Although firefighters contained 5 of 6 fire starts on the Rogue River- Siskiyou National Forest yesterday, concern remains high regarding the fire situation and potential for large fire growth regarding the numerous fires burning in SW Oregon.
On the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest, the Labrador Fire has grown to approximately 300 acres in size and remains active on all perimeters. The fire is located west of the Illinois River downstream of Oak Flat and is either burning close to, or may have moved into, the Kalmiopsis Wilderness.
Aerial resources currently assigned to the Labrador Fire include air attack, however, due to poor visibility, air tankers cannot be utilized at this time. Five large federal air tankers and three Oregon Department of Forestry air tankers will be utilized as needed when visibility allows on the numerous fires in the area, as well as for initial attack on new starts. An aircraft coordinator has been ordered to manage the numerous air resources that have been called in to assist with the fires.
A Type 2 Incident Management Team (Brett Fillis) will receive an in briefing for the Labrador Fire at 12 noon today. The Incident Command Post for the fire team will be located at Lake Selmac in Selma.
Resources assigned to the Labrador Fire include 8 smokejumpers, 1 hotshot crew, 1 Type 2 initial attack crew, and 6 engines. Additional firefighting resources ordered include 2 hotshot crews and 5 Type 2 initial attack crews, two medium helicopters and 1 light helicopter. These additional resources are expected to be on scene today.
The public is advised to be extremely careful during this fire season, as conditions in southwest Oregon are very similar to conditions during the Biscuit Fire of 2002. For your own personal safety, please cooperate with local law enforcement officers should evacuations become necessary in your area ; a fire behavior advisory is currently in place for SW Oregon.
[ posted by Virginia Gibbons, public affairs, Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest ]