Devil’s Knob Complex Update
Monday, September 13, 2021 – 9:00 a.m.
Rocky Mountain Type 1 Incident Management Team
Dan Dallas, Incident Commander
Information phone: 541-900-6133
Information staffing hours: 8:00 am – 8:00 pm
As expected, fire activity remained consistent with the past few days with minimal perimeter fire growth. Firefighters took advantage of the cool temperatures and elevated humidity by adding fireline depth through firing operations in Division H of the Big Hamlin Fire and Division F on the Smith Fire. Heavy equipment also supported operations through the continued construction of indirect firelines in Divisions G and A and finished line construction to the north in Division G.
Weather will be similar to yesterday, ranging between 70 and 80 degrees, but humidity will drop by about 3-5%. The area is in a Pacific flow pattern resulting in weather that changes daily and differs across the complex; both temperature and humidity have changes ranging from 10-12, degrees and percent, respectively. Weather continues to be a significant driver of fire behavior. With so much variation across the landscape, fire activity can be different on two adjacent ridges, and result in less predictability for firefighters. Firefighters mitigate for this variability through constant observation of both the weather and fire behavior. In the coming days, weather will become increasingly hotter and drier, punctuated with a day of lower temperatures and higher humidity on Wednesday.
Today, fire behavior is expected to be sluggish in the morning while humidity is high and temperatures cool and then increase throughout the day proportionate with rising temperatures and falling humidity. The presence of smoke below 4000’ elevation may also play a role in moderating fire behavior where it is prevalent. Firefighters will continue the work of the last several days with careful observation of localized weather and its impact on fire behavior.
Acreage: 45,088 | Containment: 20%
Branch I: Divisions E and F – Yesterday, crews added fireline depth by completing firing operations south of Forest Road 2719. Today, in both divisions, firefighters will continue securing firelines and maintaining patrols and mop-up operations.
Division A and G – Firefighting resources continue both direct and indirect lines in Divisions A and G. Heavy equipment will relocate from Division G to Division A to continue work on indirect firelines along Forest Roads 27 and part of 2719. Other operations remain unchanged; direct line will continue where feasible, and spot fires near Hemlock Lake in Division G will be fully extinguished.
Branch II: Division B – In Division B, firefighting resources are continuing to secure firelines around structures in Ash Valley and continue fireline along Highway 28. Firefighters in conjunction with heavy equipment and chippers have made substantial progress in Ash Valley, although much work remains before fire managers will be confident in the security of the area.
Divisions C and E – Firefighting resources will focus on containing the two remaining uncontained sections of line across these divisions and maintain patrol and mop-up operations in the other sections.
Big Hamlin Fire
Acreage: 19,181 | Containment: 75%
Branch III: Divisions J/N – Divisions J and N were combined, and Division L was eliminated due to completion of most work. Firefighters will ensure the continued security of firelines through patrol and mop-up with chipping and other suppression repair operations occurring where appropriate.
Division H – Yesterday, firing operations occurred in the Jackson Creek area and will continue today as conditions allow. Due to heavy fuel loading and snags in an old burn scar, aerial ignition will be used to slowly and strategically remove unburned fuels between the fire edge and the creek. This work is critical for securing the north end of the Big Hamlin Fire. Patrols and mop-up will continue in contained portions of the division.
Weather and Fuel Conditions:
Today, mostly sunny skies will exist across much of the area; smoke is expected to clear in elevations below 4,000’ by afternoon. Humidity will be lower in the 20% range and temperatures will range from 70 to 80 degrees. Fire behavior is expected to still be moderate but the potential for tree torching and higher fire activity in areas with heavy dead and downed trees on southern and southwestern slopes will remain.
The Ash Creek-South Umpqua Road remains at a Level 3: Go (Leave immediately). As of 8 am on September 11, Dumont 2810 to Jackson Creek was reduced to Level 1: Be Ready. The interactive web map depicts evacuation areas and levels: https://dcor.maps.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=c1c9e876f2ed4e1fbfb2eae280b7c57c. Please contact Douglas County Sheriff’s Office for details.
Closures and Advisories
Areas around the fires are closed for public safety. Please respect the closure signs and barricades. For additional information see: https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/umpqua/notices/?cid=FSEPRD940197.
Temporary flight restrictions (TFRs) remain in place over the fires. TFR violations can disrupt aerial firefighting operations and may force fire managers to ground essential aircraft. Wildfires are a no-fly zone for unauthorized aircraft, including drones. If you fly, we can’t.http://knowbeforeyoufly.org
The Umpqua National Forest is in Stage 3 fire restrictions and Stage IV Industrial Fire Precaution Levels (IFPL). For additional information see: https://www.fs.usda.gov/detailfull/umpqua/landmanagement/?cid=fsbdev3_056210&width=full.
Devil’s Knob Fire Statistics:
Complex Size: 65,764 acres
(includes Mule Creek and other fires in patrol status)
Total Personnel: 874
Location: Tiller Ranger District
Reported: August 3, 2021
For More Information:
Information Phone: 541-900-6133
Smoke information: http://oregonsmoke.blogspot.com
Statewide fire restrictions: https://www.oregon.gov/odf/fire/pages/restrictions.aspx