Horse Creek Complex and Rebel Fire Update - September 22, 2017
Incident: Horse Creek Complex Wildfire
Update for Friday, Sept. 22, 2017, 9 a.m.
Fire Information: (541) 719-8371
Rebel Fire: 8,653 acres
Horse Creek Complex: Olallie Lookout Fire, 1,572 acres; Roney Fire, 3,548 acres; Avenue Fire, 2,962 acres; Separation Fire, 17,747 acres; Nash Fire, 6,738 acres.
Total all fires: 41,220 acres (The last infrared flight was conducted on 9/15. No change in acreage has been measured since 9/15.)
Weather: Remote weather stations in the area of the Horse Creek Complex and Rebel fire measured precipitation from 4 to nearly 6 inches since Sunday night. Thursday brought fewer showers and diminished clouds with occasional sunshine. A warming and drying trend will continue through the weekend with each day gaining a few degrees until temperatures in the 70s return early next week. Fire spread is still not anticipated to occur even with a return of warmer and dryer weather.
Next Steps: Firefighter crews have transitioned from protecting the public from fire to removing equipment from the field and repairing fire lines and other disturbances left by suppression efforts. Fire managers use the term “suppression repair” to describe efforts taken after a fire to repair impacts to the land. Before leaving the fire, crews may construct berms and spread brush and rocks onto the cut lines and bare ground that were created during firefighting efforts. Water bars may be constructed on hand and dozer lines to divert water to reduce soil erosion and prevent gullies from forming. Also, crews will remove refuse, flagging, and other equipment as part of their efforts to restore the land to a more natural condition.
Current Situation: Crews are currently being limited by their ability to get into work areas due to snow, mud and soft roads. Where access was possible, crews pulled hose, flagging and excess equipment, scattered debris and repaired hand lines. Rocks and logs that had rolled out of burns were removed from roads. Equipment was removed from Camp Melakwa and structure protection is being lifted throughout the complex. Roads are currently too soft to support heavy equipment that is needed to repair fire lines. Complete access won’t be possible until roads are dryer.
Chipping equipment that has been ordered will arrive beginning Friday and crews will be trained on equipment operation. Some slash piles built during firefighting efforts will be chipped, others have been burned. Survey flights are planned for Friday if weather permits. Firefighter and public welfare and safety remains a priority. Slash removal is continuing along the Cascade Lakes Highway.
National Forest Closure Orders: Fire restrictions have been lifted in Willamette and Deschutes National Forests, and campfires are now allowed. Current information about closures on the Willamette and Deschutes National Forests is available at: https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/willamette/fire/?cid=fseprd552029
Flight Restrictions: A Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR) remains in place over the fires to provide a safe environment for firefighting aircraft operations. It is not legal to operate any aircraft (including drones) within a TFR. More information on the TFR is available at http://tfr.faa.gov/tfr2/list.html