Middle Fork Complex & Knoll Fire Update – Saturday, August 14, 2021 – 9:00 am
Smoke yesterday moderated fire activity despite the hot and dry weather.
Kwis Fire: Strategic burning operations were conducted along the containment line from Forest Road 207 to Forest Road 5871. Today, crews will continue installing a sprinkler system and water tenders will assist in wetting areas where crews conducted strategic burning. Mop up and patrols along completed line are ongoing and heavy equipment is working on constructing alternative containment lines. Firefighters will continue night work and patrols on the Kwis fire as well.
Kwis Fire Structure Protection: Structure crews from OSFM continued supporting fire operations on the Kwis and the Gale fires. Firefighters provided structure triage and defensible space for structures and homes on private land east of the Gale Fire in the Level 3 Evacuation Zone. Structure crews have also completed over 471 home assessments in Oakridge and the Level 2 Evacuation Zone and are working to complete all assessments in these areas today.
Knoll Fire: Containment on the Knoll fire has increased with expectations for containment percentages to keep increasing. The fire continues to remain within its existing footprint. Firefighters have successfully held the fire west of Highway 126 and mop up work is ongoing. There may be increased smoke as unburned islands of forest within the fire perimeter are naturally consumed.
Gales and Ninemile Fires: With the successes on Kwis and Knoll Fires, more heavy equipment and other resources are being routed to Gales and Ninemile. Firefighters are resuming the previous efforts to construct the indirect containment lines. The equipment will also be utilized to prepare the Forest Road 18, which will be used to move equipment and other resources to both fires. Strategic burning operations will be implemented as conditions allow.
Weather and Smoke: Some instability will linger Saturday, such that a slight potential for deep vertical plume growth will remain, however the threat will be reduced compared to Friday. Morning humidity recoveries are expected, with daytime drying similar to previous days. For current air quality information, visit oakridgeair.org/smoke or the Oregon Smoke Blog oregonsmoke.blogspot.com/.
Evacuations: Level 1, 2 and 3 evacuation notices have been issued by Lane County. For current evacuation information and an interactive map of evacuation areas, visit: www.lanecounty.org.
Closures: Some National Forest System lands near the Middle Fork Complex and Knoll fires are temporarily closed to provide for public safety. For more information visit www.fs.usda.gov/willamette. The Oregon State Marine Board issued a temporary closure on a portion of the McKenzie River, for more information visit: https://www.flashalert.net/id/OSMB.
ADDITIONAL FIRE INFORMATION:
Fire Information: (541) 625-0849 Facebook: @MiddleForkComplex @KnollFire
Gales and Elephant Rock: 6,876