Wednesday, September 15, 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, limited fire behavior allowed resources to continue work directly on the fire perimeter. Heavy equipment made advances closing the gap to complete indirect line in Division A. Crews and engines worked in Division H of the Big Hamlin Fire to extinguish any remaining heat and check for spot fires from burnout operations of several days ago. Similar “search and destroy” heat missions were carried out across other divisions and around other values at risk to ensure perimeters remained secure. Several hand crews were moved from Branch I to Branch II to establish area awareness and plan firing operations should they be needed in the days ahead. Aviation supplied important assistance to firefighters both in bucket work and reconnaissance.
With fire activity less than expected, fire managers took the opportunity to send firefighting resources and a helicopter to assess the previously contained fires that originated as part of the Devil’s Knob Complex from lightning 6 weeks ago. Aerial inspection revealed a pocket of fuel burning in the interior of the Wild Cat Fire but confirmed the security of all fires’ firelines. Suppression repair for firelines of the Dismal Creek, Little Applegate, Mule Creek, Section 30 (Railroad), and Wild Cat fires will be planned and completed soon.
Today, humidity will be higher in the 35-45% range and temperature in the low 70s due to a marine influenced weather pattern. Firefighters will take advantage of this weather and continue the diligent hard work that is building toward further extension and strengthening of firelines to achieve increased containment. Divisions B and C of the Smith Fire and Division H of the Big Hamlin remain a high priority.
Acreage: 45,771 | Containment: 20%
Branch I: Divisions F and G – Surveillance will occur in both divisions as crews continue patrol and mop-up along the fire edge. Two spots in Division G will also be patrolled.
Division A– Heavy equipment will refine the contingency line traveling North along Forest Road 2759 to Forest Road 850; this should be an established containment line by end of shift today.
Branch II: Division B – Crews will continue mop-up work around the values at risk supported by chippers and heavy equipment. The fire continues to back toward Highway 28 with edges coming into alignment. Firing operations may be conducted if needed to help keep a straight fire edge.
Divisions C and E – Crews contained the remaining line segment in the SE corner allowing for a contained continuous fireline throughout the divisions. “Search and destroy” missions will continue on newly contained firelines, and equipment backhaul and suppression repair will begin where appropriate.
Big Hamlin Fire
Acreage: 19,318 | Containment: 75%
Branch III: Divisions J – Surveillance will occur with mop-up done where needed on firelines and on spot fires. Suppression repair will occur where appropriate.
Division H –Firing operations from earlier this week continue to be successful in helping to even firelines and augment backing fire movement to Jackson Creek. Crews will patrol and mop up on the west side of the division and will focus on securing the east fire edge.
Weather and Fuel Conditions:
A Pacific flow pattern will persist with fluctuating humidity, temperature, and winds. Tomorrow, humidity will be about 40% and temperatures in the 60–70 degree range. Winds will be increased with gusts at 10-20mph. On Thursday and Friday, humidity will drop and temperatures will increase with windier conditions in advance of a wetting rain Friday evening and over the weekend. Fire Behavior is expected to be most active on Thursday and Friday and will then diminish with the incoming storm. Today, fire behavior will be light overall with moderate behavior in dead and down fuels, especially on exposed slopes.
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: 66,584 acres
(includes Mule Creek and other fires in patrol status)
Total Personnel: 780
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