Trout Creek Fire nearly fully contained
McKENZIE BRIDGE, Ore. (KTVZ) -- This week's cooler temperatures and forecast rain in places are welcome signs for more than 900 firefighters still working to fully contain several fires burning on the Willamette National Forest, officials said in Wednesday's update.
Meanwhile, the 1,550-acre Trout Creek Fire that broke out Sunday 10 miles northeast of Madras is 90% contained, officials said Wednesday.
"Firefighters are focusing on extinguishing small pockets of remaining heat within the interior of the fire and continuing to secure control lines along the perimeter," they said.
Here's the full Wednesday update on the five Willamette National Forest fires:
Join us tonight at 7 pm for a Facebook Live virtual meeting. The meeting will be broadcast on each of the fire Facebook pages. There will be a question-and-answer session following the presentations. For those who cannot attend, it will be recorded and available for viewing.
Lookout Fire: Size: 25,640 acres l Start Date: August 5 l Cause: Lightning l Containment: 50%
Bedrock Fire: Size: 31,590 acres l Start Date: July 22 l Cause: under investigation l Containment: 98%
Petes Lake Fire: Size: 3,144 acres l Start Date: August 25 l Cause: Lightning l Containment: 0%
Horse Creek Fire: Size: 763 acres l Start Date: August 24 l Cause: Lightning l Containment: 100%
Pothole Fire: Size: 109 acres l Start Date: August 25 l Cause: Lightning l Containment: 100%
Total Personnel: 925
Total Assigned Resources: 32 engines l 22 crews l 7 dozers l 33 water tenders l 12 masticators l 7 helicopters
Suppression: Consistent with making deliberate, risk-informed decisions about how to safely engage the Petes Lake Fire relative to the values at risk, firefighters are prepared to continue to assess structures to the east of the Cascade Lakes Highway and improve an existing fuel break between the fire and structures. However, based on the best available science, it is highly unlikely that the Petes Lake Fire will grow beyond its current footprint within the Three Sisters Wilderness. As the chances for precipitation increase today, and even more so later in the week, firefighters may not take action if the fire activity continues to decrease as it has for the previous two days.
Firefighters main focus on the Lookout Fire continues to be along the northern edge of the fire, south of Carpenter Mountain. They will be taking appropriate actions where the fire had been active in the recent days, but mindful of the current and expected forecast.
Suppression Repair: Firefighters continue to work closely with Resource Advisors to repair the damage to the landscape that occurs during the ongoing fire suppression efforts. Suppression repair is a significant task across the more than 60,000 culminative acres of all the fires. Suppression repair work that firefighters are currently working on across the landscape includes moving downed trees; woody debris removal or chipping; road repair – which includes culvert cleaning for the expected rain; removing protective structure wrap from buildings, bridges, and other infrastructure; and the backhaul of all the equipment brought to the fireline during suppression efforts.
While the task of suppression repair is significant, firefighters only have two remaining suppression repair tasks on the Pothole Fire before that work is completed. Suppression repair work on the Horse Creek Fire is also nearing completion.
Burned Area Emergency Rehabilitation (BAER): On the Bedrock Fire, Forest Service Burned Area Emergency Response Teams (BAER Teams) have nearly completed a map of the soil burn severity—in other words, how hot the soil got during the fire. Scientists have learned that what happens to the soil during a fire is a very important indicator of how long it will take an area to recover. This soil burn severity map is critical in the work that happens after the flames are extinguished and the smoke has cleared. A comprehensive assessment report should be completed in the next several days.
Weather: There is a chance for light rain early today as a storm system approaches the area. A cooling trend continues today with highs generally in the upper 50s in the valleys and upper 40s along the ridges and near the Petes Lake Fire. This cooling trend is expected to continue through the week with an increased chance of wetting rain at the end of the week.
Linn County Evacuations: Visit the Linn County Wildfire map for current evacuation information.
Lane County Evacuations: Visit the Lane County Lookout Fire Evacuation Areas map for current evacuation information.
Deschutes County Evacuations: Visit the Deschutes County Emergency Information map for current evacuations information.
Forest Closures: Emergency closure orders remain in place for the Willamette National Forest and the Deschutes National Forest. For information on Oregon hunting regulations and these forest closures, contact Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife at (503) 947-6000.
Smoke Outlook: A smoke outlook for West-Central Oregon includes the Lookout, Bedrock, Petes Lake, Horse Creek, and Pothole Fires. Another source for air quality information is the Fire and Smoke map from airnow.gov.
Phone: 541-215-6735 (8 a.m. - 8 p.m.)