Fire Update for Umpqua National Forest
ROSEBURG, OR – Sunday, August 11, 2013 – Widespread lightning blanketed the Umpqua National Forest during Saturday’s thunderstorms with accompanying rain ranging from moderate to heavy in places and light in others.
On Saturday, firefighters responded to 4 fires on the North Umpqua Ranger District and 2 on the Tiller Ranger District. The Whiskey Complex is assisting the Tiller District with initial attack on new fire starts.
The Little Rock Fire, near Monte Rico Ridge about 2 miles southeast of Twin Rocks Shelter, is a half-acre. Firefighters working in steep, rugged terrain in the Steamboat drainage overnighted at the 0.1-acre Prospect Fire near Prospect Creek. The Grouse Fire, at 0.1 acres, is on private land in the Bohemia area about a mile east of Musick Guard Station. Other fires are small, ranging from a single tree to a quarter acre.
Fire managers expect more fires to appear on Sunday and upcoming days as temperatures return to normal or above averages. Aerial and ground detection will assist fire managers in locating new starts. Crews are positioned for initial attack. Firefighters will continue to respond aggressively to fires with a full suppression strategy.
People recreating on the Umpqua National Forest are encouraged to report any smokes to the Forest’s dispatch office at 541-957-3325.
Personal-use restrictions and an Industrial Fire Precaution Level III remain in effect on the Umpqua National Forest with information available at www.fs.usda.gov/umpqua.
Information about the Whiskey Complex on the Tiller Ranger District is available at www.inciweb.org/incident/3562.
Oregon Interagency Incident Management Team 3, Incident Commander Doug Johnson, assumed command of the Whiskey Complex this morning at 6:00 am. The incident command post (ICP) remains at the Milo Academy.
Over the past 48 hours, the Umpqua National Forest received over 728 lightning strikes. The rain associated with these storms was varied across the landscape. While heavy rain fell at the ICP in Milo, only 1/10 inch was recorded at the Blackberry remote automated weather station, located just east of the Whiskey Fire. With the warming and drying trend predicted over the next several days, the initial attack response is expected to increase. Complex resources will be available to assist
Smith Ridge Fire is 100% contained and in patrol status. Firefighting equipment is being removed and back hauled to ICP.
Buckeye Fire is 95% contained and in mop-up and patrol status.
Whiskey Fire is 40% contained and had very little growth. An infrared flight over the fire area last night showed an increase of approximately 292 acres over the past two days with the burnout of interior islands. Several miles of roads have been prepped by removing brush to use as containments line along this perimeter. Crews will scout for opportunities as fuels dry, to burn out and create a defendable fireline along this perimeter. Perimeters on the north, west and southwest are in mop-up and rehabilitation. Road work will begin this morning with the grading of approximately 5 miles of Forest Roads 1610 and 3100.
For fire firefighter and public safety, a large area closure around the Whiskey Fire remains in effect; major roads in the area are closed. Please see the inciweb or Whiskey Complex blog for full information.
Fire at a Glance
Total Size: 10,954
Smith Ridge: 30
Crews: 19 (5 Hotshot)
Water Tenders: 22
2 Type I Heavy
1 Type 2 Medium
2 Type 3 Light
1 Fixed Wing
Location: Douglas County, 6 mi. east of Tiller, OR
Cause: Lightning – 7/26/13