Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest
U.S. Forest Service
3040 Biddle Rd.
Medford, OR 97504
Chetco East Zone Fire Update. Wednesday, September 13, 2017 9:00 a.m.
On Tuesday, the most significant fire activity on the Chetco Bar Fire was on the southwestern perimeter. Retardant and water drops were used to slow the fire’s spread in this area.
In the Chetco East Zone Fire area, the 784 Fire (Indigo Fire), on the West Fork of Indigo Creek, is approximately 134 acres. This fire is located about one mile west of the Josephine/Curry county line, approximately 10 miles north of the Chetco Bar Fire. As the fire burns in very steep terrain, two dozers and four crews are working to prepare the 055 and 510 road systems for access and fire containment lines to prevent spread eastward. The Chetco Bar East Zone is coordinating response to the 784 Fire/Indigo Fire with the Chetco Bar West Zone to prevent fire spread to the west.
Single tree torching was observed on the north side of the Chetco East Zone Fire near the horseshoe of the Illinois River. There was very little fire activity on the eastern perimeter on Tuesday.
Smoke: Air quality is much improved. There was moderate smoke settling in the Illinois River Valley on Tuesday afternoon, which should continue for Cave Junction and Grants Pass today. Unusually sensitive individuals should consider limiting prolonged or heavy exertion. For current air quality information and forecasts go to http://oregonsmoke.blogspot.com.
Tuesday, fire crews began fireline construction in steep, rocky areas along the ridge west of the headwaters of Parker Creek. To access the remote area, two crews established a short-term spike camp to reduce the amount of travel time from fire camp at Lake Selmac. The establishment of the spike camp will increase the amount of line constructed during daylight hours. Food and supplies were inserted by helicopter to establish spike camp. East of the fire, dozers are completing one full pass of fireline construction to the north to a point just short of Bear Camp on Forest Service Road 23.
Today, fire crews plan to scout fireline locations on the ridge near Buckskin Peak. Hand crews continue brushing out old Biscuit fireline from Tennessee Pass north around the west side of Tennessee Mountain. Heavy equipment continues reopening firelines to the north and hand crews follow removing snags and brush. Protection of the Illinois River Road using a masticator is nearly complete. Available hand crews are following the dozers to strengthen the lines by removing brush and downed fuel.
Today’s high temperatures will be down 3-5 degrees with a high of 84 degrees on ridges. Relative humidity (RH) will increase, with the minimum RH forecast at 27%. Winds are forecast out of the northeast at 4-8 mph, with little instability in the atmosphere. Fire activity will include smoldering and creeping with little chance of torching or spot fires. Initial attack crews will be available to respond to any new starts.
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: 185,920 acres
Started: July 12, 2017 by Lightning
Helicopters shared across the Chetco Bar Fire: three Type 3; two Type 2; one Type 1; three National Guard Type 1.
Ground resources on the Chetco East Zone: 14 Type 2 crews; 8 Engines; 5 Fallers; 6 Dozers; 4 Water Tenders; 4 Masticators; 2 Chippers; 1 Skidder, 1 Grader.