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Klondike Fire

Unit Information

Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest
U.S. Forest Service
3040 Biddle Rd.
Medford, OR 97504

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Incident Contact

Klondike Fire Information
Email: 2018_orrsf_klondikefire@firenet.gov
Phone: 541-474-5305
Hours: 7:00 to 8:00

Highlighted Activity

08/17/2018 Taylor Creek and Klondike Fires Daily Update - August 17
Critical fire weather to test Taylor Creek and Klondike firelines. A wind event is forecast to begin today bringing winds from the northeast and is expected continue through the weekend. Gusts up to..
News - 08/17/2018
This is the public information map for the Taylor Creek and Klondike Fires for August 17.Image options: [ Full Size ]

For August 17

The Taylor Creek and Klondike Fires are burning in the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest. Both fires were started by lightning on July 15.

The two fires are currently being managed by the Alaska Type 1 Interagency Incident Management Team. The Taylor Creek Fire is estimated 524222 acres and is 52 percent contained. The Klondike Fire is estimated at 62,731 acres and is 15 percent contained. There are 757 personnel working on the Taylor Creek Fire and 799 personnel assigned to the Klondike Fire.

Extremely dry fuels and hot, dry weather have fueled the continued growth of both fires, which were started by lightning on July 15. Steep, rugged, inaccessible terrain combined with limited resources due to intense wildfire activity across the western United States has made suppression efforts a challenge. In addition, smoky conditions have limited the use of aircraft to suppress and monitor both fires.

Both fires have spread into and are actively burning in the scar of the massive 2002 Biscuit Fire, which has contributed to the western spread of the fires. The western edge of the Klondike Fire has now spread into the Kalmiopsis Wilderness and is bumping up against the burn scar from the 2017 Chetco Bar Fire, which fire managers are using as a natural containment line.

Due to the Klondike Fire currently moving slowly to the south and increased firefighting activities, including burnout operations, residents may be seeing an increase in smoke and fire behavior. Also, due to predicted changes in the weather, the Josephine Country Sheriff's Office is placing all residences on the west side of US Hwy 199 between Eight Dollar Mountain Road and the Oregon/California border on a LEVEL 1 "BE READY" evacuation notice. This includes West 6th Street, Finch Road, Waldamar Road, Westside Road, W River Street, W Lister Street, W Watkins Street, Illinois River State Park, Burch Drive, Airport Drive, Lone Mountain Road, Arrowhead Drive, Dwight Creek Road and all secondnary roads off of these main roads. A Level 1 evacuation means “BE READY,” remain vigilant and stay informed on current events. You can find current evacuation information at http://bit.ly/joco-evac

Planned burnout operations will take place along established containment lines that parallel US Hwy 199. The planned burnout operations, if needed, will move AWAY from the Illinois Valley creating a wide buffer/containment zone. As these planned burnout operations occur, they may be visible to residents of Kerby, Cave Junction and O'Brien. These operations may occur during the day or night and can vary in intensity, but are closely monitored by firefighters on the ground.

Critical fire weather to test Taylor Creek and Klondike firelines. A wind event is forecast to begin today bringing winds from the northeast and is expected continue through the weekend. Gusts up to 20mph in aligned valleys are forecasted for this afternoon. In the southeast part of the Klondike fire, winds will push fire away from people and homes east of Route 199 and toward Babyfoot Road. Firefighters are in place to protect and hold the fireline and continue to protect structures in the area. Fire will become more active with increased flame lengths, rates of spread and potential for spotting. Smoke from the Klondike fire will be blown to the southwest, but winds may bring smoke from other fires in the state to the Grants Pass and Selma areas.

Crews hold southeastern Klondike Fire amid increased fire activity. The fire was active along the Illinois River Rd where crews continue to defend homes. Rosenblatt House, McCaleb Ranch, Chittim House and all other structures remain secure. Along Babyfoot Rd crews continue to defend and advance the fireline. Drone firing operations will be used to slow the fires progress.

Crews continue to make progress on the Taylor Creek Fire.

Crews continue to patrol and mop up on the north and east perimeters. Suppression repair activities are ongoing along these firelines. Fire growth was minimal along the western perimeter of both fires.

Level 1 evacuation extended south to California. Residents west of Hwy 199 and south of 8 Dollar Mountain have been placed under a Level 1 evacuation. This means “BE READY” for potential evacuation and stay informed on current events. You can find current evacuation information at http://bit.ly/joco-evac.

Bear Camp and Peavine Roads remain closed. The risk of trees and other debris falling on these roads remains high as firefighters continue mop up and suppression repair efforts.

Interactive map of current evacuation levels is available at http://bit.ly/joco-evac. Get emergency alerts at www.rvem.org.

Smoke Outlook

For the current smoke outlook for southwest Oregon and the Taylor Creek and Klondike fires, click here.

Road Closures

Bear Camp Road

Peavine Road

Forest Closures

The U.S. Forest Service has updated its closure in the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest. Click here to read the new closure document and view the map.

Evacuation Advisories

There are several evacuation advisories in effect for Josephine County. Click here to view the evacuation map.

Basic Information

Current as of
Incident TypeWildfire
CauseLightning/natural
Date of OriginSunday July 15th, 2018 approx. 10:45 PM
Location9 miles northwest of Selma, OR
Incident CommanderAlaska IMT (T. Kurth)
Coordinates42.369 latitude, -123.86 longitude

Current Situation

Total Personnel799
Size62,731 Acres
Percent of Perimeter Contained15%
Estimated Containment DateWednesday October 31st, 2018 approx. 12:00 AM
Fuels Involved

Critically dry fuels, both live and dead, are present across the fire area. Timber with litter and grass understory along with two-foot high brush.

Significant Events

The persistent inversion is keeping fire spread mainly slope and fuels-driven. When the inversion lifts during the later afternoon, the fire responds quickly and activity increases significantly. Fire continues to actively spread south of Eight Dollar Mountain and also along with western flank of the fire toward the Illinois River in Silver Creek.

Major actions happened on two critical fronts: one on the south, and one on the northwest areas of the fire. Firing operations continued on the south to mitigate fire spread toward Forest Service Rd. 42 and US Hwy. 199. Successful firing operations were initiated and completed around private inholdings. Able to initiate ground observations on a critical northwest piece of the Klondike fire perimeter. Repositioned the gel plant farther south to be closer to values at risk. A surge request of crews is currently working in this critical area.

Outlook

Planned Actions

Primary containment line will continue to be scouted, constructed and prepared for burnout. Firing operations will occur overnight to stay ahead of the fire progressing to the south. This burnout will be secured and patrolled to minimize spread toward values in the Selma and Cave Junction area. Structure assessment will continue. Probability of success has improved with assistance from surge resources and being able to allocate more resources to the effort. The northwest spike camp will be broken down following Friday's shift. Falling teams will continue to work toward reopening of Forest Service road 25 and mitigating health and safety concerns along that route.

Resources will continue to build and improve indirect containment lines west of the fire to protect values on coastal side of range. Unsecured fire edge will be scouted for additional areas to check fire spread. ground efforts will be assisted by aviation assets only when visibility allows to delay fire from advancing to the west.

Structure group and night shifts will continue to support day operational efforts by carrying out tactics that are initiated. UAS unmanned drones will provide aerial reconnaissance for all divisions as requested. There is a heavy demand for the UAS group on the incident and they will continue operations to assist ground firefighting requests throughout the shift.

Projected Incident Activity

12 hours:

Continued movement south when the inversion lifts and general winds mix down to the surface. Forecast gusty northeast winds will continue to push the fire south, especially in aligned drainages.

24 hours:

Critical fire weather returns with gusty northeast winds. Gusty winds are expected to ventilate the fire and support active fire behavior. Active fire spread is expected with winds surface and align with fuels and slope.

48 hours:

Critical fire weather continues with gusty northeast winds. Gusty winds are expected to ventilate the fire and one again support active fire behavior. Active fire spread is expected when winds surface and align with fuels and slope.

72 hours:

High pressure is forecast to return and smoky conditions will moderate fire behavior to slope and fuels-driven movement.

Anticipated after 72 hours:

Ridging persists along with hot and dry conditions.

Remarks

In-brief of California IMT4 (J. Kurth) occurred today in preparation for transfer of command of the west side of the fire on Saturday. Distributed real time infrared (DRTI) is providing nighttime overhead infrared intelligence for critical areas of the fire.

Current Weather

Weather Concerns

Light northwest winds once again developed on the ridges today with RHs generally in 20s to 40s. Beginning very early Friday morning, ridgetop winds will shift to the northeast with occasional gust to 15 mph. With this increase in northeast winds worsening overnight RH recoveries are expected. Through the afternoon on Friday, north to northeast winds will continue with gusts increasing to 20 to 25 mph, locally higher in northeast to southwest-aligned drainages. That will lead to very dry conditions. Similar conditions will be expected Saturday with RHs in the teens This will result in critical fire weathers. Saturday night through Sunday morning, another round of gusty northeast winds is expected. This pattern will continue through at least Sunday morning, before a light northwest flow resumes across the fire with improving overnight RH recoveries.