Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest
U.S. Forest Service
3040 Biddle Rd.
Medford, OR 97504
Join us for a Community Fire Briefing Sunday, September 3rd at 7 p.m. in Cave Junction at the Illinois Valley High School.
Weather and Fire Behavior: The forecast for critical fire weather remains in place. There is potential for extreme fire behavior due to low humidity and high temperatures with unstable atmospheric conditions. Significant perimeter growth and smoke column development are possible. Embers could carry up to four tenths of a mile ahead of the main fire. There is an Excessive Heat Warning through midday Monday.
Yesterday: While winds were less than predicted, the fire still spread north and northwest in the Hog Mountain and Pistol River area, eastward, further into lands burned during the Biscuit Fire and southeast, in the area north of Bailey Mountain. Multiple smoke columns were visible, some were up to 10,000 feet high.
Humidity levels dropped into the teens and the recorded temperature at one of the remote weather stations was 101 degrees.
Firefighters built handline on steep ground in the southeast corner where fire crossed containment lines Thursday night. They connected dozer lines with road systems to establish containment lines. In the Winchuck area, and along the western perimeter, Oregon State Fire Marshal task forces maintained hoselays and sprinkler systems and performed tactical patrols. Crews have mopped up about 100 feet inside that fire perimeter. Dense smoke limited the use of aircraft.
Today: Tactical patrols on the southwest and western perimeter of the fire continue. Construction of direct and indirect lines northeast toward the Pistol River is ongoing. Crews are mopping up on the west and northwest side of the fire. On the eastern flank, firefighters continue to re-establish and improve the firelines that were constructed during previous fires. To the south, firefighters are looking at opportunities for fireline construction, which may extend into California. Aircraft may be hampered by dense smoke and limited visibility.
Extreme to Hazardous smoke impacts are being seen in local communities surrounding the Chetco Bar Fire. Reduced visibility along highway 101 and other local roadways should be expected. Coastal areas such as Gold Beach and Brookings-Harbor may see slight improvement this afternoon with a light sea breeze. Inland communities such as Agness, Cave Junction, Grants Pass that sit down valley of the fire will remain in heavy smoke.
Oregon State Fire Marshal’s Blue Team is transitioning to the Green Team.
The number of firefighters and equipment committed by Oregon State Fire Marshal remains unchanged. The transition will seamlessly integrate incoming resources into the existing unified command structure.
Evacuations: Evacuations remain in place in Curry County. The Red Cross evacuation shelter is in Gold Beach at the Curry County Fairgrounds showcase building, 29392 Ellensburg Avenue. Tolowa Dee-ni’ Nation is also operating a shelter at the Xaa-wan’-k’wvt Village & Resort (old Ship Ashore) RV Park located at 12370 Highway 101 North in Smith River. Residents are encouraged to monitor the interactive evacuation map for changes: http://arcg.is/2vWQN2N
Closures: There are no closures on Highway 101, and local businesses, restaurants, and lodging establishments in Brookings and Harbor remain open for business. Several large wildfires are burning in southwest Oregon. Area closures have been implemented on the Rogue River – Siskyou National Forest and BLM lands. Fire restrictions are in place: http://bit.ly/2erUN5B.