Horse Creek Complex and Rebel Fire Update for Thursday, Sept. 28
Incident: Horse Creek Complex Wildfire
Fire Information: (541) 719-8371
Rebel Fire: 8,703 acres
Horse Creek Complex: Olallie Lookout Fire, 1,586 acres, 14 increase; Roney Fire, 3,561 acres, 13 increase; Avenue Fire, 3,857 acres, 283 increase; Separation Fire, 18,073 acres, 159 increase; Nash Fire, 6,738 acres.
Total all fires: 42,518 acres, an increase of 469. An infrared flight on Sept. 26 at 11:27 p.m. provided a more accurate count of acreage.
Notice: The McKenzie River Type 3 Team assumed management of the fires this morning. The team, under the direction of Incident Commander Mike Bournazian, is mainly made up of Willamette National Forest McKenzie River Ranger District Fire Management personnel. They will continue the suppression repair operation underway for the six fires in the complex, the Rebel and Box Canyon fires and the Potato Fire that had previously been turned over to the district. They will also continue as Initial Attack responders for any new starts within the district.
Weather: Today will be the warmest day of the week as temperatures climb into the upper 70’s. Relative humidity will fall and winds will increase, as a thermal trough remains established along the Oregon coast. Rain and snow at high elevations is forecast to extend through the weekend into next week. The typical fall weather pattern is developing: sunny to mostly cloudy days getting progressively cooler followed by days of rain showers.
Current Situation: A reconnaissance flight made Wednesday revealed very few areas of visible smoke from any of the fires within the Three Sisters Wilderness. The most visible was on the Avenue Fire in the King Creek drainage. The chances of this area becoming active again are very remote due the amount of rain received last week. Residents and visitors to the area may see smoke or notice a smoky haze in the immediate vicinity of the fire. Forest fuels absorbed too much moisture from last week’s rain to allow extreme fire. In addition, the drying period has been very short, and more rain is on the way.
Firefighters and heavy equipment that have been busy with suppression repair continue to work an estimated 100-plus miles of control lines. The McKenzie River Team is prioritizing work that needs to be completed in the higher elevations because of forecast colder temperatures and possible snow. They will also be working with the Oregon Department of Forestry to complete their suppression repair work along Horse Creek Road and the control lines placed on private lands. National Forest Resource Advisors are overseeing the work being completed by crews to ensure that the forested areas are returned to an acceptable natural state.
National Forest Closure Orders: Please remember closures are still in place including:
• Forest Road 19 (Aufderheide Scenic Byway) from Highway 126 south to Roaring Ridge Trailhead (the trail remains closed)
• Highway 242 (Old McKenzie Highway) from the junction with Hwy 126, on the west side, to milepost 89. 2 miles west of Sisters.
• Horse Creek Road and all connected roads within the closure area.Current information about closures on the Willamette and Deschutes National Forests is available at: https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/willamette/fire/?cid=fseprd552029 http://www.fs.usda.gov/alerts/Deschutes/alerts-notices.