Whiskey Complex Update, Wednesday, 7 August 2013
Incident: Whiskey Complex Wildfire
The Whiskey Fire reacted to increased atmospheric instability Tuesday by coming up out of Beaver Creek and crossing roads and established firelines. Because of the energy exhibited by the fire, firefighters in the area were told to disengage, and used their escape routes to return to their safety zones. No firefighters were injured in the exodus, and overnight moisture may have sapped the slopover of its energy. Infrared imagery from last night’s flyover shows about 300 acres of fire outside the lines just east of Pipestone Creek in the Beaver Creek drainage. Strategy will be reassessed, but as of this morning, the plan is to directly attack the slopover using dozers and crews, as well as aircraft, if the smoke lifts enough for aerial attack.
The Buckeye Fire is being mopped up, but has heat along the edges in places, which is where firefighters will be focusing their attention today. Smaller trees of six- to 12- inch diameters were observed falling as their roots succumbed to the fire, and firefighters were warned of the hazard.
Thunderstorms predicted for several days arrived during the night at about 2:00 a.m. There were 15 lightning strikes in the initial attack area for which the Whiskey Complex fire management team is responsible, and some 600 strikes to the south and east. The low pressure area bringing the storms is also causing lower temperatures and higher humidity. As a result, firefighters may have a better chance to bolster their lines today. Initial attack forces stand ready to respond to fires ignited by the recent lightning.
As the fire expands, fire officials have also significantly expanded the closure area. The closure area has been stretched east along Jackson Creek to FS Road 68, with the eastern edge touching on Crooked Creek, Cougar Butte, Abbott Butte, and the Rogue -Umpqua Divide Wilderness Area.
For specific closure information, please see www.inciweb.org/incident/3562
Fire at a Glance
Total Size: 10,245 Acres
Whiskey – 8536 ac
Buckeye – 1682 ac
Smith Ridge – 27 ac (Contained)
5 Type 1 Heavy helicopters
1 Type 2 Medium helicopter
2 Type 3 Light helicopters
Air Tankers as needed
Location: 6 mi east of Tiller, OR.
Cause: Lightning 7-26-13