe Hot Shots will attempt a burnout operation about one mile north of Cow Creek Road near Beaver Creek.

The Incident Meteorologist reported a Red Flag Warning because of lightning potential which might be accompanied by rain, wind gusts and hail during the next 24 hours. He called for wind shifts from the south and southeast this morning to the west and northwest this afternoon. As crews continue conducting burns over the next few days and weeks to contain the fire residents, will see more smoke.

Today’s work will focus on strengthening lines along the southern part of the fire to prepare for a large burn. Forest Roads 32, 3201 and 3230 would be used to hold a fairly large burnout planned for next week.

Those with health concerns should talk to their doctor or go to www.oregonsmoke.blogspot.com where there is information on wildfires and health as well as access to AQI monitors. Motorists are urged to be careful driving through smoke on the roads, and turn on their low beam headlights. Residents and travelers also are asked to not stop along Tiller-Trail Highway to view fire or helicopter activity as traffic is heavy with response vehicles.

Evacuation levels remain unchanged. Drew is the only area on evacuation Level II from milepost 28 through milepost 39. The Douglas County Sheriff’s office is monitoring that designation.

The Stouts Creek Fire costs to date are $17 million. The state and national teams leading the effort under unified command are protecting lands that are about 50 percent on state protected lands, which include BLM and private lands, and 50 percent on the Umpqua National Forest. The fire is being managed cooperatively by the Oregon Department of Forestry and the U.S. Forest Service. The Oregon Department of Forestry’s Incident Management Team 1 develops and leads the wildland fire suppression strategy.

Krauss Lane Fire is Human Caused

The Krauss Lane Fire, 5 miles south of Cave Junction, has been deemed human caused and is currently under investigation.  The fire started around 1:30 PM at the 100 block of Krauss Lane on August 8. Upon arrival, units reported the fire to be 2-4 acres with immediate structural threat to 50 homes. Command requested a second alarm that initiated Rural Metro Fire resources as well as other agencies. Both Rogue Valley Task Force 1 and 2 were activated and requested on scene as the fire continued to spread. ODF requested helicopters, tankers, tenders, crews and engines to stop the spread of fire.

The fire grew to a total of 58 acres and destroyed one outbuilding and six vehicles. Night operations continued through this morning, and crews will continue mopping-up and move to gridding by the end of the day. Depending on how work progresses, night operations may not be necessary through the night.

The fire currently has a Type 1 helicopter, (1) 10- person handcrew, (1) 20-person handcrew and six engines. Once mop-up and gridding are complete, crews will check the fire for three straight days to insure there are no smokes or smoldering areas. Within that three day period, if they find any smokes, they will restart their three day watch until they have three continues days without smoke.

Today's conditions  will continue to be hot and dry. We will be in a red flag warning from 2PM Monday to 1 AM Tuesday for scattered thunderstorms.


 

 
 

New Fire Maps for Southern Oregon Now Available!

There are some new maps showing all of the different fires, flight restrictions, and information now available. Please visit SWOFIREDATA.com for all of these maps.

New Pocketcard and Fire Statistics Now Available

This week will be hot and dry as we maintain extreme fire danger, with a threat of lightning in the forecast as well. ERC values will continue in the extreme category and we will likely stay there till a significant break in the weather. Fire activity on the ground has increased and extra resources have been required several times.


For the latest pocketcard and stats sheet please visit SWOFIREDATA.com.