Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest
U.S. Forest Service
3040 Biddle Rd.
Medford, OR 97504
Chetco East Zone Fire Update.
Saturday, September 16, 2017 - 9:00 a.m.
Evacuation levels have been reduced in Josephine County effective 6 p.m. Friday, September 15, 2017. The Level 3 “GO!” evacuation notice issued for all residents on Illinois River Road within the US Forest Service boundary, including the Oak Flat Community, has been reduced to Level 2. A Level 2 evacuation notice means “BE SET” to evacuate. You must be prepared to leave at a moment’s notice. Only residents with proper identification may travel in and out of this area and only at night, between the hours of 6 p.m. and 6 a.m. The Level 1 “BE READY” evacuation notice for the residents of the Illinois Valley, west of Highway 199 from Hayes Hill to the California state line has been removed. Residents should always be prepared for changing fire conditions. People can view maps of the current evacuation notification area at http://arcg.is/1LmzPe.
The Indigo Fire (784 Fire) was active again yesterday, expanding by 161 acres to 521 acres, mostly to the west. Short uphill runs and group tree torching were observed. It has not crossed the West Fork of Indigo Creek into Josephine County. Its smoke column was seen from several miles away. Crews have finished removing brush to improve the 055 road as a containment line and continued similar work on the 510 road.
The Chetco Bar Fire is currently 189,562 acres and 40% contained. The most activity in the East Zone of the Chetco Bar Fire was in the horseshoe bend of the Illinois River at the north end of the fire. The fire continues to creep northeast, making short uphill runs and occasionally torching trees. Fire containment line is now completed from the California border to the Bear Camp area except for some brushing, chipping, and masticating work in the Chrome Ridge area.
Today, East Zone fire crews will continue to reopen the Biscuit firelines between Bear Camp and the Fish Hook Trailhead area in Curry County. Fire crews will continue brushing, chipping and masticating between Chrome Ridge and Bear Camp. Dozer lines are being constructed in the south end of the fire area in California, tying into dozer line work done in the West Zone.
Weather and Expected Fire Activity: It will be slightly cooler and more humid compared to yesterday. High temperatures will be about 75 degrees on the ridges and 4 to 5 degrees warmer in the valleys. Relative humidity (RH) will be around 25%. Winds in the morning will be light, getting slightly stronger in the afternoon from the north/northeast at 4 to 8 miles per hour. On Sunday evening, a cold front will move in, forecast to bring 1/2 to 1 inch of rain in the fire area over three days. Potential fire activity today is moderate, with uphill runs, group tree torching, and possible spot fires up to ¼ mile from the fire.
Smoke: The majority of the smoke in the Illinois Valley on Friday actually came from the Umpqua North Complex 60 miles north/northeast of Cave Junction. The valley is forecast to have moderate air quality today. For current air quality information and forecasts go to http://oregonsmoke.blogspot.com.
Closures and Restrictions: The Forest Area Closure around the Chetco Bar Fire is still in effect. There are currently no closures around the Indigo Fire. More details are available on https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/closures/5385/
Fire at a Glance
Size: 189,562 acres
Started: July 12, 2017 by Lightning
Assigned Resources: Helicopters shared across the Chetco Bar Fire: three Type 3; three Type 2; one Type 1; three National Guard Type 1. Ground resources on the Chetco East Zone: 14 Type 2 crews; 6 Engines; 3 Fallers; 1 Feller Buncher; 4 Dozers; 5 Water Tenders; 6 Masticators; 2 Chippers; 1 Skidder, 1 Grader.