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Potato Hill Fire

Unit Information

Willamette National Forest
U.S. Forest Service
Springfield, OR 97477

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Potato Hill Fire Update September 11, 2017

Potato Hill Fire Wildfire
News – 9/11/2017

Whitewater Fire

Including Little Devil, Scorpion, French and Potato Hill Fires

September 11, 2017 Daily Update

Fire Information Line: 541-719-8371 Location: Willamette National Willamette National Forest Closures: 541-225-6350, Inciweb Websites: Size: 13,339 acres (total for reported fires) Containment: 33% Resources Assigned: 299 personnel (total for reported fires)

Evacuation Levels: The evacuation levels remain unchanged.The levels will be re-evaluated mid-week after the predicted warming and drying period ends. For additional information of the evacuation levels, pleasecontact the Marion County Sheriff’s Office (503) 588-5108. Current evacuation levels: Level 2 – Breitenbush Hot Springs area General Information: Air resources from the Whitewater Fire responded to two new starts yesterday. Helicopters responded to new starts; one west of Waldo Lake and an additional in the Mt Jefferson Wilderness near Clagett Lake. The public is reminded one less spark means one less wildfire.

Detroit Ranger Districtsee Whitewater Fire on Inciweb for updates on the following fires.

The overall strategy is directed at protecting Values at Risk which includes High voltage powerlines critical to Portland, private timberlands to the west, and preventing fire from impacting the Breitenbush Hot Springs area. Actions will be continually evaluated based on resource availability, weather, and fuel conditions on the ground.

Whitewater Fire: 10,934 acres, 33% contained. Firefighters will work to complete containment lines to keep the fire south of Forest Road (FR) 4220 in protection of Olallie Lake recreation area; patrol and mop-up; and clear vegetation along roads for potential burnout operations. Sprinkler systems have been installed to wet areas to suppress any heat in Cheat Creek, outside of the wilderness, to protect private timber lands. An aerial flight over the area yesterday showed little heat in the area. Firefighters are gathering pumps and equipment on the southern perimeter preparing it for back haul. Hose and equipment will be left in place where needed to ensure the fire remains within control lines.

Little Devil: 1,598 acres, 5%% contained. Firefighters are completing mastication on the west side of the fire along Forest Road (FR) 883 and working to reduce the piles of vegetative materials from prepping roads. Firefighters are poised to burnout constructed handline on the north end of the fire between Breitenbush and Little Devil Creeks when conditions when and if conditions are right.

Scorpion Fire: 606 acres, 5% contained. Firefighters have scouted and developed a plan to reduce approximately 10,000 acres within the large, indirect containment box by constructing indirect lines much closer to the fire edge. Masticators were pulled from preparing FR 6350 and moved to begin working the west line preparing FR 4698 by removing brush and vegetation. Fallers have been clearing snags on the east side of the fire’s edge in preparation of handline construction. Crews began constructing handline on the east edge today beginning on the south and working north along the Forest Trail 3363. Fire look-outs have been posted to watch the fire’s movement as the work proceeds. Firefighters are working to continually improve indirect lines utilizing existing roads. A structure protection group is working in the Breitenbush residential and retreat area testing pumps and hose lays.

French Fire: 2 acres. 95% contained. This fire is in patrol status. Crews are gathering hose from the fire lines and prepare it for back hauling to the incident command post.

McKenzie River Ranger Districtsee Potato Hill on Inciweb.

Potato Hill: 199 acres 95%% Contained. This fire will be in patrol status.

Air Quality: Air quality reported from Air Now The current and forecasted levels is good with very little density of smoke in the air. For local smoke and air quality information checkt:

Weather: A warm and drying pattern will remain through Tuesday. General easterly flow will shift from the north in the afternoon. Temperatures above 4,500 ft are forecasted at 79-84 degrees with relative humidity 20-30%. Winds will be east 4 - 7 mph shifting north 5-8 mph with gusts to 15 mph after 4:00 pm.

Behavior: Fire behavior variables are on the rise over the next few days. Potential fire behavior in the dense canopies will consist of smoldering and creeping, consumption of sumps and open flame in concentration of fuel 3 inches and above in woody fuels. Low to moderate intensity surface fire with backing and flanking spread, with short fingering runs are possible on slopes that are exposed or with favorable aspects.

Resources: Total personnel assigned to the 5 fires: 302 personnel, comprised of 3-type 2 crews, 2-camp crews, 9-engines, 1-heavy helicopter, 2-light helicopters, 1-dozer, 7-masticators, 3-skidgens, 5-water tenders and 2-ambulances. Additional critical resources have been reordered. .Available resources remain limited and are being prioritized within the region and nationally. Resources continue to be shared among nearby fires. Highway Closures: OR Hwy 46 remains closed between Humbug and FR 6350. For more information Access into the Level 2 area is restricted to residents with proper entry credentials. Forest Closures- For further information go to: Campfires are prohibited on all public and private lands. One less spark is one less potential wildfire. ####

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