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Chetco Bar Fire

Unit Information

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

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Chetco East Zone Daily Update, Josephine County, September 17, 2017

Chetco Bar Fire Wildfire
News – 9/17/2017

The Indigo Fire (784 Fire) was active again yesterday, expanding mostly to the west, reaching 578 acres. This fire is located midslope along the west side of the West Fork of Indigo Creek and has not crossed east into Josephine County. Fire crews are building containment lines by widening and removing brush along existing forest roads on both its east and west sides. Although there is a significant amount of heat and burning potential present, the Indigo Fire’s activity is expected to diminish due to cooler, wetter weather starting today.

The Chetco Bar Fire is currently 189,562 acres (same official size as yesterday) and has reached 43% containment. The most significant portion of its East Zone activity was within the horseshoe bend of the Illinois River at the north end of the fire. Here, the fire has been creeping northeast, smoldering and occasionally torching trees. Fire containment line is now completed from the California border to the Bear Camp area. Threat from the fire to homes and communities along Hwy 199 is minimal at this time. Fire containment lines are being extended northwest of the fire from Bear Camp to Fish Hook Peak.

The southern edge of the fire is quite cold, hasn’t spread for several days, and is expected to stay quiet. Therefore, instead of proceeding to build and reopen additional containment lines south of the fire, fewer firefighters will locate and flag a potential containment line route. They will identify action points that would trigger crews to re-initiate fireline construction if the fire becomes active in the future.

Weather: It will be slightly cooler and more humid today compared to yesterday, with a chance of rain by evening. An inch of rain is forecast to fall by Thursday, which is less rain than areas further north will receive, but will have a positive effect to suppress fire activity. High temperatures will be about 66 degrees on the ridges and 70 degrees in the valleys. Minimum relative humidity (RH) will be approximately 40%. Afternoon winds will be light, 4 to 8 miles per hour.

Smoke: Because the winds will be so light, it’s likely that significant amounts of smoke will collect and linger in the valleys. Even though the local fires do not continue to spread, there is still significant smoldering and consumption occurring in interior areas. Smoke is also coming in from other nearby fires. The Illinois River Valley will have air quality that’s unhealthy for sensitive groups today. For current air quality information and forecasts go to http://oregonsmoke.blogspot.com.

Closures and Restrictions: A broad area of the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest is closed around the Chetco Bar Fire. Private land along the Illinois River Road within the National Forest is at a Level 2 “Get Set” Evacuation status; only residents and fire personnel can enter this area. There are currently no closures around the Indigo Fire. More details and maps are at https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/closures/5385/

Fire at a Glance:

Size: 189,562 acres

Started: July 12, 2017 by Lightning

Containment: 43%

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; 3 Dozers; 2 Water Tenders; 5 Masticators; 2 Chippers; 1 Skidder; 1 Grader; 1 Excavator.

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