Tuesday, September 12, 2017

09-12-17 Chetco Bar Update Curry and Josephine Counties

09-13-17 Chetco Bar (East) Update Josephine County

The Chetco East Zone Fire management team has activated a new public fire information line (541-597-8525) dedicated to sharing information about activities on the Josephine County side of the fire.
On Monday, the most significant fire activity on the Chetco Bar Fire was on the southern perimeter. Retardant drops slowed the fire’s spread.
In the Chetco East Zone Fire area, a new fire was reported near West Fork Indigo Creek, approximately 10 miles north of the main fire. Fire 784, the “Indigo Fire,” is currently 100 acres and is burning in brush and light timber within the Biscuit Fire burn scar. Smoke jumpers, rappellers, and retardant were unable to be used due to steep terrain. Helicopters made water drops on this fire for approximately 4 hours until dark.
Smoke: There was a significant increase in smoke settling in the Illinois River Valley on Monday afternoon. Observers noted that the majority of this smoke was being blown in from other fires to the east of the Valley and not produced by the Chetco Bar Fire. For current air quality information and forecasts go to http://oregonsmoke.blogspot.com.
Monday, fire crews scouted locations for fireline construction on the ridge near Buckskin Peak and continued linking and extending dozer line sections as a containment line east of the fire.
Today’s high temperatures will be down 4-8 degrees with a high of 88 degrees on ridges. The valleys will be hotter. Relative humidity (RH) will increase 6-8%, but dryness last night means today’s burning period will be longer. Minimum RH is forecast at 24%. Winds are forecast out of the north-northeast at 6-12 mph. These conditions could generate 4-foot flame lengths with possible spotting to ¼ mile. Thunderstorms are forecast east and south of the Chetco Bar Fire area. Initial attack crews will be available to respond to new starts and spot fires.
Today, 4 hand crews and 2 dozers will open roads adjacent to the Indigo Fire and identify containment lines to surround it. On the rocky ridge between Parker and Josephine Creeks, handline construction will continue to tie together dozer lines. A spike camp is being set up for firefighters to stay in this area. A spike camp allows firefighters to get adequate rest, meals, and supplies without having to travel long distances to the main fire camp. Handline work will also continue around Tennessee Mountain. Dozers continue to push fireline construction farther north into the Chrome Ridge and Silver Creek areas.
Closures and Restrictions: Many areas and activities are closed or restricted due to current and expected fire activity and hazard. More details are available on https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/closures/5385/ People can view maps of the current Evacuation Notification areas at http://arcg.is/1LmzPe.
Fire at a Glance:
Size: 184,292 acres
Started: July 12, 2017 by Lightning
Containment: 8%
Assigned Resources:
Ground resources on the Chetco East Zone: 12 Type 2 crews; 8 Engines; 6 Fallers; 6 Dozers; 1 Water Tender; 3 Masticators; 2 Chippers; 1 Skidder

Helicopters shared across the Chetco Bar Fire: two Type 3; two Type 2; two Type 1; three National Guard Type 1.

09-10-17 (West) Curry Chetco Bar Fire Update

There will be a community fire briefing in Agness on Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2017. The meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m. in the Agness Community Building, 3927 Cougar Ln, Agness, OR 97406. Providing for public and firefighter safety is the top priority for Great Basin Incident Management Team 1. Yesterday brought moderate fire growth and activity as a result of high temperatures, low humidities, and gusty winds. The warm and dry trend affecting the fire area is expected to decline tomorrow, with cooler temperatures in the forecast. Today will be a good day for aviation operations, as the marine layer will be absent and inversion should lift by mid-morning. Firefighters on all sides of the fire have been actively engaged, prioritizing safety and operational effectiveness. Fire activity has been characterized by smoldering, backing, and creeping. Active ground fire was reported in scattered areas from the Pistol River to east of the Winchuck River. Contingency lines will continue to be constructed, while fire activity on the south and west sides will be targeted using helicopters and retardant drops. Fire crews will continue to take advantage of favorable weather in order to contain and hold fireline closest to areas with the highest values at risk. Smoke has again drained down valley into communities on the north and west sides of the Chetco Bar Fire overnight and heavy smoke impacts are being seen locally this morning. Light northeast winds today will continue to drift moderate smoke into coastal areas such as Brookings and Gold Beach by this afternoon before heavy smoke sinks back in overnight tonight. Inland communities, such as Cave Junction, Medford will continue to see moderate to heavy smoke through the day.
Level 3 evacuation orders for areas outside the fire perimeter were reduced to Level 2 as of Friday at 11 am. Residents are urged to remain prepared to evacuate should the need arise. Weather: Tuesday is the final day of the warm and dry trend, and will bring temperatures in the low to mid-eighties for the west side of the fire. The marine layer will be absent this morning but should return as humidities rise and temperatures decline throughout the week. The fire area will experience moderate to good nighttime humidity recovery, and relative humidities will be in the 25-30% range today, and 60% at night. Wednesday will bring temperatures in the high 70’s, with 35% humidities that will rise to 75% at night. A sustained NE wind of 5-6 mph is expected Tuesday with gusts up to 12 mph. Wind speed will decrease Wednesday, shifting to NNE at a sustained 5 mph, gusting to 10 mph.
Closures and Evacuations: Level 1 and Level 2 evacuation orders remain for portions of Brookings-Harbor and the Upper Winchuck areas. Level 3 evacuations remain for areas within the fire perimeter. For further information on local forest area closures, see closure order: https://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/fseprd558041.pdf Temporary Flight Restrictions (TFR): There is a TFR over the Chetco Bar Fire. http://tfr.faa.gov/ 

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