Chetco East Zone Fire Update. Tuesday, September 12, 2017 9:00 a.m.
The Chetco East Zone Fire management team has activated a new public fire information line (541-597-8525) dedicated to sharing information about activities on the Josephine County side of the fire.
On Monday, the most significant fire activity on the Chetco Bar Fire was on the southern perimeter. Retardant drops slowed the fire’s spread.
In the Chetco East Zone Fire area, a new fire was reported near West Fork Indigo Creek, approximately 10 miles north of the main fire. Fire 784, the “Indigo Fire,” is currently 100 acres and is burning in brush and light timber within the Biscuit Fire burn scar. Smoke jumpers, rappellers, and retardant were unable to be used due to steep terrain. Helicopters made water drops on this fire for approximately 4 hours until dark.
Smoke: There was a significant increase in smoke settling in the Illinois River Valley on Monday afternoon. Observers noted that the majority of this smoke was being blown in from other fires to the east of the Valley and not produced by the Chetco Bar Fire. For current air quality information and forecasts go to http://oregonsmoke.blogspot.com.
Monday, fire crews scouted locations for fireline construction on the ridge near Buckskin Peak and continued linking and extending dozer line sections as a containment line east of the fire.
Today’s high temperatures will be down 4-8 degrees with a high of 88 degrees on ridges. The valleys will be hotter. Relative humidity (RH) will increase 6-8%, but dryness last night means today’s burning period will be longer. Minimum RH is forecast at 24%. Winds are forecast out of the north-northeast at 6-12 mph. These conditions could generate 4-foot flame lengths with possible spotting to ¼ mile. Thunderstorms are forecast east and south of the Chetco Bar Fire area. Initial attack crews will be available to respond to new starts and spot fires.
Today, 4 hand crews and 2 dozers will open roads adjacent to the Indigo Fire and identify containment lines to surround it. On the rocky ridge between Parker and Josephine Creeks, handline construction will continue to tie together dozer lines. A spike camp is being set up for firefighters to stay in this area. A spike camp allows firefighters to get adequate rest, meals, and supplies without having to travel long distances to the main fire camp. Handline work will also continue around Tennessee Mountain. Dozers continue to push fireline construction farther north into the Chrome Ridge and Silver Creek areas.
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.
Fire at a Glance:
Size: 184,292 acres
Started: July 12, 2017 by Lightning
Ground resources on the Chetco East Zone: 12 Type 2 crews; 8 Engines; 6 Fallers; 6 Dozers; 1 Water Tender; 3 Masticators; 2 Chippers; 1 Skidder
Helicopters shared across the Chetco Bar Fire: two Type 3; two Type 2; two Type 1; three National Guard Type 1.