Northwest Incident Management Team 8, Incident Commander, Doug Johnson
Oregon State Fire Marshal Incident Management Blue Team, Incident Commander, Scott Magers
September 16, 2020 – 9:00 AM
The South Obenchain Fire management teams will be hosting a virtual public meeting today (Wednesday 9/16/2020) at 3 PM on the South Obenchain Facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/SouthObenchainFire Presenters will describe the current fire, how we got to this point, planned actions and answer questions. No account is required to view the video. Online Facebook questions will be monitored during the meeting. The life and safety of the public and all wildland fire responders is always the number one priority for all fire agencies. To keep firefighters and communities healthy and safe, all firefighters are asked to follow recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to reduce the spread of illness. This also includes limited entry into the incident command post and base camp. Please see the websites below or contact the Jackson County Emergency Management Office at (541) 776-7338 for further fire information. Current situation Dave Larson, Oregon Department of Forestry Southwest District Forester told the crews at morning briefing “I want to thank you for the excellent job you have done so far. The landowners and citizens of the valley say thank you and keep up the good work”. Solid work by firefighters combined with favorable weather conditions the past few days helped turn the corner on the fires’ growth. A complete line surrounds the fire which still requires much needed improvement to be considered contained. The majority of the fire is in mop up and patrol status with the eastern edge being the exception. A small spot fire of one acre was extinguished with helicopter bucket work and ground crews’ aggressive suppression action. A task force of structural engines with the Oregon State Fire Marshal continues to patrol along the Butte Falls Highway and Butte Falls providing point protection. Firefighters continue to mitigate the many hazards associated with firefighting such as, danger trees, extreme fire behavior, driving on unimproved roads, working around heavy equipment and working around aircraft. Jackson County Road Department crews will be working to mitigate hazards along the Butte Falls Highway. Pacific Power is also working along the Butte Falls Highway to restore power. A Repair Group has begun to assess the damage created from fire suppression efforts such as repairing dozer lines and cut fences to access property. An official drone operation may occur over the fire area today to search for hotspots. This will be coordinated by the Fire Management Air Operations Section. Acreage: 32,814 Containment: 25% Cause: Under investigation Fire Information: (541) 776-7338 E-mail: SouthObenchainFire@gmail.com Information Websites: Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SouthObenchainFire Inciweb: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/7185 Air Quality: oregonsmoke.blogspot.com Evacuations: Evacuations orders are in place to protect the public and the firefighters that are working to control the fire. Please adhere to the evacuation level issued for your area. Please view the Jackson County Emergency Management web page for the most current map. https://jacksoncountyor.org/emergency/News/News-Information/almeda-fire-evacuation-zones-downgraded-1 Jackson County Sheriff Department https://jacksoncountyor.org/sheriff Shelter Location: The evacuation shelter is located at the Jackson County Expo Center, 1 Penninger Rd. in Central Point, Oregon where care and services are available such as food, medical care, bathrooms and showers. Weather: Today is a transition day in the weather as the chance of precipitation moves into the area beginning tomorrow.Precipitation forecast is not expected to be more than ¼ of an inch on the fire. High temperature 80-82, minimum humidity near 15% with afternoon, winds west to southwest changing to upslope/up valley. Smoke is also expected to linger over the region into the near future. Resources-915: 1-type 1 hand crew, 1-type 2 initial attack crew, 23-type 2 crews, 3- light helicopters, 5-medium helicopters, 4- heavy helicopters, 43-engines, 31-dozers, 34-water tenders and 4-skidgens. Temporary Flight Restrictions: For the safety of the firefighters and aircraft fighting the South Obenchain fire, a temporary flight restriction has been placed over the fire area. Please consult the Notice to Airman for specifics. If you fly, we can’t. The entire air operation must be shut down until the air space is reported clear. Donations: Donations to help individuals and families that have been displaced by the Almeda and South Obenchain Fires can visit Accesshelp.org. Closure: The Bureau of Land Management has closed public lands in and near the South Obenchain Fire to all forms of public access. In addition, the Medford District has temporarily closed all Bureau of Land Management-administered public lands south of Grants Pass, Interstate 5, and U.S. Route 199 to the border of the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest. To View Closure Order and map:https://www.blm.gov/programs/public-safety-and-fire/fire-and-aviation/regional-info/oregon-washington/fire-restrictions or call 818-975-0419 for more information about the closure.