Tuesday, August 22, 2017

North Pelican Fire A.M. Update, August 22, 2017

North Pelican Fire Perimeter Map, August 22, 2017
Red Flag warnings are in effect from 2 p.m. to 11 p.m. today for abundant lightning on dry fuels in portions of Southern Oregon and Northern California. These storms are predicted to stay to the South and East of the fire area but will likely bring erratic winds and create potentially unsafe conditions on the fire line.

The North Pelican Fire is estimated at 1,200 acres, which includes the 20-acre fire that was found to the west yesterday. The newly discovered fire was originally detected during the same August 10 lightning storm that started North Pelican but was not found until yesterday afternoon. Over 120 firefighters and supporting overhead are currently assigned to the fire.

As a safety precaution, the Fremont-Winema National Forest is in the process of finalizing an Area Closure that will close portions of the forest around the incident to all vehicle and pedestrian entry. This will include the Cold Springs Trailhead and the 3709 and 3710 Trails. The Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) itself is unaffected by this closure, but access to and from the PCT will be limited in the area. The 3651 Road will be closed at the Road 3659 junction about 1.75 miles south of Cold Springs Trailhead. Pelican Butte Road remains closed.

The general perimeter of the Area Closure will include all Forest Lands west of Westside Road, east of Pelican Butte Road, north of the 3554 Road, and south of 3519 Road.  The closure is currently being finalized and should be in place later today.  We will be sharing the closure via our social media sites and e-mail once it is finalized.

Yesterday, Forest Service staff checked the Cold Springs Trailhead and attempted to contact any hikers who were inside the closure area.  Officials will be posting trailheads that provide access to the Cold Springs Trail area such as the Cherry Creek and Rogue-Siskiyou National Forest Trailheads to let folks know that they will not be able to hike into the Cold Springs Trail area. 

Forest Ranger, Ben Goodwin, cutting hazard trees.

Today, firefighters will continue mop up efforts around spot fires and landing piles along the eastern flank. Mop up efforts will further secure the containment lines and reduce the potential for the fire to spread. Crews will also work to improve dozer lines and Forest Service Road near the fire perimeter by clearing brush and limbing trees of all latter fuels. Hazard or snag trees are proving to be another primary safety consideration on this fire.

If traveling on Westside Road or through the Rocky Point area, please be vigilant and drive with caution as emergency traffic vehicles are in the area. When smoke is visible, motorists are encouraged to drive with their headlights on. Please use extreme caution when driving near firefighters and equipment.

An online option for viewing the fire area is https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/publicmaps/keno/map.html. Winds from the north continued to push smoke into the Basin today. Air quality advisories are available at www.klamathair.org.  

For more information, contact the North Pelican Fire Information line for the South Central Oregon Fire Management Partnership at 541-363-7412 or scofmp.fire.info@gmail.com.

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