High Cascades Complex Update, September 4, 2017
Incident: High Cascades Complex Wildfire
High Cascades Complex
9/4/2017 9 a.m.
Fire Information: (541) 316-8352
Fire danger remains extreme and smoke in much of the area has become hazardous and unhealthy for the public and firefighters, and at the Incident Command Post south of Diamond Lake.
Yesterday’s Activity: The unstable atmosphere, coupled with unseasonably hot, dry conditions and a wind shift to the W-NW created convection columns and associated extreme fire behavior early afternoon on Sunday causing firefighters to pull back from containment lines on Paradise, Broken Lookout, Windy Gap and Blanket Creek Fires. As a result, spot fires to the south and west of Forest Road (FR) 68 and constructed dozer and hand line have fire managers re-assessing their primary containment line on the west perimeter of the Broken Lookout (5,080 ac), Windy Gap (817 ac) and Paradise (1,532 ac) Fires. Fire crews made good progress on strengthening the primary containment line along FR 6510 to help protect Union Creek from advancing fire. Crews also began prep work along FR 6510-700 as a secondary containment line west of FR 6510. Structural protection work has been completed in Union Creek. Firefighters started prepping and tying FR 2947 and 2947-300 to the Rogue Umpqua Divide Wilderness to the north to secure the northeast flank of the Paradise Fire. On Spruce Lake Fire (7,233 ac), fire crews were unable to hold the fire along the indirect containment line south of Red Cone. Firefighters then shifted their efforts to prepping along the west side of the North Entrance Road as the new primary containment line. The Blanket Creek Fire (21,284 ac) showed little movement towards Mazama Village to the north but very active fire behavior resulted in perimeter growth further into the Sky Lakes Wilderness to the south and to east crossing FR 3282. Hwy 62 is prepped and ready to be used as the containment line should intermediate efforts fail to contain the east perimeter. Good options have been identified on the east flank of the Pup Fire (1,734 ac) for indirect containment that will require minimal preparation. The persistent dense smoke at the Prospect Helibase again kept helicopters grounded. Efforts to establish a helicopter fueling station near Fort Klamath were unsuccessful due to dense smoke in the valley.
Today’s Planned Activity:
At Broken Lookout, Windy Gap and Paradise fires crews will work to strengthen the established containment lines on FR 6510, 6510-700, 2497 and 2497-300. Fire managers will continue to re-define their primary containment line on the west perimeter of the Broken Lookout, Windy Gap and Paradise Fires. As conditions allow, burnout operations will continue southeast along FR 68. Firefighters will monitor the Pup Fire and continue point protection on the Hershberger Lookout and the adjacent telecommunication site. On the Spruce Lake Fire crews will continue prepping along the North Entrance Road and reopening handlines used on the 2015 National Creek Complex. On Blanket Creek Fire, managers will reassess the use of FR 3282 as a primary containment line on the east flank and assess continued construction of line from FR 3282 south to Dry Creek then west to the Sky Lakes Wilderness boundary. Crews also plan to finish constructing an indirect line from FR 3282 to Hwy 62 north of Annie Creek Snopark.
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: Hot, dry and unstable conditions persist today. Early dry NE winds will shift to a NW flow in the afternoon again. An increasing chance of cloudiness and isolated afternoon/evening showers occurs Tuesday-Thursday. Very active fire behavior is possible especially on ridge tops and exposed areas and where continuous forest fuels line up with slope and winds. Rapid heat build-up could result in group torching, crown runs, and spotting.
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 Labor Day. The road will re-close at 9 p.m. tonight for road construction.
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.
on the fire:
Water Tenders: 16
Rogue River-Siskiyou NF, Crater Lake NP, Umpqua NF, Fremont-Winema NF
Oregon Smoke Blog