Thursday, August 17, 2017

North Pelican Fire Update, August 17, 2017


North Pelican Fire, August 17
Fire managers continue to monitor the North Pelican Fire located on Pelican Butte, 28 miles northwest of Klamath Falls, which has grown since yesterday to 100 acres. The fire is burning in very steep rocky terrain, and for safety reasons no firefighters are currently on the ground directly fighting this fire. Though the fire is visible from Highway West 140, it is not near or threatening any structures at this time.
 
Aerial resources dropped water today to cool down the eastern edge of the fire; the planes got their water from Fourmile Lake. The fire is creeping through high elevation subalpine forest and occasionally torching some trees.

The unusual recent north winds are pushing smoke into the Klamath Basin, especially around Agency Lake. North winds are expected to continue through Saturday, then shift to a typical wind pattern from the southwest. Firefighters are evaluating Forest Service road systems to the east and north of the fire along the base of Pelican Butte to use as potential fire line.

No closures are currently in place, however forest users are encouraged to avoid Pelican Butte for eclipse viewing on Monday. A closure of that road is being considered to reduce possible conflicts with responders.

A community meeting is being planned for the Rocky Point area in the near future. Details will be included in an update tomorrow.

South Central Oregon Fire Management Partnership is an interagency fire management program that provides comprehensive wildland fire service to south central Oregon and northwest Nevada. The partnership strives to achieve a more efficient, effective and integrated interagency fire management program for all participating agencies on the land administered and protected by each agency.

Participating agencies include: Fremont-Winema National Forest, Lakeview District BLM (Bureau of Land Management), Sheldon-Hart Mountain National Wildlife Refuge Complex, Klamath Basin National Wildlife Refuge Complex, Crater Lake National Park and Klamath-Lake District ODF (Oregon Department of Forestry).

For more information, contact Fire Information Officer, Celeste Prescott with the South Central Oregon Fire Management Partnership at 907-244-9376 or scofmp.fire.info@gmail.com.

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Wednesday, August 16, 2017

North Pelican Fire Update, August 16, 2017


Pelican Fire on August 16 at 1pm.
The lightning caused North Pelican Fire was initially reported on August 10th.  The fire received precipitation the day it started which slowed its growth. Recent warm, dry and windy conditions have increased fire activity and the fire is now approximately 10 acres. The fire continues to burn in a remote area on Pelican Butte. Due to the rocky terrain and remote location no firefighters have been deployed to the area. Fire officials deemed the area too unsafe for helicopter repel crews or smokejumpers to respond. Fire personnel are flying the fire daily to monitor its growth.

The fire is over a mile from the nearest values at risk. Fire officials are evaluating options to stem fire growth to the north (Rock Creek) and east (Westside Road) where safe and appropriate if fire activity deems it necessary.

Smoke may be visible in the area around Pelican Butte, Upper Klamath Lake, and Klamath Falls.


No structures or private lands are threatened. There are currently no forest, trail, or road closures in the area.

For more information, contact Fire Information Officer, Celeste Prescott with the South Central Oregon Fire Management Partnership at 907-244-9376 or scofmp.fire.info@gmail.com. 

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Progress continues on Spruce Lake Fire

Crews are building fire containment lines, moving east toward the Pacific Crest Trail on the north and south boundaries of the fire today. They are installing sprinklers to protect established remote campsites.

On the northeastern flank, the fire has been creeping and smoldering in an area dominated by pumice and sparse vegetation. This light fire behavior can have benefits for that ecosystem of Crater Lake National Park.

Additional resources are working to create defensible space around Crater Lake National Park facilities, campgrounds and infrastructure. This means applying Fire Wise principles by removing debris, dead branches up to 6 feet off the ground and thinning dense stands of saplings, while preserving an attractive landscape. For more information about these strategies, visit www.firewise.org

Thunderstorms are possible again today, with potential for hail, heavy rain, lightning and 35 mph winds. In these hazardous conditions, firefighters must stop work and seek cover until the storm passes.  A Red Flag Warning has again been issued for abundant lightning with dry fuels this afternoon. Although some areas of Klamath and Jackson counties received significant rainWednesday, less than one-tenth of an inch fell in the fire zone.

Today is a management transition day for the Spruce Lake and Blanket Creek fires. Northwest Incident Management Team 13 has reached the end of its two week assignment and would like to thank Prospect and the surrounding communities for their support. A Type 1 Incident Management Team, California 3 will have responsibility for managing these fires starting Friday at 6:00 a.m.

A Level 1 Evacuation Notification to raise awareness of fires in the vicinity continues for the Rim Village and park headquarters.  

Air quality is expected to be “Moderate” in Crater Lake National Park today due to smoke.  Unusually sensitive people should consider reducing heavy outdoor exertion.  To view current air quality data from a smoke monitor located at park headquarters go to: www.oregonsmoke.blogspot.com.  To see the current view from four locations at Crater Lake National Park, go to: www.craterlakelodges.com/webcam/.

West Rim Road and several trails are closed until further notice for the safety of visitors and firefighters.  Affected trails are: a portion of the Pacific Crest Trail from the south park boundary to Highway 62, and from the intersection of the Dutton Creek Trail north to the North Entrance Road; Union Peak Trail; Stuart Falls Trail; Pumice Flat Trail; Boundary Springs Trail; Bald Crater Loop Trail; Bert Creek Trail; Discovery Point Trail; Lightning Springs Trail; and the Rim Trail, from Discovery Point to North Junction.
An area west of the fire on the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest is also closed to reduce the exposure to risk for fire personnel and the public.  See: https://tinyurl.com/SpruceLakeFire 

Fire at a Glance
Size: 4,734 acres; 31% Contained
Location: Mostly inside Crater Lake National Park, west of Crater Lake
Cause: Lightning, Natural
Personnel: 384 
Resources:
 2 Type 1 Hotshot Crews
13 Type 2 Crews
 8 Falling units
 4 Engines    1 Dozer  
Aircraft shared With Blanket Creek Fire:
4 Type 1 heavy helicopters
2 Type 2 medium helicopters
1 Type 3 light helicopter
Closures:  A closure of the West Rim Drive, a portion of the Pacific Crest Trail and other trails has been issued within Crater Lake National Park. An area closure is in place on Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest.  Maps are available on Inciweb.

Blanket Creek Fire 39% Contained - August 10

After two weeks of hot and exhausting work, firefighters have completed over 12 miles of line around the Blanket Creek Fire.  The fire is now listed as 39% contained with the remaining unlined fire edge on the eastern flank of the fire.  

Three Hotshot crews working on the spot fire in the Lick Creek drainage on the northwestern edge have completed a hand line around it to tie it back into the main body of the fire.  This was a critical piece of work to keep the fire spread north of Forest Road 6205-100 at 171 acres. Work will continue to strengthen that line in the coming days.  A contingency fireline along Forest Road 6215 will be completed to contain the fire’s spread should it escape current containment lines.  This work will also provide protection for the private land to the west during future fires in the drainage.

Hotshot crews are also working on the eastern end of the fire within Crater Lake National Park to check its spread in the Union Peak area and assess suppression opportunities as it burns within the 2008 Middle Fork Fire burn scar.  Standing snags, poor access and rugged terrain provide significant challenges for firefighters to safely engage.  This requires fire managers to match their strategy and tactics to the risks involved for the crews working in the area and the values their work will protect across the landscape.

Elsewhere on the fire the tedious, but necessary, task of mopping up hotspots near the fire line is ongoing.  Chippers are working along Forest Road 6205 to reduce the size of the fuel removed during the preparation of that road.  FR6205 was used to hold the fire as it backed down the slope to the bottom of the Red Blanket Creek drainage.

Fire behavior has moderated greatly since last week.  This week the west end of the fire has received precipitation from afternoon thunderstorms.   The resulting moisture and cooler temperatures have knocked some steam out of the fire, but it has not been enough to extinguish it.  Thunderstorms are forecast again for today.  Drier, windier conditions will prevail through the weekend.  This will enhance the chance for the fire to spread where containment lines have not been established.  

Today is the final shift for Northwest Incident Management Team 13 on the Blanket Creek Fire.  Tomorrow California Incident Management Team 3 (Mark Von Tillow, Incident Commander) will begin managing the Blanket Creek and Spruce Lake Fires.  They are also tasked with initial attack responsibility north of the Middle Fork of the Rogue River on the High Cascades Ranger District. 

Qualified firefighters working for federal, state and local agencies from across the nation are lending their skills and expertise to suppressing these complex fires. The depth and breadth of the experience and skills brought to address these tasks is a testament to the strength and effectiveness of the wildland firefighting community in Oregon and across the United States. 

Blanket Creek Fire at a Glance
Size: 4,800 acres; 39% Contained
Location: 6 miles east of Prospect, Oregon
Cause: Lightning, Natural
Personnel: 771
Resources:
    1 Type 1 Hotshot Crew
  15 Type 2 Crews
  18 Engines
  14 Water tenders
    4 Dozers
  12 Falling units
 Aircraft:
4 Type 1 heavy helicopters
2 Type 2 medium helicopters
1 Type 3 light helicopter
Closures: The Blanket Creek Fire vicinity is closed.  The Closure Order and maps are on the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest website and Inciweb.  Portions of the Pacific Crest Trail and other trails are closed in Crater Lake National Park.  See Maps on Inciweb.

Modoc July Complex Fire update for August 10


FIRE SUMMARY
By the end of Wednesday’s shift, one new lightning-caused fire was identified. Firefighting crews positioned throughout the Forest along with coordinated efforts between Modoc Dispatch and the Modoc July Complex operations staff provided for quick resource responses to smoke reports. Aircraft pinpointing exact locations to the resources en route provided firefighters the advantage of engaging any new fires aggressively, effectively and — most important — safely.

Crews worked the 108-acre Chalk Fire on Wednesday and continue to monitor, mop up, and patrol.

With drier conditions to start the day combined with a Red Flag Warning for abundant lightning, holdover fires have potential to grow and new starts remain likely. Firefighters will focus their efforts on securing the current fires and prepare for new starts. Fire suppression repair work is in progress, personnel and equipment are rehabilitating firelines and other areas impacted during firefighting efforts. The goal is to reduce erosion and other impacts from suppression activities.

NORTH ZONE
The Steele Fire is estimated at 45,690 acres and remains 91 percent contained. Crews are continuing to secure firelines, mop up and further control sections of interior heat.

SOUTH ZONE
The Cove Fire is at 30,886 acres and remains at 100 percent containment. Firefighters will continue their efforts to keep the fire within its containment lines.
Date Started: July 24, 2017
Cause: Lightning
Size:  83,120
Containment: 91%
Structures Destroyed: 0
Firefighter injuries: 6
Total Personnel: 1,277
Fire Resources:    29 crews,   63 engines,   4 helicopters,   12 bulldozers,   40 water tenders

Parker 2 Fire update for August 10


The Parker 2 Fire is currently 8079 acres and 40% contained.

Guess who's coming to fire camp? Smokey Bear will make a guest appearance at our Camp Tour TODAY, August 10, 2017. The tour will be held at the Parker 2 Fire Incident Command Post at the Rotary Fields in Alturas. Please let us know you're coming by calling us at 530-276-8097 or emailing us at 
eastzonemodocnf@gmail.com.

Crews completed line yesterday on the northwestern edge of the fire. They will continue to patrol and mop up, strengthening fire lines, removing hazard trees, and making sure that there are no threats to fire containment. Besides checking and extinguishing hot spots, they will remove hazard trees and “cold trail:” use an un-gloved hand to feel the ground for lingering heat. Crews are working around the spots and fingers on the northeastern side of the fire, making sure every edge has been carefully contained.

Crews are working directly on the fire’s edge on the southeastern edge (from Parker Creek east) to contain the fire in the Wilderness. The persistent low pressure that has been over California for the past week will produce one more day of scattered showers and thunderstorms. Drier weather is predicted to move into the area tomorrow, with a possible cold front predicted Sunday night into Monday. Information, photos, and maps for the Parker 2 Fire are available on Inciweb at 
https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5462/ A Forest Closure remains in effect for the fire area. The full text of the Closure and a map are available on the Modoc National Forest website at https://goo.gl/t9gKKP
Thunderstorms challenge Spruce Lake Fire suppression 
Cooler temperatures are slowing the spread of the Spruce Lake Fire, allowing firefighters to work more aggressively toward containment. 
Sunday, the fire was estimated at 4,681 acres and 13 percent contained. A public meeting is being planned later in the week to brief residents and visitors. Additional details will be posted as they become available. 
The fire continues growing in a southeasterly direction toward West Rim Road. Sunday, crews hiked 7 miles in to begin establishing fire lines along the northern boundary of the fire. 
Ground crews were not able to approach the south side of the fire due to steep terrain and thick areas of standing dead or dying trees. Helicopters continue to drop water in that area. 
Expected thunderstorms in the area pose another challenge to the suppression effort, as lightning can force crews to stop work on the ground, accelerate the fire’s spread and cause new fire starts. 
In Crater Lake National Park, a Level 1 Evacuation Notification is in place for Rim Village and the Park headquarters area. This is the first step in the "Ready, Set, Go!" system. A Level 1 notification means park visitors and residents should be aware they could be asked to leave the area and get "Ready" to do so. For more information about evacuation levels and procedures, go to http://www.rvem.org/general-evacuation-information.html 
Air quality is predicted to be "Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups" in Crater Lake National Park today due to smoke. Smoke levels vary widely from place to place around the park and at different times of day. To view current air quality data from a smoke monitor located at park headquarters go to: oregonsmoke.blogspot.com. To see the current view of the Crater Lake from Rim Village go to: www.nps.gov/crla/learn/photosmultimedia/webcams 
West Rim Drive and several trails are closed until further notice for the safety of visitors and firefighters. Affected trails are: the Pacific Crest Trail from the south park boundary to Highway 62, and from the intersection of the Dutton Creek Trail north to the North Entrance Road; Union Peak Trail; Stuart Falls Trail; Pumice Flat Trail; Boundary Springs Trail; Bald Crater Loop Trail; Bert Creek Trail; Discovery Point Trail; Lightning Springs Trail; and the Rim Trail, from Discovery Point to North Junction. 
An area west of the fire on the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest is also closed to reduce the exposure to risk for fire personnel and the public. See: https://tinyurl.com/SpruceLakeFire 

All Crater Lake National Park services and facilities are open and welcome visitors.

North Pelican Fire Update, August 17, 2017

North Pelican Fire, August 17 Fire managers continue to monitor the North Pelican Fire located on Pelican Butte, 28 miles northwest of...