Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest
U.S. Forest Service
3040 Biddle Rd.
Medford, OR 97504
Chetco East Zone Fire Update. Monday, September 11, 2017 9:00 a.m.
This morning, Oregon National Guard members honored the 16th anniversary of September 11, 2001 at the Lake Selmac fire camp. The members raised the American flag to full staff and solemnly lowered it back to half-staff. The 162nd Infantry Regiment is based in Springfield, Oregon and was mobilized to assist with the Chetco Bar fire by Oregon Governor Kate Brown.
Yesterday’s community information meeting in Cave Junction was attended by 170 people. Representatives from the Chetco East Zone Fire management team, Illinois Valley Fire Chief Dennis Hoke, and County Commissioner Lily Morgan presented information on fire activity status, future fire management strategies, and addressed questions from the community.
Sunday’s Chetco East Zone Fire activity was mostly smoldering, creeping, and backing. There was only 60 acres of growth over the whole fire. Aerial observers report the most activity and smoke on the northern parts of the fire and minimal fire activity on the eastern flank, with very little open flame. Overnight relative humidity did not drop as low as expected, keeping morning fire activity minimal.
Fire crews continue to make progress tying together long sections of old Biscuit Fire dozer-built containment lines between the fire and Highway 199, totaling approximately 50 miles of completed fire line. Hand line work has progressed in steep rocky terrain between Josephine Creek and Parker Creek. Fire line has been extended in the Silver Creek area on the northeast side of the fire. Work using masticating equipment to clear vegetation along Illinois River Road is nearly complete. Structure protection work, like brush removal and improving road access, has been completed around the communication sites at Eight Dollar Mountain.
Today, temperatures are expected to reach a high point for the week at around 90-95 degrees with minimum relative humidity in the teens. Winds are forecast at 5-10 mph and will be out of the northeast. These conditions along with drying fuels will likely influence more active fire behavior than yesterday, with the possibility of short uphill runs if fuel conditions allow. Tomorrow is expected to be cooler than today.
Hand crews will continue work today closing small gaps in the fire lines on the eastern flank around Parker Creek headwaters, Tennessee Mountain, and Josephine Creek. Masticator equipment will remove roadside vegetation in the Rough and Ready Flat area and to the south. Dozers continue pushing to the north, reopening fire lines from the 2002 Biscuit Fire. Initial attack crews will respond to new starts and spot fires.
Smoke: An air quality alert is in effect for Curry and Josephine counties until noon Monday. For current air quality information and forecasts go to http://oregonsmoke.blogspot.com.
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. By typing their address into the search bar on the upper right, they can see where their home is located in relation to the current Evacuation warnings.
Fire at a Glance:
Size: 184,267 acres
Started: July 12, 2017 by Lightning
Helicopters shared across the Chetco Bar Fire: two Type 3; two Type 2; two Type 1; three National Guard Type 1.
Ground resources on the Chetco East Zone: 11 Type 2 crews; 9 Engines; 7 Fallers; 6 Dozers; 1 Water Tender; 3 Masticators; 2 Chippers; 1 Skidder; 1 Grader