Summary: The word of today is change on area fires. The fire weather will bring in stronger winds today that will expose areas of heat within the fire perimeter and may cause fire lines to be tested. Changing fire weather will elevate fire behavior, keeping firefighters on alert for potential rapidly changing situations on the fires.
Community Meeting: Representatives from the Unfied Command Team have hosted two community meetings this week in Tiller and Shady Cove. Approximately 225 residents have attended these meetings. The next meeting will be today, August, 10, at 6:30 p.m. at the Prospect Community Center (305 Red Blanket Road, Prospect). The team will give a current situation update on the Miles Fire and answer questions about fire operations, weather, and smoke impacts.
Miles Fire (27,039 acres): The largest area of concern will continue to be the southwest flank of the fire, around the Alco Rock area. Crews will continue to aggressively mop up fireline and will look for opportunities to construct direct line on the fire. Dozer and handlines will continue to be prepped for future burnout operations.
On the Burnt Peak area, south of Elk Creek Road, crews will continue to extend hoselays, inprove existing containment lines and plan for contingency lines in cooperation with landowners.
As the afternoon skies clear and winds increase out of the northwest, the Miles Fire could be very active with occasional single tree and group tree torching, with short and long range spotting.
Columbus Fire (9,193 acres): Crews will continue to patrol and mop up line to the extent necessary to ensure the fire will not escape containment lines. Firefighters are holding and improving line, and protecting values at risk, including the world’s tallest Sugar Pine, Whiskey Camp and Butler Butte. Area near this fire was previously burning in 2017, will help to limit growth where possible.
Snow Shoe Fire (3,816 acres): Mop up continues on the fire, 300 feet in from the fire line, to ensure the fire will not escape containment lines with the upcoming weather and fire behavior. Backhaul of hose in areas accessible to engines and unnecessary equipment will continue today.
Round Top Fire (154 acres): This fire remains in patrol status. Crews will continue to check the fire on a regular basis, ensuring there are no heat or smokes close to the edge which might threaten the containment line.
Weather: Today’s fire weather conditions will be elevated due to gusty afternoon winds and low humidity. The upper level ridge will weaken today as an upper level trough begins to approach. As this system nears, and a dry cold front moves through the area, strong and gusty winds are expected from the west and northwest. Winds are expected to gust up to 25 mph on the ridges after 4 p.m. today. The stronger winds will help to clear out the deep layer of smoke and transport it to the northeast. Friday’s temperatures will reach the low 90’s today and relative humidity levels are expected to reach the lower 20’s. Saturday’s strong westerly winds are expected to continue, while temperatures will decrease slightly.
Smoke Conditions: Area winds will be stronger today and will help to clear out the deep layer of smoke, however smoke from the nearby Taylor Creek Fire could have an impact on area air quality. The fire area can anticipate unhealthy to very unhealthy conditions. People with compromised health are advised to take precaution.
Evacuations: Local sheriff’s offices are in charge of area evacuations. Residents of Jackson and Josephine counties may check their current evacuation status here: https://bit.ly/2uUku2C.
In Douglas County, a Level 2 evacuation notice was issued to residents living in and between the following addresses: 1642 through 3200 (Flats Ranch) Tison Road and also to two properties north of Columbus Fire (Tallow Butte & Cultus Ranch).