High Cascades West Zone update for Sept. 13
Incident: High Cascades Complex Wildfire
Brushing and chipping of the road system between the community of Union Creek and the eastern edge of the Broken Lookout Fire is nearly complete. Once this backup fire break has been established, firefighters will move to the 700 Road, which is much closer to the fire, and will begin to engage directly with plans to stop the fire’s eastward spread. To assist with preventing the east side of the fire from spreading, supervisors from the US Army will meet with fire managers on the line today to see how and where their troops can be of service to the fire effort. Army troops are expected to be on the line Thursday.
Tribal representatives have reached an agreement with representatives of the Umpqua and Rogue-Siskiyou National Forests to allow firefighters to engage in fuel mitigation along the sharp divide between the Rogue and Umpqua drainages. The area is important to the Cow Creek Tribe for its cultural and traditional resources, and fire managers have agreed to proceed in a manner sensitive to those values. The ridge offers an excellent opportunity to stop the southward expansion of the fire, which is still very active in the Squaw Creek drainage two miles to the north. Helicopters will continue to aid in slowing the fire in Squaw Creek as work continues along the divide.
Fire has been moving slowly down the Rabbit Creek drainage in the southeast corner of the Pup Fire. Firefighters may initiate a burnout operation today as they work to stop the fire from moving to the east.
The community of Union Creek remains on a Level 1 Evacuation notice. Structures at Abbott Butte are also threatened by the Broken Lookout Fire. The Pup Fire threatens Hershberger lookout and telecommunications site. Protection measures are in place for all these locations.
Today’s most critical weather component that will affect fire behavior will be shifting stronger winds ahead of a dry cold front. Cold front passage is likely to occur late tonight into early Thursday.
Closures: Many road, trail, and area closures are in place for the Rogue Umpqua Divide Wilderness and surrounding lands on both the Umpqua and Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forests. Forest visitors should familiarize themselves with these closures before venturing into the area. For a complete list of closures, visit https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/closures/5503/
Other restrictions: The Umpqua National Forest has lowered its Industrial Fire Precaution Level (IFPL) to III (partial shutdown). The Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest remains under IFPL IV (general shutdown). For a complete description of IFPLs, visit https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/rogue-siskiyou/fire/?cid=fseprd545253