Kwis Fire: Sprinkler systems were installed to strengthen containment lines on elevated terrain and in areas not adjacent to road systems. Today will be a continuation of mop up and patrols with heavy equipment working on alternate containment lines. As operations are completed, resources are re-positioned to where they will be most effectively utilized on the complex. Some will be shifted to other locations associated with the Kwis Fire, and others will be re-located to aid in suppression efforts on the Gales or Ninemile Fires.
Kwis Fire Structure Protection: Structural triage has been completed in Oakridge, Oakridge area Level 2 Evacuation Zone and the Level 3 Evacuation Zone west of the Gales Fire. Firefighter Risk Assessment Placards were posted, increasing fire suppression safety for homeowners. The information assessed by Task Forces has been gathered and will be shared with your local fire response agencies, giving them critical response information should fire risk increase. This gives Lowell and Oakridge Fires a head start if the need arises to engage in structure protection.
The Oregon State Fire Marshal’s (OSFM) Incident Management Team is evaluating fire needs and is in discussions with local fire officials to determine transition. Crews are expected to be demobilized to their home districts. If needed, crews can be re-activated to the complex. OSFM crews are activated through the state mobilization plan and the Lane County Fire Defense Board Chief. Additional evaluation of demobilization will likely occur over the next 48 hours. Considerations used are weather, risk to life and property, perimeter holds, contingency lines, and completion of mission tasks.
Knoll Fire: Firefighters have been successful holding the Knoll fire within containment lines for the last several days. Mop up and patrol for spot fires are ongoing. Smoke will remain visible as unburned vegetation within the containment line is consumed. Management of this fire will be transferred back to the Willamette National Forest on Monday.
Gales and Ninemile Fires: Heavy equipment and other specialized resources are arriving to the Gales and Ninemile fires. Preparation of containment lines along Forest Road 18 and other roads is ongoing. Strategic burning operations, utilizing both hand and aerial ignition to reduce available fuel between containment lines and the active fire will take place in the future when burning conditions are right for successful implementation. Aerial ignition operation will include the use of a plastic sphere dispenser (PSD). The device delivers spheres containing potassium permanganate that are injected with ethylene glycol (antifreeze) before being discharged. A chemical reaction between the potassium permanganate and ethylene glycol causes the sphere to ignite approximately 20 to 30 seconds after injection. A short video demonstrating the use of PSD devices is available at www.youtube.com/watch?v=3iPNOw-oQgo.
Weather and Smoke: Mostly sunny with smoke. Better clearing of smoke by late afternoon. Sunday will be warm again, with similar or slightly lower daytime humidity compared to Saturday. 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 are in place in Lane County. Current evacuation information and an interactive map of evacuation areas are available at www.lanecounty.org. Linn County has also issued a Level 1 evacuation notice for the Knoll Fire, more information is available at: https://buff.ly/3CutPQR.
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