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High Cascades Complex

Unit Information

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

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High Cascades Complex Update, September 2, 2017

High Cascades Complex Wildfire
News – 9/2/2017

High Cascades Complex

9/2/2017 9 a.m.

Fire Information: (541) 316-8352

Effective September 1, the Fremont-Winema National Forest has expanded the area closure south and east of the Blanket Creek Fire. The new closure is east of the Sky Lakes Wilderness to Highway 62 on the Fremont-Winema National Forest and down to Sevenmile Marsh. Closures are enacted for public and firefighter safety. For specific information and a map of the closure area see: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/closures/5503/

Fire danger is extreme and the public should use caution as they recreate in the out of doors. Fire restrictions are in place on all public lands across SW Oregon.

Yesterday’s Activity: Hot, dry conditions increased fire activity Friday, with smoke plumes forming on several fires within the High Cascades Complex. After several days of being grounded by smoke, aviation resources were able to resume support of suppression efforts. The Blanket Creek Fire (12,514 ac.) continued pushing south and east. Crews continued building hand line in Crater Lake NP and connect to a dozer line completed on the Fremont-Winema NF, and prepping along Hwy. 62 between Mazama Village and Ft. Klamath. Early fire activity on the Spruce Lake Fire (6,819 ac.) forced firefighters to alter their plans for tactical burning south of Red Cone. Alternate indirect containment lines were then scouted to the north and east of Red Cone. A spot fire crossed a hand line on the southwest flank of the Windy Gap Fire (699 ac.) early in the day, forcing firefighters to fall back to Forest Road 68 as the primary containment line farther to the west. On the Broken Lookout Fire (4,651 ac.), prep work was completed along FR 68 on the southwest flank and continued along the east flank using FR 6510. Fuel reduction work continued and sprinklers were positioned to protect the Union Creek community should they be needed. Fire planners continued assessing potential containment opportunities for the Pup Fire (1,564 ac.), located within the Rogue-Umpqua Divide Wilderness, which has limited access and few natural containment barriers.


Today’s Planned Activity:

Plans are in place to merge the Paradise (789 acres) and Windy Gap fires using tactical firing methods if conditions allow. Firefighters should finish hand line construction on the east flank of the Blanket Creek Fire and continue developing lines to the southeast along FR 3282 and the adjacent road system. Burn out operations will commence along FR 3282 if conditions permit. Aircraft will monitor the area between the north edge of Blanket and Hwy. 62. Crews are further evaluating indirect containment lines for the Spruce Lake Fire on the northeast flank by reopening hand lines used on the 2015 National Creek Complex.

A Level 1 Evacuation Notification remains in effect for the Union Creek area in Jackson County Oregon, due to fire activity from the Broken Lookout Fire. In addition, A Level 1 Evacuation Notification remains in effect for Mazama Village in Crater Lake National Park. Level 1 is the first step in the “Be Ready, Be Set, Go!” system. For more information about evacuation levels and procedures, go to http://tinyurl.com/BeReady-BeSet-Go.

Weather and Fire Behavior: A ridge aloft and thermal trough near the surface over SW Oregon moves inland today. Instability will couple with hot and dry conditions to make for critical fire weather conditions today. Changing conditions will bring a slight chance of isolated storms on Sunday, increasing Monday through Wednesday, with possible new ignitions from lightning.

Smoke Outlook: A full smoke forecast can be viewed at: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5503. To see visibility at Crater Lake National Park, check out the webcams at https://www.nps.gov/crla/learn/photosmultimedia/webcams.htm.


Crater Lake National Park West Rim Drive is open for the Labor Day weekend. The road will re-close at 9 p.m. on Monday, September 4, for road construction. Motorists and visitors should drive defensively, as smoke may be present on roadways in the area. Visitors should also expect delays on Hwy 62 between Mazama Village and Fort Klamath due to firefighting efforts.


Closure Information: As a result of the fires in the High Cascades Complex, a number of area, road and trail closures are in place within Crater Lake National Park, Rogue-River Siskiyou, Umpqua, and Fremont-Winema National Forests. For specific closure information, visit https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5503.

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