Thursday, August 10, 2017
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.
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