Friday, August 5, 2016

Bybee Creek Fire Update for August 5



Firefighters made great progress yesterday and were able to complete a strategic burnout on the northern flank of the Bybee Creek Fire, located in Crater Lake National Park. This firing operation will better secure the northern edge in case of high wind events and keep the fire south of Lightning Springs Trail.

Rim Village reported ash fallout yesterday afternoon. A predicted wind shift occurred, increasing fire activity on the northern flank. Fire activity did not increase closest to Rim Village.

An infrared flight occurred last night at 10 p.m. which showed the fire had grown to approximately 1,125 acres, and is 12 percent contained. This growth was primarily from firing operations that secured the already established control lines.

Increased fire activity with northwesterly winds is expected again today. Spotting and group torching will likely occur, followed by smoke and potential ash into Rim Village later in the afternoon.

Firefighters continue to monitor the small fire that is burning half way up the slope in the caldera. Less smoke was visible on the fire yesterday due to the lack of vegetation and pumice fields acting as natural barriers.

A structure protection group is in the area assessing threat to historical buildings which are in no immediate danger.

Nearly 380 personnel are assigned to the fire, along with 12 wildland fire engines, eight helicopters and two air tankers.

Fire danger continues to be high in the Crater Lake area with dry vegetation and changing weather. The public should be mindful of their surroundings and watch for updates.

Fire Restrictions: Crater Lake National Park implemented Stage Level 1 fire restrictions at midnight July 31, 2016. For more information visit: http://bit.ly/2b8gNfz

Level 1 Evacuation: Crater Lake National Park has issued a Level 1 Evacuation Notice for Rim Village and Park Headquarters until further notice. The Level 1 notice informs residents and visitors to “be ready” for a potential evacuation of Rim Village and Park Headquarters in the event that the Bybee Creek Fire approaches those areas. Mazama Village and other areas in the park are not affected by this Level 1 notice.

Closure: The Pacific Crest Trail is closed from Dutton Creek Camp north to the PCT parking lot on North Entrance Road. The Rim Trail is closed between Rim Village and North Junction. PCT hikers should use East Rim Drive as an alternate route. Lightning Springs Trail and backcountry camp are closed. The West Rim Drive from Rim Village to North Junction is temporarily closed.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest Issues Public Use Restrictions

The risk of wildfire is increasing across southwestern Oregon, and as a result, the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest is increasing the public use restrictions across much of the Forest.

“Southwest Oregon has experience several human-caused fires in the past few weeks. With the current fuels conditions, we feel it is important to implement public use restrictions to err on the side of caution,” says Eric Hensel, Fire Staff Officer for the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest. Effective 12:01 a.m. on August 5, 2016, the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest will impose public use restrictions that include limiting where open flames may occur, and areas where smoking or operating internal combustion engines is permissible.

Campfires must be built in Forest Service-constructed fire rings made of concrete or metal and located in designated recreation sites. With the exception of Sky Lakes Wilderness, wilderness areas within the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest are exempt from this restriction.

The use of propane or liquid fuel-powered commercial stoves is permitted. Smoking is allowed only while in vehicles, designated recreation sites, in areas clear of vegetation measuring at least 3 feet in diameter, or aboard watercraft on waterways. Welding or operating any other torch with an open flame is not allowed on Forest lands while these restrictions are in effect.

Operating an internal combustion engine is only permitted while in a vehicle on Forest Development Roads or within designated parking areas or while aboard a watercraft that is on water. Generators are allowed in designated recreation sites; please check with the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest before you camp to see if your destination is one of those designated sites. Additionally, internal combustion engine use is still permitted on the roads and trails at the Prospect OHV Trail System.

These public use restrictions will be effective until November 30, 2016, unless sooner rescinded.

The Industrial Fire Precaution Level will increase to IFPL 2 on the Wild Rivers, High Cascades, and Siskiyou Mountains Ranger Districts. Gold Beach and Powers Ranger Districts remain at IFPL 1.

Visitors to the Forest are encouraged to continue to be cautious with fire while in the woods. Forest officials remind recreationists to never abandon a campfire, and always ensuring that an extinguished campfire is cool to the touch.

For more information and to see the full text of the Forest Order, including a list of designated recreation sites where campfires are permitted, visit http://www.fs.usda.gov/alerts/rogue-siskiyou/alerts-notices.

Bybee Creek Fire August 3 Update



The Bybee Creek Fire is 720 acres in size and is 12 percent contained. Nearly 300 personnel are assigned to the task of confining the fire, which is located in Crater Lake National Park. Firefighters are being supported by an air force of seven helicopters, four air tankers and eight wildland fire engines. The fire started July 28 and its cause is under investigation.

The Bybee Creek Fire slowed its spread Tuesday and firefighters were able to fight the fire directly from the Rim Road. The West Rim Road is still closed from the Rim Village to the North Junction until further notice, however, it is possible to travel through the park on the East Rim Road.

Firefighters are using several methods to suppress the fire’s growth, including direct and indirect methods. Today, a fuel break (handline) was completed around the fire to stop the fire from spreading.

Crews have prepared for fire operations along an old fire line and continue to utilize helicopters for water drops. Aerial water scoopers are also dropping water on the leading edge of the fire. If weather conditions are favorable, firefighters will put fire to the ground to consume the fuel between the fire and the handline.

Firefighters are working to achieve the goals of keeping the fire east of the Pacific Crest Trail, south of the Lightning Springs Trail and west of the Crater Lake Rim Drive.

Fire danger remains high, the public should be aware of their surroundings and prepared for changing conditions. A Level I Evacuation Notice has been issued for the Rim Village and Park Headquarters area. The Level I Notice informs residents and visitors to “be ready” for a potential evacuation if the fire approaches these areas. Mazama Village and other areas in the park are not affected by this notice.

Gusty winds are expected to continue for the next several days.

Crater Lake National Park implemented Stage 1 fire restrictions at midnight July 31, 2016.

The Park is open, the section of the West Rim road that is closed will not diminish your visit. It is still possible to drive the East Rim, enjoy the views from Rim Village and experience a boat ride around the Lake.

Closure Information: The Pacific Crest Trail is closed from Dutton Creek Camp north to the PCT parking lot on North Entrance Road. Lightning Springs Trail and backcountry camp are closed.
The West Rim Drive from Rim Village to North Junction is temporarily closed.

For more information: 

Monday, August 1, 2016

New Pocketcard and Stats Now Available

ERC values are bumping or exceeding the extreme fire danger category for the first time this year while fuels continue to dry. The forecast period calls for continued warm dry weather. For the latest pocketcard and stats please visit the SWOFireData website.