Steep terrain, limited access and dry fuels continue to make control efforts difficult on the four uncontained fires in the Southwest Oregon area. The use of aircraft has been limited by poor visibility due to the smoke inversion impacting the region. Firefighters have been progressing with line construction on each incident. Large fire acreage increases are mainly due to burn out operations to strengthen fire line. Thunderstorms in the area have produced new starts which are being initial attacked by local resources.
Southwest Oregon remains in a Red Flag warning until 11 pm this evening. The change in the weather has brought isolated thunderstorms to the area. Scattered thunderstorms will continue this afternoon and evening and into Thursday. Moisture may increase late today as storms become wetter. This weather system is expected to remain over the area into Saturday.
Although wetter weather is in the forecast public use restrictions are in effect for private and public lands in the area and people should to be aware of current closures and restrictions.
The Medford Rogues baseball team will be holding a benefit game for the Wildland Firefighter Foundation on Thursday August, 8th at Harry and David Field in Medford. Proceeds of the game benefit Wildland Firefighter Foundation in supporting the wildand firefighting community and their families. Please see the attached flyer for details.
The following is consolidated information for each of the major fires burning in Douglas and Josephine Counties:
Total # Fires
BIG WINDY COMPLEX
Location: 25 miles NW of Grants Pass
Size Change in 24 Hours (Acres)
Evacuations/Closures: Bear Camp and Burnt Ridge Roads are closed, as well as numerous trails. The BLM portion of the Wild Section of the Rogue River is closed from Grave Creek to Mule Creek. The Rogue River Trail from Grave Creek to the Rogue River Ranch is temporarily closed. A level 2 evacuation has been established for residences north of the Rogue River and South of the Marial Byway.The Recreation Section of the Wild and Scenic Rogue River is open to rafters. However, the Grave Creek takeout is closed and law enforcement officials will not allow traffic into Grave Creek. Rafters floating on this section of the river should use the Argo, Almeda, or Rand river exits.
Significant Events: Fire behavior Tuesday was moderate and excellent progress was made with containment lines on all divisions. Crews and heavy equipment operators worked with Rural Metro Fire Department to improve fire line and roads, scout for contingency control lines and prep for burnout operations for the community of Galice. Steep terrain, extremely dry fuels and difficult access make control efforts difficult. Firefighters continue to monitor the fires progression along the Rogue River. Air support is hampered by limited visibility due to persistent inversion and smoky conditions.
·Evacuations of homes along Reuben Road, Mt. Reuben Road and McCullough Creek Road in Douglas County were downgraded from a Level 3 to Level 2. Local residents have access, but the roads are closed to the public.
·Thirty homes in the Poorman Creek, Lower Graves Creek Road, Graves Creek Road and Lower Wolf Creek in Josephine County remain evacuated.
·Cow Creek Road from Riddle into the fire area and from Glendale into the fire area is closed.
Significant Events: The complex is made up of the Milo Fire, Rabbit Mountain Fire, Dad’s Creek Fire and Farmer’s Fire.An early lift of the inversion increased fire behavior and the Rabbit Creek and Dad’s Creek fires increased in size. Reduced humidity recovery along ridges and upper slopes caused active fire behavior through the evening. Crews work to build containment lines in Riffle and Bonnie Creek. Construction and preparation of indirect and direct lines on west flank of Rabbit Mountain and Dad’s Creek will continue as will burnout operations as the weather allows. Firefighters continue mopping up of the Farmers Gulch fire. An additional fire camp has been established in Riddle in support of the Douglas Complex.
Contact:541-832-0136 or 541-832-0137
Pubic Meeting: August 7th, 6:30 pm, Wolf Creek County Park. If it is raining the meeting will be moved to the Wolf Creek Community Center.
Evacuations/Closures: Road closures and Level 2 (advisory) evacuation for Oak Flat and Brushy Bar. Level 1 (precautionary) for the area between Kerby Flat and McCaleb Ranch.
Significant Events:Crews have completed all planned contingency lines. Firefighters are suppressing isolated pockets of creeping fire. Aviation resources will engage in suppression as smoke clears to identify outstanding hotspots along the edge of the fire. Transfer of command to a local Type 3 team is slated for August 8th.
·The Level 3 evacuation order for Ash Valley was reduced to Level 2 (advisory)
·Forest Road closures are in place for the area southwest of Beaver Creek.
·Campground Closures: Skillet Camp Comfort Cover Camp, South Umpqua Falls, South Umpqua Day Use Area, Ash Flat, Whiskey Camp, Butler Butte.
Significant Events: Three fires make up the Whiskey Complex: Smith Ridge, Buckeye and Whiskey. Firefighters are making secure containment lines for burning and holding operations on the Whiskey fire. The Smith Ridge and Buckeye fires are in mop up and are in patrol status. Residents in the Ash Valley area should remain prepared to leave in conditions change. Fire activity increased Tuesday afternoon increasing the fires acreage. Smoke hampered aviation use Tuesday. Steep inaccessible terrain has made direct attack difficult. Burnout operations will continue Wednesday.