Monday, September 25, 2017



DAILY JOINT INFORMATION CENTER (JIC) SUMMARY

September 25, 2017

541-608-1243


Overview: Temperatures are forecasted to continue rising through the week, but fire behavior analysts do not anticipate significant fire activity to return. Increased smokes though from logs and stump holes will likely occur, which are most often well within the fires interior. Crews continue to mop up hot spots on some fire flanks deep into the burned areas. Work also continues with suppression line rehabilitation and equipment back hauling. The public is asked to comply with Forest closure areas to ensure their and firefighter safety.

Miles of fire hose retrieved from the High Cascade Complex being cleaned and rolled; low severity ground fire burn on the High Cascade Complex


Fires at a Glance



9-25-17 High Cascades Complex West Fire Daily Update






Current Fire Information: The High Cascades Complex - West Zone is a compilation of fires started by lightning storms earlier this summer. The West Zone consists of the Pup and the Broken Lookout Fires. Both fires are partially burning in and outside of the Rogue-Umpqua Divide Wilderness on the Rogue River-Siskiyou (RRSNF) and Umpqua National Forests (UPNF).

Pup – 8,222 acres, 12% contained. Located northwest and southeast of Hershberger Lookout partially in the Rogue-Umpqua Divide Wilderness. Firefighters are chipping debris generated by prepping forest roads for use as containment line and mopping up any hotspots.

Broken Lookout – 18,911 acres, 24% contained. Located directly west of Union Creek on the southern end of the Rogue-Umpqua Divide Wilderness where it is burning on both sides of the Wilderness. Firefighters continue prepping forest roads for use as containment lines, chipping the debris generated and mopping up hotspots to secure containment lines.

Resources: Total personnel assigned to the Complex (both west and east) – 853: 2-type 1 crews, 2-type 2 IA crews, 17-type 2 crews, 6-camp crew, 21-engines, 5-masticators, 3-medium helicopters, 2- light helicopters, 2-dozers, 8-water tenders, and 192 overhead.

Air Operations: A temporary flight restriction (TFR) is in place over the fire area restricting aerial public access. Please check the NOTAMs prior to flying. The public is reminded all air operations are grounded any time a drone is sighted within the TFR, delaying fire suppression efforts. Flying within the TFR is prohibited and against the law.

Weather: A weak disturbance will move through the region today. This will increase the mid to upper level cloud cover, possibly lowering temperatures over the fire areas. Tomorrow a warming and drying trend is expected throughout the week. Temperatures will increase to 70-80 degrees with relative humidity dropping to the 25-35 percent range.

Behavior: Minimal ground spread of fire is expected today with no perimeter growth. Creeping and smoldering may re-establish in the litter, duff and jackpots of dead and down fuels.

Closures: Multiple area, trail, and Forest road closures are limiting public access into specific areas for public safety on the RRSNF and UPNF. “Know before you go” by visiting https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5503 or your local Forest office.










9-25-17 High Cascades Complex East Fire Daily Update




Summary: Fire officials report the High Cascades Complex East Zone at 40% contained. Improving weather conditions and lack of fire growth is allowing firefighters to focus their efforts on suppression repair. Excavators and other heavy equipment will be shifted between fires to reflect operational needs over the next several days. Please be cognizant of heavy equipment traveling the roads in fire areas. As of Monday morning, approximately 32% of the total suppression repair work is complete.

Excavators assisted crews on the North Pelican Fire (repair work 17% complete) repair bulldozer line. Handcrews completed culvert repairs on NF Road 350 and grading occurred on NF Road 3519. 

On the Blanket Creek Fire (repair work is 21% complete), chipping continued on the east flank of the burned area. Crews scouted and began repairing handline in backcountry areas of Crater Lake National Park. Crews on the Spruce Lake Fire (repair work is 52% complete) completed rehab from the forest-park boundary to the Pacific Crest Trail. Crews are making good progress at Spruce Lake, but are encountering snow as they move into higher elevations in the wilderness and national park.

Closures: Weather conditions and anticipated fire behavior allowed the Fremont-Winema National Forest to modify its fire closure areas on both the Blanket Creek and North Pelican Fires. These alterations may impact backcountry recreationalists, hunters, and OHV users. Know before you go! Check trail, road, and area closures and conditions on InciWeb, park and forest websites. West Rim Drive in Crater Lake National Park remains closed for scheduled maintenance and repaving through Friday afternoon at 4 pm.

Hunting: The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife does not close hunting seasons due to fire danger. However, fire closures still remain on public lands within some hunting units. Hunters are urged to check closures before heading out.

Weather: A weak disturbance is expected to move through the region on Monday. High level clouds may reduce temperatures a few degrees, but a warming and drying trend is expected through Thursday.

The Rim Visitor Center, Annie Creek Restaurant and Gift Shop, and the Mazama Campground cabins are closed for the season. Expect possible delays on Highway 230 between Union Creek and the junction with Highway 138 due to road construction.

09-25-17 Chetco Bar Fire Update





With significant progress made on both the Chetco Bar and Indigo fires, personnel and equipment are being gradually released as the incident continues to be “right-sized” for current and expected fire activity and weather conditions.

Today Firefighters continue to secure and mop up areas where pockets of heat remain while also backhauling equipment and repairing areas impacted by months of firefighting efforts.

 Isolated smokes persist within the fire interior and in difficult to access areas in the Meadow Creek, East Fork Pistol River, Emily Creek, and Illinois River drainages. Firefighters continue to work areas where – under certain conditions – the fire could potentially flare up and threaten containment, however, some areas may continue to smolder until the fire receives significant, season-ending rain. 

Safety Hazard trees present a high risk to firefighters working within the fire perimeter and are a consideration when forest managers determine the necessity of forest closures. Drivers are encouraged to anticipate fire traffic on area roadways.

Closures:  Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest and Bureau of Land Management Coos Bay District road and area closures remain in effect for all public lands adjacent to the Chetco Bar Fire area due to fire activity, equipment, and hazardous trees. For public and firefighter safety, please mind road guards and adhere to all posted signs. For further information, please call (541) 618-2200
or visit www.fs.usda.gov/alerts/rogue-siskiyou/alerts-notices.  No evacuation orders are in effect for Curry or Josephine Counties.

Weather and Fire Behavior: A warming and drying trend is expected through mid-week, with hotter and drier weather peaking on Thursday. Some moderate activity from smoldering stump holes, snags and heavy fuels is expected. However, the continued warm weather will support suppression repair and recovery operations by making areas of heat easier to identify and extinguish.

Temporary Flight Restrictions (TFR) are in effect over the Chetco Bar Fire area. Before flying near the area, pilots are encouraged to check for the most current update at tfr.faa.gov.

Community Meeting: There will be a public meeting, including a fireoverview and update, at the Winchuck Fire Station (363 Winchuck River Road, Brookings, OR) on Tuesday, September 26, at 6:00 p.m. 











Miller Complex Fire Update

September 25, 2017 – 9:00 a.m.

Acres: 36,496
Percent Contained: 70%
Start Date: August 14, 2017
Cause: Lightning
Total Personnel: 167

Location: Private land and federal land on the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest 20 miles southwest of Medford, OR.
Fire Information: 541-838-0770, Email address: millercomplex2017@gmail.com

Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest Officials have reduced the Miller Complex Area Closure
The reduced area closure takes effect today, September 25, 2017. Due to the repair progress completed on both the Burnt Peak and Creedence fires, officials feel comfortable allowing recreationists and hunters back into the area. The Abney Fire area will remain closed for the time being as a safety precaution. For a more precise, technical definition of these closures, please see Forest Order Number 06-10-22-17-37, or visit the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest closure page at https://www.fs.usda.gov/alerts/rogue-siskiyou/alerts-notices.

Forest and fire managers ask that the public respect the area closure still in effect for the sake of public and firefighter safety. People driving or walking inside fire perimeters is a safety concern. When driving near fire areas, the public is cautioned to remain alert and drive with care as crews are likely to still be working in the area. With hunting season underway, it is particularly important that participants are informed on local area closures, fire restrictions, camping regulations and hazards found in recently-burned areas. The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife has a comprehensive list of informative links for hunters that can be found at http://www.dfw.state.or.us/resources/hunting/fire.asp.

Fire personnel are planting seeds in areas disturbed by fire suppression tactics primarily where dozers were used. Planting seeds will promote regeneration in these impacted areas. Repair operations including water bar construction, chipping of woody debris, road improvement and backhauling of equipment have all been successful across the complex thus far, and will continue today.

The Elliot and Dutch Creak areas of the Abney Fire are the most active zone on the Miller Complex. Fire behavior is low, moving slowly across the forest floor consuming needle cast, leaf litter, and small scale twigs and brush. Visible smoke can be expected until a season ending event, such as snow. Weather is forecasted to become warmer and dryer as the week progresses. Firefighters have been collecting fuel samples from the field and testing moisture levels. Monitoring moisture levels in forest materials will allow fire managers to better estimate upcoming fire behavior, and plan accordingly.

Closures:
The Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest has a closure area in place https://www.fs.usda.gov/alerts/rogue-siskiyou/alerts-notices. The Bureau of Land Management has closed the Grayback Mountain Trailhead. For Klamath National Forest closures see https://www.fs.usda.gov/alerts/klamath/alerts-notices.
Miller Complex Information Websites:
Inciweb - https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5514/
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/MillerComplexFires/ and https://facebook/R6RRSNF
Miller Complex Abney Fire, south of the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) - https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5511/

For all wildfires on the Rogue River-Siskiyou NF, Joint Information Center Blog - http://swojic.blogspot.com/




Miller Complex Road Closure update Map

Sunday, September 24, 2017

INFORMATION CENTER (JIC) SUMMARY September 24, 2017





DAILY JOINT INFORMATION CENTER (JIC) SUMMARY

September 24, 2017



541-608-1243


Overview: Warming temperatures have increased smokes that are generally well within the firelines interior. Crews continue to mop up hot spots several hundred feet into the burned areas in a process called “gridding”. Work also continues with suppression line rehabilitation and equipment back hauling.

Heavy equipment rehabilitating fire line on Chetco Bar; Indigo Fire near Chetco Bar showing no smokes on September 22

Fires at a Glance









Miller Complex Fire Update
September 24, 2017 – 9:00 a.m.
                                                                       
Acres: 36,496  
Percent Contained: 70%   
Start Date: August 14, 2017      
Cause: Lightning
Total Personnel:  171
Location: Private land and federal land on the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest 20 miles southwest of Medford, OR.

Fire Information: 541-838-0770, Email address: millercomplex2017@gmail.com

The Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest and Type 3 IMT maintain public and firefighter safety as their top priority on the Miller Complex. Repair work continues and active fire is being monitored. Steep slopes, rugged terrain and heavy fuel loading all pose challenges for firefighters. All of these hazardous factors are taken into account as fire managers assess risks involved with operational tactics.

As a warming and drying trend moves into the region, increased fire activity and visible smoke can be expected. Today will be sunny with temperatures around 70-75. Easterly winds overnight will cause humidity to drop. As humidity drops, fuels on the ground will become dryer leading to increased fire behavior.

In preparation for the upcoming weather shift, daily operations on the Abney Fire will focus on thinning and brushing work along Forest Road 1050 and the accompanying spur roads 140 and 160. Fuels reduction along these roads will further improve the containment lines in place to protect private property along the fire’s eastern flank. Fire activity is being monitored with aircraft and ground personnel.

Today on the Creedence Fire, crews will continue chipping woody debris, constructing water bars, covering of hand and dozer line, backhauling of equipment that is no longer needed and assessment of additional repair needs. Resource advisors have approved the repair work completed on the Burnt Peak Fire. Crews will patrol both incidents to ensure fire remains within containment lines. The Knox Fire is being monitored by air and has shown minimal fire activity.

Closures:
The Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest has a closure area in place https://www.fs.usda.gov/alerts/rogue-siskiyou/alerts-notices. The Bureau of Land Management has closed the Grayback Mountain Trailhead. For Klamath National Forest closures see https://www.fs.usda.gov/alerts/klamath/alerts-notices. Forest officials are discussing a reduced closure area.

Miller Complex Information Websites:
Miller Complex Abney Fire, south of the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) - https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5511/
For all wildfires on the Rogue River-Siskiyou NF, Joint Information Center Blog - http://swojic.blogspot.com/






9-24-17 High Cascades Complex West Fire Daily Update


Today is a day of transition. Northwest Team 6, which moved into the camp at Stewart State Park two weeks ago, will be working with incoming Northwest Team 8 throughout the day to familiarize them with the local terrain and fire conditions and to introduce them to the tasks that have been accomplished and those remaining to be completed.

On the east side of the Pup Fire, engine crews are extinguishing any remnant heat from the most recent burnout operation along the road which serves as the fire break. Despite drier conditions, there has been no noticeable increase in fire activity on any part of the Pup or Broken Lookout Fires.
Heavy equipment continues to clear the road approaching the Rocky Ridge Shelter at the north end of the Pup Fire. The shelter remains wrapped and well protected as the road work creates a greater barrier to fire expansion. Further down the road, crews are working to cut and chip vegetation that has encroached on the roadway.

Chipping and “storage” of woody debris until arrival of a more efficient chipper – a “tub grinder” – are underway along the eastern edge of the Broken Lookout Fire.

In the Huckleberry Gap area, along the 700 and 800 roads, hand crews continue to prune away ladder fuels and remove brush and snags in order to establish a future anchor point for burning out or holding against oncoming flames.

As NW Incident Management Team #6 transitions to NW Team #8, it’s interesting to consider the important people and entities that make the fire effort possible. During the last two weeks, Four Stars Catering from Santa Fe Springs, CA has fed approximately 700 firefighters every day with a catering staff of 23 persons, mostly from southern California. Some of the staff get up as early as 2 AM to start making breakfast before crews head out to the line. The catering company also supports the film industry, and has worked on the film sets of Grease, the Mission Impossible movies, and many others.

As the drying and warming trend continues, temperatures today are expected to reach the low 70s, and winds will be light from the north-northeast. Relative humidity will drop slightly to the low 40s.

Closures: Many road, trail, and area closures are in place for the Rogue Umpqua Divide Wilderness and surrounding lands on both the Umpqua and Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forests. Also, with changing weather, various restrictions have been removed or relaxed. Forest visitors should familiarize themselves with these changes before venturing into the area. For information about closures and restrictions visithttps://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/closures/5503/ or your local Forest office.










9-24-17 High Cascades Complex East Fire Daily Update




Summary: Suppression repair for the High Cascades Complex East Zone picked up substantially with the warmer and drier weather. Firefighters removed over 20,000 feet of hose within the Blanket Creek and North Pelican Fires. Removal of additional water pumps and hoses will continue over the next few days.

On September 22, the East Zone flew an infrared mapping of the complex, which showed very few pockets of heat. The majority of heat signatures were scattered well within the interior of the three fires. Current weather forecast and an analysis completed by the incident’s fire behavior analyst does not suggest any significant fire spread in the East Zone in the coming week.

The management team continues to assess the situation and employ the right tools to complete needed suppression repair work. Equipment and crews best suited for the job will continue to work on repair. Handcrews will be used to repair handline and clean blocked culverts impacted by the fires, mitigating future erosion and water issues.

Improved weather conditions allowed for increased air operations. Helicopters logged a combined 5.4 hours of flight time and ferried 58 passengers and 4,200 pounds of cargo, largely to the Spruce Lake Fire.

A community briefing in Rocky Point was attended by 20 people and focused largely on area closures and firewood availability as a result of the suppression operation.

Similar repair work reported yesterday will continue on the North Pelican, Blanket Creek and Spruce Lake Fires. Acreage and containment remains unchanged. North Pelican (3,589 acres, 73% contained), Blanket Creek (33,322 acres, 23% contained) and Spruce Lake (15,826 acres and 22% contained).

Closures: Although modified, some area and road closures remain in place. South of the Middle Fork of the Rogue River and the South Fork 3703 trail closures have been lifted. Current closure information is available online at: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5503. West Rim Drive in Crater Lake National Park remained closed for plowing and inspection after last week’s snowy weather.

The Rim Visitor Center will close for the season today. The Mazama Cabins, Campground and Annie Creek Restaurant and Gift Shop will close at noon on Monday Sept. 25. Motorists and visitors to the area need to be aware of delays on Highway 230 between Union Creek and the junction with Highway 138 due to road construction.







09-24-17 Chetco Bar Fire Update


Pacific Northwest Team 2, Type I Incident Management Team, assumed command of the Chetco Bar and Indigo Fires at 4 p.m. yesterday.

Today Firefighters continue to secure line, mop up, implement suppression repair, backhaul equipment and chip downed woody debris. Isolated smokes persist within the fire perimeter in the Meadow Creek, East Fork Pistol River, Emily Creek, and Illinois River drainages. These hot spots are expected to creep and smolder without expanding significantly.

Repairing fire suppression lines is an emphasis at this stage. Stabilization measures taken by crews post-suppression help prevent soil erosion, aid vegetation recovery, minimize damage to prime fish habitat, and conserve water quality. Techniques include installing water bars and using heavy equipment to backfill soil from trenches and dozer lines. As natural slope contour is reestablished, crews disperse tree limbs, slash, and stones across the site, resulting in increased stability and a more naturalized effect.

Safety Hazard trees present a high risk to firefighters working within the fire perimeter and are a consideration when forest managers determine the necessity of forest closures. Drivers are encouraged to anticipate fire traffic on area roadways.

Closures Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest and Bureau of Land Management Coos Bay District road and area closures remain in effect for all public lands adjacent to the Chetco Bar Fire area. These areas are closed to all uses. For further information call (541) 618-2200 or use the link under Online Resources. No evacuation orders are in effect for Curry or Josephine Counties.

Weather and Fire Behavior A warming and drying trend is expected through mid-week. Temperatures are expected to peak, while humidity readings minimize, around Thursday. Warming temperatures and lowering relative humidity will likely increase the amount of stump holes, snags and heavy fuels producing smoke. The continued warm weather will support suppression repair and recovery operations.

Temporary Flight Restrictions (TFR) are in effect over the Chetco Bar Fire area. Pilots are advised to seek more information, using the link under Online Resources.







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