Fires Into Fall | Oct 1 2017

POST SUMMARY | Wow, cannot believe that crazy summer blazing with wildfires and now, here we are going into Fall with fires still burning.  We start the first day of October, 2017, with less than a dozen or so still with crews fighting fire (in WA) and working to clean up fire scenes (in OR).

CHETCO BAR FIRE

The Chetco Bar Fire started on July 12, 2017, E/NE of Brookinigs (OR) in the Rogue River – Siskiyou NF in the Kalmiopsis Wilderness.  Its cause was due to lightning.  There has been over 191,090 acres scorched and reached a 97% containment status. There were 30 structures destroyed and 9 damaged. 

Chinook Helicopters from the Oregon National Guard, supporting fire fighting efforts on the Chetco Bar Fire, September, 2017

OR National Guard Chinook Helicopters assisting with fire suppression efforts on the Chetco Bar Fire. (Photo Courtesy: Chetco Bar Fire)

Currently, there are 402 personnel along with five crews, two helicopters and 10 engines.   Crews will continue to chip, drag brush and install waterbars to prevent erosion.  They will also patrol and put any hotspots located.  Areas to the north and northwest of the fire have been reopened.   A Burned Area Emergency Response or BAER team is on-scene assisting with post-fire impacts which consists of scientists and resource specialists.  They are evaluating watershed conditions of potential risk to human life, safety, property and natural/cultural-heritage resources.

EAGLE CREEK FIRE

The Eagle Creek Fire is located one mile south of Cascade Locks, OR.   The fire’s cause is due to human intervention but Officials have not released the exact ignition.  There has been 48,831 acres burned but crews have reached a 46% containment status. Four residential structures were destroyed.  Limited fire activity was observed during a recon flight on Saturday.  Resources of 229 personnel, four crews, one helicopter and four engines remain assigned to this incident. 

BAER Team

Botanists checking soil samples in an unburned area. (Photo Courtesy: Inciweb)

Additionally, there is a Burned Area Emergency Response team on-site that is currently looking at soil and rock types, acreage and how steep the slopes are inside the watershed.  They are also in the midst of creating a Soil Burn Severity or SBS map.  They will also test information by running the model of the SBS map to determine effects on creeks and hill slopes after the fire.

HIGH CASCADES COMPLEX

The High Cascades Complex started on August 12, 2017, from lightning.  The fire is located nine miles northeast of Prospect, Oregon.  There has been 80,197 acres burned and has reached a 34% containment status.  One structure has been destroyed and with seven others that are still being threatened.   The West Zone is reporting there are still interior smokes visible and the only way they will be put out is naturally by rain or snow.  

Hershberger Creek

Hershberger Creek. (Photo Credit: Josef Porter via Inciweb)

Pup Fire:  The Pup Fire  is reporting 8,279 acres with a 42% containment status.  It is located northwest and southeast of Hershberger Lookout partially in the Rogue – Umpqua Divide Wilderness. 

Broken Lookout Fire:  19,181 acres. 27% contained. Located directly west of Union Creek on the southern end of the Rogue – Umpqua Divide Wildersness where it is burning on both sides of the wilderness. Fire behavior consists of minimum fire behavior with creeping and smoldering in heavy fire fuels. Several smokes have been spotted and are being mopped up.

Crews repairing dozer line

Repairing dozer lines. (Photo Courtesy: Inciweb)

Total resources include 290 personnel along with five Type 2 crews, four camp crews, six engines, three masticators, one medium helicopter, one bulldozer, two water tenders and 115 overhead personnel.  Fire Management is being commanded by a NW IMT Team 8, which is located at the Joseph Stewart State Park facility near Lost Creek Reservoir.

JONES FIRE

The Jones Fire located 10 mile northeast of Lowell, Oregon and on the Willamette National Forest was started by lightning on August 10, 2017.  There has been 10,114 acres of large downed trees and standing snags burned but crews have reached an 89% containment status. 

Chipping operations along roads used as primary containment lines.

Chipping operations. (Photo Credit: Gabe Dumm via Inciweb)

Resources still assigned are 182 personnel along with four crews, one helicopter and five engines.  Crews will continue with repairing suppression lines, moving felled logs, mopping up hot spots, backhauling equipment and chipping.  Rain is expected to fall over the area causing the fire behavior to be reduced to isolated smoldering and creeping.

WHITEHALL FIRE (AKA WHITEHALL ROAD FIRE)

The Whitehall Fire started on Saturday, September 30, 2017, around 1130 hours PDT, from an unknown cause.  It is located approximately eight miles (some reporting 12 and 15 miles) southwest of Coulee City, Washington. It’s cause is under investigation.   WSP PIO Trooper J Sevigney released a presser this morning after taking over from the Grant County Sheriff’s Office last night.     Fire was said to be threatening homes, crops and electrical infrastructure.  State Mobe was approved and the SE WA Type 3 IMT took command of the incident around 2200 hours on Saturday night.  There are no evacuations in effect.  No homes damaged/destroyed or any injuries have been reported. 

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Photo Credit: Grant County Fire District 13

The fast-moving fire with wind-driven runs has scorched 3,500 acres but crews have reached a 50% containment status.  Fire fuels include sage, grass and range lands. There are 160 personnel on-site along with an unknown number of engines, water tenders, dozers and hand crews.  Local firefighters worked throughout the night on containment and structure protection.

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Photo Credit: Grant County Fire District 13

Incident Cooperators include Douglas County Fire Districts 3, 4, 8 and 13, BLM, WA State Patrol Fire Marshal’s Office, East Pierce Fire’s Brush Truck 116.  Other unknown State Mobe resources are also on-scene but information was not released at the time of the presser.

(c) 2017 NW Fire Blog