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Over 2,500 Firefighters Continue Work on Douglas County Wildfires

12:59 AM · Aug 13, 2021

Here is the latest update for the wildfires in Douglas County as of Thursday morning August 12th. Skyline Ridge Complex - 3,640 Acres, 23% contained Devil's Knob Complex - 5,793 Acres, 5% contained Jack Fire - 23,386 Acres, 53% contained Rough Patch Complex - 4,765 Acres, 3% contained ***Skyline Ridge Complex Morning Update, Aug. 12, 2021*** A new control line has been built from the east ridge flanking the Poole Creek Fire, tying it to Stouts Creek Road. The new line corrals a large spot fire that firefighters battled earlier in the week. It connects to the main northern control line. The goal is to keep the fire boxed in between the two main ridges, with active suppression of any new fire starts beyond control lines. Crews mopped up after last night’s planned burn-out operations. They also mopped up a quarter-acre spot fire on the fire’s east flank. Overall containment on the Complex remains at 23 percent. Acreage increases on the Complex come from growth on the Poole Creek Fire, now at 3,640 acres. The number of personnel has reached 1,280. Thick smoke yesterday grounded most air operations, but moderated temperatures and fire behavior. Smoke will linger today. There is a Red Flag Warning for hot, dry and unstable conditions but winds will be light. Structural firefighters with the Oregon Office of the State Fire Marshal completed an initial assessment of properties along Ferguson Lane near the northern control line for Poole Creek. They will be present as a precaution while the fire backs down two drainages toward an established fire line on the fire’s north side. Three reportable injuries on the fire occurred yesterday when a night shift crew returning from the line drove off Tiller Trail Highway. The firefighters suffered minor injuries. ***Devil's Knob Complex Morning Update, Aug. 12, 2021*** Complex Total Acreage: 5,793 Complex Total Containment: 5% General Updates: Significant progress was made on mopping up of small fires, and portions of larger fires, as well as containment actions on larger fires within the Complex. Eight smaller fires within the Complex are considered either controlled or out. The priority continues to be taking suppression actions on larger fires that are on or near private property and homes. As high priority fires become contained and mopped up in the southern portion of the Complex, resources will be moved to the central and northern portions of the Complex to other priority fires. Fire behavior will continue to be very active due to high temperatures, low humidity, and low fuel moisture. Firefighters will continue to be very vigilant watching for spot fires and other extreme fire behavior. The following is a brief summary of the significant fire activity over the fire complex starting from north to south: Smith Fire – 758 acres - growth continues to be minimal, the fire is holding on the Dumont Creek Road. Approximately two miles of road containment line has been prepared with a focus on preventing fire spread to the north and west. Mule Creek Fire – 989 acres – the fire is staying within established contingency lines, mop up operations continue to make good progress. Big Hamlin Fire – 3,562 acres – the Top Off (446) Fire, the 495 Fire, and the Big Hamlin Fire have burned together. These three fires have been combined into what is now referred to as the Big Hamlin Fire. The southwest flank of the fire is holding within containment lines. Containment efforts are focused on preventing the fire's easterly movement where it has been spotting out in front of the main body of the fire toward and into an older fire scar area known as the Whiskey Fire (2013). Efforts include opening up old firelines that were constructed for the Whiskey Fire to use as contingency lines should the fire continue to push easterly. Little Applegate Fire – 135 acres – currently holding in the existing footprint, containment line is nearing completion. Hotshot crews have constructed a check line below a cliff rock band on Red Mountain. Wildcat Fire – 215 acres – stayed within the same footprint; containment line has been constructed on the west side to the private land on the north and mop up operations will continue. Containment efforts are focused on the south and east flanks to hold the fire. To limit firefighter exposure to hazardous trees (snags), a sprinkler system has been installed to check the fire along the South Fork of Cow Creek. Construction of contingency line will continue in the area of South Fork Cow Creek and Forest Service Road 090 in case the fire moves out of the current footprint. Section 30 (Railroad) Fire – 75 acres – significant mop up progress has achieved 100 – 200 feet into the interior of the fire. The unnamed, smaller fires make up the remaining acres and continue to be mopped up and monitored. Fire patrol checks were completed on numerous controlled and contained fires. The firefighting resources on the Devil's Knob Complex are also responsible for conducting initial attack operations on the entire Tiller Ranger District, including private land holdings. Weather: Today will be mostly sunny with smoke. Temperatures are predicted to continue to trend upwards into the mid-90s to low 100s through Saturday. A Red Flag Warning will be in effect this afternoon. An Excessive Heat Warning has been posted and will extend through Saturday for all of southwest Oregon. Winds will be from the north-northwest at 5-10 mph with gusts up to 20 mph. Relative humidity will range between 13 – 18 percent. Air Quality: Smoke levels can change rapidly depending on weather. Check current conditions on the Oregon Smoke Information Blog: Resources: 3-type 1 hotshot crews, 2-type 2 IA crews, 12-type 2 crews, 3-camp crews, 40-engines, 19-dozers, 17-water tenders, 154-overhead, 3-masticator, 1-heavy lift helicopter, total resources – 685. Evacuations: On August 8, Douglas County Sheriff's Office issued a Level 1 “Be Ready” evacuation advisory for the following locations in the Days Creek and Milo areas: all addresses located on Ferguson Lane, Moore Ranch Road, and Devils Knob Road. Level 1 “Be Ready” means: Residents should be aware of the danger that exists in their area, monitor emergency services websites and local media outlets for information. This is the time for preparation and precautionary movement of persons with special needs, mobile property and (under certain circumstances) pets and livestock. If conditions worsen, emergency services personnel may contact you via an emergency notification system. The Douglas County Sherriff’s Office has determined the following homes will remain under a Level 3 “GO!” Evacuation Notice: All homes on Upper Cow Creek Road with addresses starting at 20039 through 20700, and three residences in the Burnt Creek area. Level 3 “GO!” means: LEAVE IMMEDIATELY! The following homes will remain under a Level 2 “Be Set” Notice: All homes on Upper Cow Creek Road with addresses starting at 18300-20000. Level 2 “Be SET” means: YOU MUST PREPARE TO LEAVE AT A MOMENTS NOTICE. Residents can opt in to receive emergency alerts based on their address by registering at Residents are encouraged to visit the interactive evacuation map at where they can enter their address to determine what level they may be in. Temporary Flight Restrictions: For the safety of the firefighters and aircraft fighting the Devil’s Knob Complex, a temporary flight restriction has been revised over the fire area. Please consult the “Notice to Airman” for specifics. Wildfires are a “No Drone Zone.” Conditions in the forest are very dry. Any spark has a very high probability of starting a new fire so the public is reminded to be extra careful while enjoying the out-of-doors. ”One Less Spark, One Less Wildfire”. ***Jack Fire and Rough Patch Complex Morning Update for Thursday, Aug. 12*** Firefighters are working to strengthen primary, alternate and contingency lines around the Rough Patch Complex and Jack Fire footprints. “Most of our indirect containment lines, including dozer, hand line and road systems, are in,” said John Spencer, operations section chief for Northwest 13 Incident Management Team. “Currently, we are brushing, masticating and utilizing feller bunchers to remove vegetation and widen those indirect lines.” Brushing is when ground crews cut and remove brush, small trees and low-hanging branches along a containment line. Falling teams are also removing hazard snags to protect firefighters from falling timber and prevent burning trees or branches from crossing established fire lines. Fire managers also continue to assess and prioritize opportunities to secure lines utilizing strategic ignitions if conditions allow and it is safe to do so. Aviation resources were grounded Wednesday due to smoke. High temperatures and low humidity stimulated fire activity in several areas of the Rough Patch Complex and kicked up two new fires in the Jack Fire area thought to be holdovers from last week’s storms. Weather: A Red Flag Warning is in effect through Friday, with the potential for large fire growth. CLOSURES:  The Umpqua and Willamette National Forests have closed Steamboat Campground, Steamboat Falls Campground, Canton Creek Campground, Musick Guard Station and Mineral Campground. Copies of all closures and maps can be found at   Roseburg District Bureau of Land Management has expanded its closure area to include the Scaredman Recreation Site. Francis Creek Road from the junction with Canton Creek Road north to the district boundary has been closed since Aug. 5. The Umpqua National Forest is now under Industrial Fire Precaution Level 4, which prohibits all commercial timber operations. Public Use Restrictions (PUR) remain at Level 3, which bans any open flame, smoking, operation of internal combustion engines and motorized travel off designated roads and trails.


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