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Whitewater Fire

Unit Information

Willamette National Forest
U.S. Forest Service
3106 Pierce Parkway
Springfield, OR 97477

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Willamette Fire Update - September 6

Whitewater Fire Wildfire
News – 9/6/2017

Red Flag Warning for Abundant Lightning Today

There is a Red Flag Warning this afternoon through Thursday evening for abundant lightning. Higher humidity and cloud covershould moderate fire activity but the potential for strong outflow winds associated with thunderstorms could increase fire activity.

Approximately 863 personnel are assigned to the fires listed below. Resources include hand crews, helicopters, engines, dozers,water tenders, masticators, feller‐bunchers, and chippers under the management of a Type 1 Incident Management Team.

DETROIT RANGER DISTRICT – see Whitewater Fire on InciWeb for updates on the following firesThe SCORPION FIRE (427 ac) burning in steep, inaccessible terrain is expected to grow slowly towards the northwest. Crews finishedprepping Forest Service Road (FSR) 46 (Breitenbush Road) from Humbug Campground to just past Breitenbush Hot Springs. Todaythey will continue east on FSR 46 chipping and clearing during the day. FSR 46, campgrounds and trailheads along the road are nowclosed beginning at the intersection with Forest Road 4696 and continuing slightly beyond the intersection with Forest Road 6350.

The WHITEWATER FIRE (10,861 ac) and LITTLE DEVIL FIRE (1,261 ac) are about 1/10 of a mile apart and are expected to growtogether. Crews were successful in suppressing spot fires that started Monday night to the northeast of Little Devil. TheWhitewater Fire has moved down into Cheat Creek on the southwest. Firefighters are shoring up the line on the west flank of theWhitewater and prepping an indirect line on the northeast. The FRENCH FIRE (2 ac) remains inactive.

Due to the Scorpion and Little Devil Fires, the Breitenbush Hot Springs Area is in Level 2 (Set) evacuation status. Humbug andBreitenbush Campgrounds, the Fox Creek and Cleator Bend Group Sites, and the Short Mountain and Bald Butte Trailheads areclosed. Sign up for Marion County Emergency Alerts at www.co.marion.or.us or call (503) 588‐5108 for more info.

MCKENZIE RIVER RANGER DISTRICT – see Horse Creek Complex, Nash, Rebel, and Potato Hill on InciWeb for the following firesThe HORSE CREEK COMPLEX (20,710 combined acres) includes the Avenue Fire, located southeast of McKenzie Bridge, and nearbySeparation, Olallie Lookout, and Roney Fires. Highway 242 is closed between McKenzie Bridge and Sisters.

Firefighters are monitoring the OLALLIE LOOKOUT FIRE (1,095 ac) and RONEY FIRE (2,660 ac) by air and MODIS Thermal Satellite.

The AVENUE FIRE (1,196 ac) was fairly quiet Tuesday and continues to move slowly to the southwest. There should be little tomoderate activity on Avenue Fire today unless there are strong thunderstorm winds. Additional structure protection crews are inthe McKenzie Bridge area. Firefighters are working with the local fire district on structure protection plans for the area. Firefighterswill continue prepping the Horse Creek and East King roads.

The SEPARATION FIRE (15,759 ac) continues to burn and is growing to the northeast. Yesterday, heavy smoke hindered firefighters’ability to locate all of the spot fires that started north of Highway 242 Monday night. Ground truthing of MODIS Thermal satelliteinformation indicates most of the active spotting activity is the area north of the main Separation Fire, in the Camp Melakwa area.Firefighters are preparing lines to protect the values along Highway 242 and the McKenzie Bridge area. Highway 126 is open.

Firefighters on the NASH FIRE (5,706 ac) continue to prepare fireline along the Cascades Lakes Highway.

Due to the Avenue and Separation fires, there is a Level 3 (Go!) for all of Highway 242 and for Highway 126 up to where DeerCreek intersects Hwy 126. Level 2 (Set) begins where the east end of McKenzie River Drive intersects Hwy 126 and ends at thejunction of Hwy126 and Hwy 242. Level 1 (Ready) remains in place from the intersection of Road FSR 19 with Hwy 126. Visithttp://bit.ly/2vLXLco for the full Lane County Sheriff’s Office news release and map. Sign up for Lane County Emergency Alerts atlanecounty.org/prepare or call the Lane County Sheriff’s Office for more information at 541‐682‐4150

Due to the Nash Fire, the areas surrounding Elk Lake and Hosmer Lake remain at an elevated to Level 2 evacuation status (set)and the areas surrounding Lava Lake and Little Lava Lake are in in Level 1 (ready) evacuation status. Sign up for Deschutes Countyemergency alerts at http://bit.ly/2f3NWMA. Contact the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office at (541) 693‐6911 or visithttps://sheriff.deschutes.org for more information.

Firefighters on the REBEL FIRE (7,495 ac) continue to be successful in holding the fire to the east of FSR 19 (Aufderheide Drive). ThePETE FIRE (51 ac) is being monitored by air. The BOX CANYON FIRE (27 ac) is in patrol status.

Crews continue to mop up and secure containment lines on the POTATO HILL FIRE (199 ac) as the fire continues to smolder in heavyfuels within the fire’s perimeter. Smoke may impact Highway 20 visibility at night and early morning.

Given complexity of the current wildfire situation, availability of firefighting resources, limited ability to utilize aircraft when smokeimpacts visibility, and safety concerns for working in steep and remote terrain, firefighters are focused on protecting values at riskwhere they can do so safely and effectively. Conditions can change rapidly. Be ready. Be alert. Act early!

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