South Obenchain Fire Update
Northwest Incident Management Team 8, Incident Commander, Doug Johnson
September 22, 2020
Fire updates will be provided once daily
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.
EXTREME fire danger still exists in the Rogue Valley. All fuels remain at critically dry levels. An innocent spark could escalate out of control. Please do your part to prevent wildfires. One less spark, one less wildfire.
Wildfire Information Center: (458) 206-3043
Jackson County Emergency Management: (541) 776-7338
Wildfire Information Center: https://southwestoregonwildfireinformation.blogspot.com/
Air Quality: http://oregonsmoke.blogspot.com/
Cause: Under investigation
Current situation: Visible flames and smoke will persist within the fire perimeter until a season-ending rain or snow event. Only call 911 if flames are actively spreading and life or property are threatened. Please provide a specific address or location for firefighters to respond.
All perimeters around the South Obenchain Fire are in mop-up and/or patrol status. Resources are still making good progress mopping up into the interior up to 300 ft. to secure all containment lines. The entire west, northeast and north perimeter are now in patrol status. Hose lays will remain in these locations in case smokes pop up and need to be cooled. Multiple types of infrared tools are being used to detect heat on the fire. Last night, an infrared flight recorded the areas of heat over the entire fire; the drone recorded heat on the east perimeter, and two handheld devices located areas on the south end. Firefighters will be using this information to locate the heat and secure the perimeter.
Resource Advisors are working with the repair group and continue to make good progress cleaning up dozer lines, repairing fencing, installing water bars, and completing other suppression repairs.
Reconnaissance flights occur twice a day scouting for visible smokes from above. Excess resources continue to be demobilized to return home for a well-deserved rest or reassigned to assist with other incidents.
The Northwest Incident Management Team #8 will be transitioning to a Type 3 Incident Management Team this Friday.
Evacuations: Portions of the evacuations levels have been reduced in some areas from a level 2 to a level 1. Please view the following web pages for the most current evacuation maps:
Jackson County Emergency Management:
Jackson County Sheriff’s Office:
Shelter Location: The evacuation shelter remains 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 will be dry with near seasonal temperatures and relative humidity. Expect a mix of clouds and smoke especially in the afternoon. Light winds in the morning will turn westerly in the afternoon at 7-10mph, and bring in additional smoke from the Slater fire through Grants Pass. Temperatures will be 76-81 degrees with a relative humidity of 24-30%.
Resources-856: 1-type 1 hand crew, 1-type 2 initial attack crew, 26-type 2 crews, 1- light helicopter, 2-medium helicopters, 37-engines, 10-dozers, 21-water tenders and 4-skidgens.
Temporary Flight Restrictions: The footprint of the TFR has reduced in size and height. It remains in place for the safety of the firefighters and aircraft fighting the South Obenchain fire. Please consult the Notice to Airman for specifics.
Closure: The Bureau of Land Management Medford District has temporarily closed many areas of public lands to support fire suppression efforts and to prevent new starts.
Maps of the closure areas are available on the Bureau of Land Management’s website: http://www.blm.gov/programs/public-safety-and-fire/fire-and-aviation/regional-info/oregon-washington/fire-restrictions