Incident: Falcon Complex Wildfire
Falcon Complex Fire Update
Northwest Interagency Incident Management Team 8, Incident Commander, Tim Keith
August 12, 2017 - 9:00 A.M.
The Falcon Complex is a compilation of fires started by lightning storms on August 7 – August 11. Five new fires were reported yesterday on the district.
The Umpqua National Forest increased the Public Use Restrictions requiring smoking be contained to vehicles, buildings or watercraft on water and no campfires in the Wilderness. Please see the link to the Public Use Restrictions. https://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/fseprd554660.pdf
Air Quality: Air quality reported from Air Now http://www.airnow.gov/ indicates good (green) air quality in the Tiller area. Those with smoke sensitivities should take appropriate precautions.
Incident Management: Northwest Interagency Incident Management Team 8, Incident Commander, Tim Keith, is managing and supporting the firefighters of the Falcon Complex. The incident command post (ICP) is located at the Milo Academy in Milo near Tiller, Oregon.
Fire Information Center: (541) 825-3144 Available 8:00 am to 6:00 pm.
Information Websites: Inciweb –https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5484 and Facebook Falcon Complex Wildfires.
Current Fire Information:
The multiple fires have been divided into a North and South Branch for management. The Branch line runs along Jackson Creek. Acreages are best estimates. An infra-red flight is scheduled for tonight over the Complex. Estimated fire acreages will be updated as the information becomes available.
Fires in the North Branch include:
Upper Ash – 100 acres-this fire remains the priority in the North Branch and Complex. Located in the upper headwaters of Ash Creek, approximately 1.5 miles from the upper end of the valley floor and nearest private structures. The rough, steep terrain and fuels pose challenges to suppression. The fire is held on the north by Forest Road (FR) 2826 and is backing down into the headwaters of Ash Creek. Yesterday, as the temperature of the day increased, holding the fire along FR 2826 became a concern. A load of retardant was dropped along the road to assist firefighters in holding this line.
Buckskin - 10 acres-located north of Buckeye Creek along Forest Road 730; firefighters are continuing to construct direct handline; yesterday, a load of retardant to slow this backing fire was dropped to allow firefighters to work directly on the fire’s edge safely and effectively.
Double Buck – 110 acres – located directly east of Skookum Pond; firefighters are using indirect tactics by preparing roads to use as fireline by cutting and disposing of brush and vegetation preparing for eventual burnout.
Fire # 292 – 3 acres – located 2 miles south of Grasshopper Mt.
Fire # 330 – 5 acres- 2 miles east of Acker Rock.
Tallow – 100 acres – located between Ralph and Tallow Creeks.
Smith (Fire #389) – 1 acre – 3 miles SE of Smith Ridge Lookout.
Freeze – Fire # 317 – 5 acres – located in the headwaters of Freeze Creek.
Fires in the South Branch remain unstaffed today. Firefighters are gathering information to develop plans for managing these fires. The South Branch includes:
Paradise (including Lone Woman)– 80 acres – this fire is the priority in the South Branch; located on the ridge between Paradise and Cougar Creeks, south of Jackson Creek. The fire is backing down into Jackson Creek and is on both sides of the Creek. Plans are being developed for an indirect suppression strategy and will be implemented when sufficient resources are on scene weather conditions are right.
Windy Gap – 20 acres – located in the Rogue-Umpqua Divide Wilderness, 1 mile west of Abbott Butte.
Fire # 280 and 282 – 1 acre - all located in the Rogue-Umpqua Divide Wilderness.
Fire #284 – 2 ac. – located west of Abbott Creek.
Dry fine fuels and the effects of wind and slope continued to produce persistent burning conditions, and pockets of high intensity fire activity. Expected behavior included active surface fire spread, short runs, and spotting. Sustained backing and lateral spread is expected.
Resources: Total personnel assigned to the Complex – 423: 1-type 1 crew, 4-type 2 IA crews; 4-type 2 crews, 1-camp crew, 22-engines, 1- light helicopter, 1-dozer, 11-water tenders, and 98 overhead. The entire northwest region has moved into extreme fire danger. Available resources are limited and are being prioritized within the region and nation. Resources continue to be shared amongst nearby fires. Additional resources are ordered and continue to arrive.
Air Operations: A temporary flight restriction (TFR) is in place over the fire area restricting aerial public access. Please check the NOTAMs prior to flying. The public is reminded all air operations are grounded any time a drone is sighted within the TFR, delaying fire suppression efforts. Flying within the TFR is prohibited and against the law.
Weather: A Pacific weather system will move over the Complex on Saturday and Sunday with a cold front moving through on Sunday morning. Winds will stay mainly terrain driven in sheltered areas but ridge tops and canyons aligned with the southwest wind direction can expect stronger wind speed through the afternoon. Chances of thunderstorms will be to the east. The forecast for today includes maximum temperatures of 85-90 degrees, relative humidity 25-30%, and southwest winds 8 to 12 with gusts to 17 mph.