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Chetco Bar Fire

Unit Information

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

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Chetco Bar Fire Curry County Update September 8, 2017 9a.m.

Chetco Bar Fire Wildfire
News – 9/8/2017

Weather and Fire Behavior: Yesterday’s weather pattern continues into late morning today. Where it occurred, rainfall and high humidity levels greatly reduced fire activity and growth yesterday and overnight. Smoldering and slow burning continued beneath the forest canopy.

Larger vegetation remains dry though, and as temperatures rise and humidity levels drop again over the next 72 hours, fire activity will pick up. Areas where little activity occurred yesterday may hide burning roots that, when winds increase and humidity levels drop, will spread to nearby receptive fine fuels like grasses, leaves and small twigs.

Yesterday: Poor visibility associated with the weather prevented aircraft (including last night’s scheduled infrared flight) from operating. Firefighters on the northwest fire perimeter were successful in getting containment lines around about 75% of the spot fires caused by the winds a few days prior.

With the weather reducing the intensity of the fire, crews working on the western perimeter were able to move in closer to the fire’s edge and build more direct containment lines. On the southwest edge, operations continued to hold and improve firelines while at the same time deploying more hose lines to be used in securing those lines. The north side was able to connect and tie in to lines in Josephine County to the east. Scouting and constructing firelines to the south into California continues. The recent rain and high humidity levels delayed implementing strategic burning operations that would consume fuel between the main fire and containment lines; adding depth and strengthening existing lines.

Today: Moderated weather is allowing for further strengthening of containment lines as well as opportunities to move in closer to the fire perimeter, thereby reducing potential impacts to nearby private lands. Firefighters will continue to remove brush and vegetation along containment and contingency lines, and ensure that hoselays are in place and functioning properly. Ongoing efforts include patrols for spot fires, extinguishing areas of heat within spot fires, fireline construction and, where containment lines have been secured by mop-up, fireline repair work (re-contouring lines to mitigate water runoff).

North of the fire at the confluence of the Illinois and Rogue rivers, structure assessment and preparation continues in the community of Agnes.

Air resources remain poised to respond as conditions change.

Oregon State Fire Marshal resources have completed their assigned tasks but are ready to return to the area should the need arise. As humidity levels begin to drop and temperatures begin to rise, vegetation will dry out over the next 24 to 48 hours. Hazards faced by firefighters in the current conditions include: access to wet areas with steep slopes with dirt roads and trees, weakened by fire, are more susceptible to falling as wet soils loosen their hold on root systems.

Evacuations: Evacuations remain in Curry and Josephine County and will be evaluated daily. Residents are encouraged to monitor the interactive evacuation map for changes: http://arcg.is/2vWQN2N

Shelters: The Tolowa Dee-ni’ Nation is 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.

Closures: Several large wildfires are burning in southwest Oregon. Area closures have been implemented on the Rogue River – Siskiyou National Forest and BLM lands. Fire restrictions are in place: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/closures/5385/

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