Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Firefighters Holding Long Gulch Fire at 2.5 Acres

Despite the challenging terrain and extreme heat, firefighters stopped and are holding the Long Gulch Fire at 2.5 acres tonight. The fire is 100 percent lined. The fire burning on Bureau of Land Management forestland is roughly two miles north of Bear Camp, west of the Rogue River Trail.
The initial report of smoke came in roughly around 1:00 p.m. Both our ODF Southwest Oregon District detection cameras, and those of our partners north of us, the Douglas Forest Protective Association, picked up a light, wispy column forming near the Josephine-Curry County line. Immediately, aerial recon was dispatched to scout the fire behavior and an exact location for additional resources to respond. Due to the rugged nature of the terrain, aerial resources were determined to be the best source of initial action for the fire. This provided time to ground resources to search for access in the area.
In total, over 50 firefighters, two LATs (Large Air Tankers), one fixed-wing and five helicopters were involved in the direct attack on the Long Gulch Fire. While the conditions were prime for a potentially large wildfire, the aggressive initial attack by both air and ground resources was advantageous in today’s firefight.
As always, we would like to thank our partners for the contnuous cooperation. Today, the U.S. Forest Service- Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest assisted us with both air and ground resources that were essential to the success of this mission. We are proud to be a fantastic example of Oregon's complete and coordinated system.
Tonight, all aircraft our on hold, but ground resources will continue searching for hot spots and mopping up overnight. The cause of the Long Gulch Fire is under investigation.
We are continuing to encourage everyone to know the fire restrictions in your area. Please visit our Facebook page: ODF Southwest Oregon District, or our website, www.swofire.com to learn more about what the “extreme” (red) fire danger level means for you and your family while out and about this summer. It’s up to all of us to do our part to prevent #wildfires.

Burnt Peak and Savage Creek Fires in Extensive Mop Up

Both the Burnt Peak Fire, located roughly 13 miles northeast of Shady Cove, and the Savage Creek Fire, located off Savage Creek Road near Grants Pass, will both be in extensive mop up throughout the remainder of this week.
The 31-acre Burnt Peak Fire is now 67 percent contained. Firefighters mopped up 200 feet in from the fire’s edge over the past 24 hours. Crews will continue to search for hot spots in the steep terrain until they are certain the entirety of the fire is dead out.
The 3.3-acre Savage Creek Fire is 80 percent contain as of this afternoon. Smoke was visible throughout the day over this fire due to the amount of heat being released during mop up. This means, as firefighters continue to comb through the burned area, crews are turning over timber, debris and other hot spots in order to release any heat stored under the surface fuels.
For additional information on these fire, as well as visuals of what the firefighters have been facing on the ground, please visit our Facebook page: ODF Southwest.
Fire management officials ask that the public continue to use caution and adhere to fire restrictions. Current regulations for lands in Jackson and Josephine Counties protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry Southwest Oregon District can be found at www.swofire.com.


Industrial Fire Precaution Level Rises on ODF-Protected Lands Tomorrow

Increased fire danger on forestlands protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry’s Southwest Oregon District has made it necessary to increase the fire prevention measures on industrial operations, such as logging sites and other commercial operations. Industrial Fire Precaution Level (IFPL) III (three) takes effect at 12:01 a.m. tomorrow, Wednesday, August 2.
The following are prohibited between 1:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.:
  • Power saws at loading sites;
  • Loading or hauling of any product or material;
  • Blasting;
  • Welding, cutting, or grinding of metal;
  • Any other spark emitting operation not specifically mentioned.
In addition, the following are permitted to operate overnight to the morning, between the hours of 8:00 p.m. and 1:00 p.m., where mechanized equipment capable of constructing fire line is immediately available to quickly reach and effectively attack a fire start:
  • Ground-based operations (tractor/skidder, feller-buncher, forwarder, or shovel logging operations);
  • Power saws on ground-based operations;
  • Rotary head saw feller-bunchers with a continuous Firewatch;
  • Non-rotary head saw feller-bunchers;
  • Tethered logging - winch-assisted, cable-assisted, traction-assisted, etc. systems, which enable ground-based timber harvesting machines to operate on steep slopes.
This is considered a restricted shutdown and the following activities are not permitted at any time, except as noted:
  • Cable yarding systems, except that gravity operated logging systems using non-motorized carriages or approved motorized carriages may operate between 8:00 p.m. and 1:00 p.m., when all blocks and moving lines are suspended at least 10 feet above the ground (except the line between the carriage and the chokers).
For the general public, ODF Southwest’s fire restrictions remain in effect and unchanged with a fire danger level of “extreme” (red). For more information about the Oregon Department of Forestry’s public or industrial fire season restrictions, visit our Facebook page: ODF Southwest Oregon District, or our website www.swofire.com.


Sunday, July 30, 2017

GPS Mapping Shows Burnt Peak Fire at 31 Acres

Today, firefighters walked the perimeter of the Burnt Peak Fire allowing for more accurate information to be gathered. Firefighters used GPS points from the ground to determine that the fire is 31 acres as of this afternoon. The fire is 30 percent contained. No evacuation orders have been issued; no structures were ever threatened by this fire.
Since the early hours of this morning, fire crews have been working to strengthen the control line around the perimeter. By the end of today’s day shift, firefighters mopped up 30 feet in from the fire’s edge. Although a quarter-acre spot fire was located southwest of the main body this morning, it was quickly knocked down and will be monitored through the upcoming days.
The Burnt Peak Fire located roughly 13 miles northeast of Shady Cove is burning in timber and debris on steep terrain on private property. The rugged landscape and gusty winds continue to challenge firefighters; however, the continuous coordination between ground and air attack assisted in today’s progress. One fixed-wing aircraft and three helicopters supported the fire today.
Tomorrow, firefighters will continue extensive mop up of the Burnt Peak Fire. With the triple-digit temperatures forecasted this week, crews are working to eliminate chances for flare ups.  The fire was first reported Saturday around 6:15 p.m. and its cause is under investigation.
Fire management officials ask that the public continue to use caution and adhere to fire restrictions. Current regulations for lands in Jackson and Josephine Counties protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry Southwest Oregon District can be found at www.swofire.com.

Burnt Peak Fire Burns Approximately 60 Acres

At approximately 6:15 p.m., an Oregon Department of Forestry Southwest Oregon District reconnaissance aircraft was searching for a report of smoke in the area just north of Butte Falls. Air attack not only located the Olsen Fire which was knocked down at 1/10th of an acre, but also spotted a small, steady column building roughly 10-15 miles away. Immediately, multiple ODF Southwest engines, dozers, water tenders and two Type 2 helicopters were dispatched to the Burnt Peak Fire.
The initial size-up of the fire from the air was estimated to be 1-3 acres. The fire was quick moving, burning in steep terrain with wind shifts manipulating the direction of growth constantly. An additional Type 1 helicopter and two LATs (Large Air Tankers) were ordered to assist preliminary air operations. From 6:45 p.m. til 9:00 p.m., a total of five runs were made with the air tankers, which is equal to 15,000 gallons of retardant. Dozens of water drops were made collectively by the three helicopters. In order to continue using our air firefighting resources, a TFR (Temporary Flight Restriction) will be in effect beginning tomorrow at 6:00 a.m. For more information regarding the TFR over the Burnt Peak Fire as well as others in effect throughout the region, please visit www.tfr.faa.gov.
While air operations worked on the fire, ground resources were facing accessibility challenges due to steep slopes combined with limited road infrastructure. By the time the first engine engaged with the fire, the size was estimated at 20 acres. Crews worked on attacking the fire as aggressively and directly as possible; however, the wind shifts created a dangerous and difficult fire fight as spotting continued along the ridgeline. Firefighters were able to begin flanking the fire near sundown, but anticipate gusty winds throughout the night.
The Burnt Peak Fire, burning three air miles north of Lost Creek Lake, is estimated to be 60 acres as of 11 p.m. tonight. The cause of the fire is under investigation. There are no structures threatened; no evacuation notices have been issued. The closest structure is roughly three miles southwest of the fire along Elk Creek Road in Trail. There will be heavy fire traffic throughout the area. Please avoid the road, if possible.

Although no evacuation orders are in effect, it is a good time to make sure your family’s evacuation plan is refreshed and ready. To learn more about the state of Oregon’s three level evacuation process and how you can be prepared when wildfire strikes, visit the Rogue Valley Emergency Management page. The fire danger level throughout Jackson and Josephine Counties moves to ‘extreme’ Monday. For a reminder of what public fire restrictions will take effect, visit our Facebook page, ODF Southwest