South Obenchain Fire Update
Northwest Incident Management Team 8, Incident Commander, Doug Johnson
September 23, 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.
Data received yesterday from the infrared mapping resources show the fire is still holding heat signatures such as stump holes and scattered concentrations of fuels. These interior islands will continue to consolidate. There is little to no open flames, however the continued dry fuels and approaching cold front with gusty winds from the west could challenge the eastern containment lines. Crews will remain vigilant and respond to any increased activity. Hazards for crews include fire weakened trees, snags, rolling debris, and additional local traffic.
As the fire continues, it is natural to get relaxed as evacuation levels persist. Evacuation levels are evaluated daily. Please remember this is an active fire and citizens need to remain aware that conditions could change.
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.
The Northwest Incident Management Team #8 will be transitioning to the Northeast Washington Team #2 this Friday.
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Evacuations: Portions of the evacuations levels have been reduced in some areas from a level 2 to a level 1. The Jackson County Sheriffs’ Office has removed the countywide 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 breezy ahead of a cold front. Wednesday night into early Thursday there’s a good chance for rain with a chance of showers on Friday, possibly measuring 1/10th inch.
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