Devil’s Knob Complex Update
Tuesday, September 14, 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
Yesterday marks the second day in a row with minimal perimeter growth. Nighttime humidity recovery and mild weather conditions throughout the day moderated fire activity, allowing firefighters to make good progress. In Division E of the Smith Fire, the west section of line was contained. On other divisions, direct and indirect fireline construction continued, with firing operations occurring in Division H of the Big Hamlin Fire.
Today, fire behavior is expected to be much more active due to poor nighttime humidity recovery overnight. Morning humidity is predominately in the 20-30% range and will drop throughout the day contributing to elevated fire behavior. By comparison, humidity yesterday morning ranged from 90-100%. When humidity is low, moisture travels out of grasses and pine needles making them more able to spread fire. The steep terrain and prevalent dead and down materials continue to be a challenge for firefighters, especially with low humidity and active fire. Fire behavior today will duplicate activity of last Tuesday; however, due to work of the last week on primary and secondary firelines, firefighters are prepared. Fire spread is expected in the direction of the Jack Fire and Rough Patch Complex as the fire is consuming available dead and down fuels within the 2002 Boulder Creek Fire footprint. Should spot fires occur, firefighters will engage in suppressing them if it is safe to do so. Looking ahead, fire managers are confident in the work that has been accomplished; higher humidity tomorrow and wetting rain over the weekend will allow firefighters to build on their progress.
Acreage: 45,090 | Containment: 20%
Branch I: Divisions E and F – Firing operations of the last two days strengthened firelines, and both divisions remain secure from fire spread. Patrol and mop-up operations will be ongoing for the next several days.
Division A and G – Indirect fireline construction will continue in Division A and is expected to be tied in tomorrow. In Division G, crews are working to complete handline. Once complete, firing operations may occur to add depth. Other line sections remain secure, including the spot fires of several days ago. Patrols and mop-up will be ongoing to ensure progress isn’t compromised.
Branch II: Division B – The fire continues to slowly back to Highway 28 and crews are assessing options to conduct burnout operations should they be needed. Firefighters will refine progress of firelines through felling of snags and other hazards and chipping. Structure protection operations and vegetation debris removal on the east side of Ash Valley will continue.
Divisions C and E – Successful operations allowed for the containment of two fireline sections. Today, firefighters will continue work on the last uncontained fireline segment on the east side of Division C and ensure security of contained sections through patrol and mop-up. Suppression repair work will begin once the threats of heat and fire close to firelines are removed.
Big Hamlin Fire
Acreage: 19,181 | Containment: 75%
Branch III: Divisions J – Divisions N and J were combined, becoming Division J which includes all contained sections within Branch III except for the spotfire that crossed the Forest Road 2925 near Beaver Creek. Suppression repair supported by chipping operations will be ongoing across most of the division with some patrol and mop-up in areas with known or likely remaining heat.
Division H – Aerial ignition occurred south of Forest Road 29 to add depth to existing firelines and prevent fire from establishing active flame between the existing fire edge and the creek. Operations were successful yesterday and no additional aerial firing operations are planned. Today, as a precaution, firefighters will look for spot fires to ensure no fire gets established outside of firelines from yesterday’s firing operations. Securing of firelines through patrol and mop up will also occur.
Weather and Fuel Conditions:
Today, weather conditions will be like yesterday with humidity in the 20% range and temperatures ranging from 70-80 degrees. The lack of nighttime humidity recovery will be realized with moderate growth possible on east and north edges of the Smith Fire and north side of Big Hamlin Fire. Activity will be most pronounced in areas with dead and down trees occurring on steep slopes with a southern and southwestern aspect.
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: 65,766 acres
(includes Mule Creek and other fires in patrol status)
Total Personnel: 854
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