Despite forecasts for lightning, the fires within the Whiskey Complex remained socked under an inversion until mid afternoon on Thursday, which allowed for good progress in mop up and burnout of isolated areas of line. Lightning expected in the fire area moved to the east where 16 strikes were documented and three new initial attacks were initiated.
Fire crews were able to line the spot fire that raced out of Pipestone Creek drainage earlier in the week. Four crews were coyote camping in the backcountry Thursday evening to finalize that work on Friday.
On the Buckeye fire, palm infrared units are being used for heat detection within the fire perimeter, and gridding has also begun. Gridding is a systematic process for finding and locating hot spots within a specific area. Interior islands are still torching and smoking, but the fireline continues to hold.
Fire managers were tasked with resolving several road-related concerns Thursday. A lowboy trailer had two wheels slip off the side of the road, leading to a blockage during the time it took to extract it. A sinkhole also began to appear in the 28 road, and a steel plate was inserted by road engineers to mitigate the hazard.
What many consider to be the world’s tallest sugar pine tree still stands proudly along Jackson Creek. Crews have been dropping snags and removing dead and down woody debris from near the tree to help ensure its survival if fire approaches.
A Red Flag warning continues today for possible abundant lightning in the area. Incident Meteorologist Jason Clapp warned of possible 35 mph downdraft winds and/or heavy rainfall associated with thunder cells. An inversion is expected to remain until 3:00 p.m., keeping smoke trapped in the area and limiting aircraft access.
Crews are falling three snags in the fire camp at Milo today in order to ensure the safety of firefighters and future camp users.
Fire at a Glance
Total Size: 10,656 Acres
Whiskey – 8,946 ac
Buckeye – 1,683 ac
Smith Ridge – 27 ac (Contained)
4 Type 1 Heavy helicopters
2 Type 3 Light helicopters
1 fixed wing air attack aircraft
Location: 6 mi east of Tiller, OR.
Cause: Lightning 7-26-13
For closure information, please see http://tinyurl.com/k6wa3xy or
Smoke information: http://www.oregonsmoke.blogspot.com/
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