South Obenchain Fire Update
September 26, 2020
Incident Start: September 8, 2020
Acres: 32, 671
Cause: Under Investigation
Wildfire Information Center: (458) 206-3043 https://southwestoregonwildfireinformation.blogspot.com/
Jackson County Emergency Management: (541) 776-7338
Air Quality: http://oregonsmoke.blogspot.com/
Update: The South Obenchain Fire has transitioned from a Type 2 fire to a Type 3 fire. The Northeast Washington Team 2 with Incident Commander Dean Kiefer assumed management of the fire today at 7:00am. The number of resources assigned to the fire will adjust as fire behavior reduces and as needs shift.
Firefighters will continue working to reduce hazards within the interior of the fire, install water bars, clean up dozer lines, and mop up. Focus remains on Division U as firefighters patrol for remaining heat and smoke. Resource Advisors are working with crews to complete suppression repair efforts which will reduce the potential impact from future rain and snow events, erosion and landslides. Potential hazards include trees with heavy and wet limbs and burned root structures.
The incident objectives remain the same. 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 and COVID. This also includes limited entry into the incident command post and base camp.
Fire Weather: Today will be another cool and high humidity day, with clouds and scattered showers in the morning becoming partly cloudy with isolated showers in the afternoon. Temperatures will be slightly warmer than yesterday, at 70-75 degrees in the valleys and 62-67 at elevations above 2500 feet. Winds are from the west to northwest at 4-6 mph and gusting to 11 mph in the afternoon. Clear weather after sunset.
Fire Activity: Expect mild fire behavior today. Fire may creep, smolder, and have light surface fire under unburned protected canopies. All fuels remain at critically dry levels. Brush and grasses expect to dry out quickly as temperatures increase early next week.
Resources: 462 total resources. 12 type-2 crews, one light helicopter, two medium helicopters, 27 engines, five dozers, nine water tenders, and three skidgens.
Evacuations: Evacuation levels have been eliminated except for a Level 1 in the eastern end of the fire area. Please view the following web pages for the most current evacuation maps. Jackson County Emergency Management: https://jcgis.maps.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=3caa39804db54631a61007180d5ef415
Jackson County Sheriff’s Office: https://jacksoncountyor.org/sheriff
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.
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 rescinded public lands closure notices across much of the District. Public lands closures remain in effect near the Slater Fire and the South Obenchain Fire.
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
Public and Fire Fighter Safety is The Number One priority
Please drive carefully. Firefighters are present and working through the area and along Butte Falls Highway.
This Fire Update was produced by Northeast Interagency Incident Management Team 2