Willamette National Forest
U.S. Forest Service
Springfield, OR 97477
Rebel Fire and Horse Creek Complex Fire
Update for Tuesday, September 26, 2017, 9 a.m.
Fire Information: (541) 719-8371
Rebel Fire: 8,703 acres
Horse Creek Complex: Olallie Lookout Fire, 1,572 acres; Roney Fire, 3,548 acres; Avenue Fire, 3,574 acres; Separation Fire, 17,914 acres; Nash Fire, 6,738 acres.
Total all fires: 42,409 acres; an increase in 176 acres, due to more accurate mapping of the Avenue Fire; all other fires acreages remain unchanged.
Resources: Personnel, 323; Crews, 6; Helicopters, 1; Engines, 10; Water Tenders, 32; Skidgen, 1.
Weather: There will a change in the weather today as a thermal trough to the west causes temperatures to rise and relative humidity to fall. Area temperatures will reach into the low 70s and RH will dip in the afternoon to 30-35 percent. Easterly winds on the ridge tops will range from 10-15 mph. The thermal trough will be strongest on Wednesday, when winds will be steady from the east at 15-20 mph. As the thermal trough moves closer, atmospheric instability will peak on Wednesday. Under these weather conditions, forest fuels will continue to dry through mid-week, but will be unable to carry and sustain fire growth compared to earlier in the month when the region was still in a moderate to severe drought. Additional wetting rains forecasted for this weekend will serve to counteract fuels drying this week.
Current Situation: Suppression repair is on the glide path to being completed. Chipping, removing hazard trees, equipment back-haul, and stabilization of dozer and hand lines will likely conclude in two weeks. Some of the repair work on the landscape borders major highways. Firefighters appreciate motorists exercising caution by slowing down where fire personnel are observed working close to highways. Demobilization of a number of personnel will occur this week. Many will be traveling home, but some will be preparing for another dispatch, in all likelihood for hurricane relief and recovery in the Southern U.S., Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Next Steps: With most of the 2017 fire season in the rear view mirror of Oregonians, it is a good time for all to assess preparation for wildfires to come. With wildfires, “it is not a matter of if but when.” Area residents and business owners are encouraged to look at ways to create defensible space and fire proof their properties, including homes and other structures. A good place to start is an online visit to “FireWise USA” (www.firewise.org). This website contains a wealth of information, some of which can be implemented with minimal cost and a couple weekends committed to house and yard work. One other important safety aspect is to have a plan that can be practiced and implemented by all family members in the event that a wildfire approaches and threatens your home or community. The “Ready, Set, Go!” website (www.wildlandfirersg.org/) is a good place to start for assembling a family emergency plan.
National Forest Closure Orders: Some closures are still in place on both National Forests. Current information about closures on the Willamette and Deschutes National Forests is available at: https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/willamette/fire/?cid=fseprd552029
Fire restrictions have been lifted in Willamette and Deschutes National Forests, and campfires are now allowed.