Falcon Complex Fire Update
Northwest Interagency Incident Management Team 8, Incident Commander, Tim Keith
August 12, 2017 - 9:00 P.M.
A Community Meeting will be held Sunday August 13, 5:30 pm at the Tiller Volunteer Fire Department in Tiller, Oregon located along the Tiller Trail Hwy. An update on the Umpqua National Forest fire situation, Falcon Complex, and the future outlook will be presented. An opportunity for questions will be provided.
Umpqua National Forest has implemented a new Forest Road Closure for public safety. The entire Closure may be viewed at https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/umpqua/notices/?cid=FSEPRD554942.
Two new fires were reported today on the district. Although the lightning storms have moved to the east, fire managers are concerned that enough rainfall has fallen to potentially hide some fires from detection and there may be some ”holdovers” appearing in future days. Firefighters are remaining watchful and mobile to respond to any new starts.
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) 825-3761 NEW NUMBER Available 8:00 am to 9:00 pm.
Information Websites: Inciweb –https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5484 and Facebook Falcon Complex Wildfires.
Current Fire Information: Firefighter and public safety are the priorities while fighting any fires. Fire managers assess the values at risk, risk to firefighters, and fire behavior as several factors when determining the management actions to use on each fire. Direct tactics are used where safely feasible and indirect tactics, such as use of roads or natural features as fire line, are often used to mitigate risks. Falcon Complex fires have been divided into a North and South Branch for management. The Branch line runs along Jackson Creek. An infra-red detection flight was flown over the Complex last night. Fire acreages have been updated to reflect the information gained from the flight. Fires in the North Branch include: Upper Ash – 205 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. Today, the fire moved laterally into a tributary drainage and then made a run up the ridge and established fire in next drainage to the east resulting in approximate 100 acres of growth. Helicopter water drops were used to check the fire intensity and assist firefighters. Buckskin - 17 acres-located north of Buckeye Creek along Forest Road 730; firefighters made good progress constructing direct handline around the fire perimeter. Double Buck – 110 acres – located directly east of Skookum Pond. 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; this fire is being mopped up. Smith (Fire #389) – 1 acre – 3 miles SE of Smith Ridge Lookout. Freeze – Fire # 317 – 5 acres – located in the headwaters of Freeze Creek; this fire is being mopped up. Hershberger – 40 acres, located in the headwaters of Hershberger Creek in the Rogue-Umpqua Divide Wilderness, firefighters are monitoring the fire. Fires in the South Branch remain unstaffed today. Firefighters are gathering information and developing plans for managing these fires. The South Branch includes: Paradise (including Lone Woman)– 110 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 and weather conditions are right. Windy Gap – 9 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 – 20 ac. – located west of Abbott Creek. Resources: Total personnel assigned to the Complex – 463: 3-type 1 crews, 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: The forecast for tonight includes maximum temperatures of 57 degrees, relative humidity 80-90%, and west winds 6 to 18mph.