(Update: Adding Jack Fire)
Number of active fires has fallen sharply in recent days, but some will be 'long-duration' blazes that burn for months
LAKEVIEW, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Firefighters continue to make hard-won progress on encircling several wildfires or groups of blazes that have been burning around the state in recent weeks. But fire bosses say at least some of the blazes could continue to burn until autumn rains -- or winter snows.
The state of Oregon's wildfires dashboard (located on our Fire Alert page) also shows signs of progress, with 40 active fires at present, compared to over 100 earlier this month, though the ones still actively burning continue to send smoke streaming into Central Oregon and other areas.
Here are Sunday's updates on four of those fires/complexes:
Fox Complex Fire update for August 21:
LAKEVIEW, Ore. (KTVZ) -- In a pivotal milestone last night, crews were able to tie in containment efforts on the west and north sides of the Patton Meadow Fire with burnout efforts along the south side of Cottonwood Road. While the skies were filled with columns of smoke last night, smoke will begin to dissipate rapidly from this fire now that burnout operations have been completed.
Operations Section Chief Eric Perkins summed up the effort by saying, “It’s a big deal that we got this thing tied in. We essentially completed a prescribed burn the third week of August- a burn you would typically do in October after two or three inches of rain. Hats off to the burn module and everyone who supported it.”
The Patton Meadow Fire 10 miles west of Lakeview, sparked by lightning 10 days ago, is now mapped at 8,816 acres, is 45% comntained by the 772 firefighters on scene.
The fire is now completely “black-lined,” with burned fuels comprising the entire perimeter. Crews will now allow interior fuels to burn out, while mopping up deeper and deeper into the perimeter and monitoring the “green” to ensure no new spot fires are allowed to develop.
Yesterday’s operational briefing provides an overview of burnout and mop-up operations, with footage from the front lines of firefighting efforts and can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p5ri5eRs1wo. This will be the last operational update video so long as conditions on the fire do not change significantly.
Today’s forecast calls for shifting conditions with temperatures climbing 10-15 degrees and winds from the south and southwest with gusts up to 25 mph.
Current Patton Meadow Fire evacuation levels can be found on Lake County Sheriff’s Office by visiting https://www.facebook.com/Lake-County-Oregon-104435824529906.
Middle Fork Complex update for Sunday, Aug. 22
WESTFIR, Ore. – Firefighters will be building and reinforcing primary, alternate and contingency lines around the Middle Fork Complex for some time, using strategic ignitions where appropriate.
The complex of fires, nine miles north of Oakridge, were sparked by lightning on July 27, and the 549 personnel have the group of blazes 10% contained.
“This is going to be a long-duration fire on the landscape,” said Incident Commander Brian Gales with Northwest Incident Management Team 13, which took over the suppression effort today. Long-duration fires are well established in heavy fuels and rugged terrain that will continue to burn until the area receives significant precipitation in the form of autumn rain – called a season-ending event. Some interior burning could continue into the winter before it is fully extinguished.
“We’ll be building on the investments made by Pacific Northwest Team 3 with indirect line construction, improving those lines through firing operations where appropriate and necessary, and looking for opportunities to go more directly at the fire’s edge when it is safe to do so,” Gales continued.
Today, aviation resources will be dropping retardant to pretreat line for strategic ignitions around the northeastern corner of the Gales-Ninemile Fire, while hand crews and heavy equipment continue line prep on the east and west flanks.
WEATHER: Clear skies will bring somewhat higher temperatures and lower humidity, creating potential for more active fire behavior in the coming days.
Evacuations: Level 1 and 3 evacuation notices have been issued by Lane County. For current evacuation information and an interactive map of evacuation areas, visit: www.lanecounty.org.
Closures: Some National Forest System lands near the Middle Fork Complex are temporarily closed to provide for public safety. Site closures include Dolly Varden Campground, Big Pool Campground, Broken Bowl Campground, Clark Creek Organizational Camp, Bedrock Campground, Puma Campground, Salmon Creek Falls, dispersed camping within the closure area and Little Cowhorn Lookout, Timber Butte Lookout and Saddle Blanket Mountain recreation sites. Copies of all closures and maps can be found at www.fs.usda.gov/willamette.
More information: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/7745/
Great Basin Type 2 Incident Management Team #4
Bull Complex Fire Update
Sunday, 21 August 2021
Contact Fire Information: 971.277.5075 or 2021.Bull@firenet.gov
|Start Date||Cause||Size||Percent Containment||Helicopters||Engines||Crews||Dozers||Total Personnel|
Great Basin Team #4 assumed command of the Bull Complex this morning. They will continue to support the assigned firefighting resources from the Timber Lake Job Corps Center at Ripplebrook. Team #4 will carry on implementation of the plans developed by the Southern Area Gray Team, and the Gray Team will return home. Their assistance on the fire has been greatly appreciated by the local jurisdictions.
Rain overnight on Friday and increased cloud cover and relative humidity on Saturday have subdued fire behavior. The fire is still smoldering, moving along the ground and burning in low brushes and small trees. But it did not show any measurable growth yesterday. The cooler weather pattern is expected to persist through Tuesday, then normal temperatures are expected to return to the area. Firefighters will take advantage of these favorable conditions to make progress on firelines. The location of the fire and heavy timber throughout the area make it difficult for firefighters to safely work directly along the fire perimeter. Firefighters are currently constructing fireline ahead of the fire’s current perimeter location, utilizing natural and manmade features (such as rocky ridges and roads, respectively) to contain the fire where the chance for success is higher.
The Bull Complex is comprised of five separate fires that started on August 2 and then grew together. It is burning in the Bull of the Woods Wilderness on the Mt. Hood National Forest. The Willamette National Forest is also working closely with fire managers as containment lines are constructed to minimize fire expansion to the south. Numerous state, federal, and local agencies are assigned to the fire, including Oregon Department of Forestry. Team #4 will coordinate with each jurisdiction and maintain communications with impacted communities throughout the duration of their assignment on the Bull Complex.
Closures: For the safety of wildland firefighters and the public, the Mt. Hood National Forest has enacted an area closure that prevents the public from going into or being upon National Forest System lands in the vicinity of the Bull Complex where uncontrolled fire and fire suppression activities are occurring. All National Forest System lands that are south and west of Forest Road 46, north of the Forest’s administrative boundary with the Willamette National Forest, and east of the Riverside Fire perimeter. The entire length of National Forest Road 46 is closed. See the full closure order and map at https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/closures/7773/. The Willamette National Forest lands within the 2020 Lionshead and Beachie Fire areas are also closed.
Contractors approved by the Forest Service are allowed through the closure order, as are vendors and others working on recovery efforts related to the 2020 area fires. Breitenbush Hot Springs Resort is open; however, residents and guests will have to pass through a roadblock on NFR 46 and will be asked to show identification or proof of destination.
Bull Complex -- Fire Information
Jack Fire Update for Sunday, August 22, 2021
Fire Information: 503-867-7924
Overall Objective: The Rough Patch Complex and Jack Fire are being managed under a full suppression strategy using containment and confinement tactics to minimize fire spread to prevent loss of valuable resources. Leaders’ intent is to not allow the fire to progress to the west and to protect private structures throughout the fire area by using the PACE model – Primary, Alternate, Contingency and Emergency control Lines and to keep the fires as small as possible while working toward full containment.
As of Sunday, the Jack Fire, 20 miles east of Glide, had reached 23,768 acres and 51% containment by 300 personnel. The Rough Patch Fire, 10 miles north of the Jack Fire, was at 22,212 acres, 3% containment by 330 personnel.
Closures: The Umpqua and Willamette National Forests have area closure orders to encompass the Rough Patch, Jack, Archie Creek, and Devil's Knob Fire Areas. The closure includes Canton Creek Campground, Musick Guard Station, and Cover Campground.
Roseburg District Bureau of Land Management’s closure area includes the Scaredman Recreation Site. Francis Creek Road from the junction with Canton Creek Road north to the district boundary remains closed since August 5.
Highway 138 between Roseburg and Diamond Lake and Crater Lake remains open. Slow down and be alert while passing through the fire area. Copies of all closures and maps can be found at https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/closures/7758/
Chaos and Little Bend Fires: The primary containment lines of these fires, which includes the 3821 road, lay on the west and northwest flanks. Direct fire line construction and indirect fire lines with burnout operations nearly complete in the west and northwest areas of the fire. On the east and south flanks heavy equipment is working to construct and reinforce alternate and contingency lines. Firefighters continue to make good progress each day. These two fires are at 0% containment.
Jack Fire: The Jack Fire has containment lines that are holding on the west and north flanks of the fires and these lines account for the 51% containment of the fire. Fire crews are patrolling these flanks and taking action to hold the lines as necessary. The southwest and south flanks of the fire are seeing active fire behavior – tactics on these flanks include direct dozer line, the construction of primary and alternate contingency lines using the road system and building and reinforcing contingency lines along the 27 and 2715 roads. Burning out operations are being used as necessary to secure fire lines.
Buckhead and Near Minky Fires: These fires lay south of the Jack Fire and have similar active fire behavior on the south flanks. The contingency line construction continues with heavy equipment. This line ties into the line for the Jack Fire and extends to the south and acts as the primary holding line to prevent these fires from moving to the west. Firefighters are making progress each day, these two fires are at 0% containment.
Weather: Saturday night brough another night of good RH recovery ranging from 70%-90%. Minimum RH for Sunday will be in the 20 percent range. Northwest winds of 4 to 9 mph with gusts to 18 mph are likely to occur over slopes and ridges which will increase fire activity.