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Fire Update for Umpqua National Forest

ROSEBURG, OR – August 10, 2013 – In the last 24 hours, southern Oregon experienced more than 14,000 lightning strikes with 253 strikes on the Umpqua National Forest, mostly concentrated in the Calapooya Mountains. Accompanying rain on the Umpqua National Forest varied from zero to 0.6 inches within the same 24-hour period.

Aerial and ground detection reported 12 smokes. Of those, 3 are confirmed fires. The Birds Point Fire at a tenth-acre is 6 miles north of Lemolo Reservoir, and is lined and in patrol status. Another fire is near Monte Rico Ridge, about 2 miles southeast of Twin Rocks Shelter, with crews staffing the fire. U.S. Forest Service provided initial attack to the Deadman Fire, 7 miles north of Tiller and just outside the Umpqua National Forest boundary.

Initial attack on reported smokes is a high priority today. Detection flights are scheduled as soon as storms pass and visibility is good. Crews are positioned for initial attack. Firefighters will continue to respond aggressively to fires with a full suppression strategy.

People visiting or doing business on the Umpqua National Forest are reminded that fire danger remains high, with an Industrial Fire Precaution Level III, and personal-use restrictions in place. Information about the restrictions is available at www.fs.usda.gov/umpqua.

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WHISKEY COMPLEX INFORMATION

The Umpqua National Forest was peppered with hundreds of lightning strikes on Friday afternoon. As a result, fire officials expect initial attack resources to be extremely busy over the next few days as the forests dry and smokes appear. Whiskey Complex firefighting resources were engaged with two initial attack operations in Tiller Ranger District on Friday, and aircraft were also borrowed by nearby districts for initial attack activity. Heavy rain fell in the Tiller area early this morning, but did not affect the fire area.Light rain fell on the western half of the Whiskey Fire on Friday, but the eastern half remained dry. Fuels were sufficiently dry to carry fire in the northeastern corner and near Whisky Camp as firefighters conducted burnout operations to improve fire breaks. A planned aerial-ignition operation did not materialize because thunderstorms were moving into the area.Oregon Incident Management Team 3 received instructions from the Tiller District Friday in preparation for taking over management of the Whiskey Complex on Sunday morning. Outgoing Oregon Team 1, currently in unified command with Douglas Fire Protective Association, .will reach its 14-day limit on Sunday and head home for a two days of rest before possible reassignment.Fire crews, too, are coming to their 14-day limit. New crews have been ordered, but the demand for crews throughout the region is very high.

Friday’s Red Flag warning has been extended into Saturday because of the continued threat of thunderstorms. Any storms are expected to be accompanied by rain, but lightning can easily ignite fires nonetheless. A drying trend with southwest airflow is expected to begin on Sunday, and likelihood of increased fire activity is high.

For public and firefighter safety, a large area closure around the Whiskey Fire remains in effect; major Forest Roads in the area are also closed. Please see Inciweb or the Whiskey Complex blog for full information.

FIRE AT A GLANCE

Total Size:  10,656 Acres

Whiskey –  8,946 ac

Buckeye –  1,683 ac

Smith Ridge – 27 ac  (Contained)

Containment: 40%

Personnel: 911

Air Resources:

 2 Type 1 Heavy helicopters

1 Type 2 medium

2 Type 3 Light helicopters

1 fixed wing air attack aircraft

Location:  6 mi east of Tiller, OR.

Cause: Lightning 7-26-13

Closure information, please see http://tinyurl.com/k6wa3xy or

www.inciweb.org/incident/3562

Fire Information Number: 541-839-3099For more information: www.inciweb.org/incident/3562

Blog site for Whiskey Complex: www.whiskeycomplex.wordpress.com

Smoke information: http://www.oregonsmoke.blogspot.com

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