Big Windy Complex Evening Update
Incident: Big Windy Complex Wildfire
BIG WINDY COMPLEX
Fire Information Update
Monday, July 29, 2013 - 5:30 pm PST
Complex: Big Windy
Size: Approximately 2,000 acres
Total Personnel: Approximately 150, with additional resources on order
News & Highlights for the Big Windy Complex:
Bear Camp Road is now officially closed; see closure orders at the above websites. Josephine County Sheriff’s Office, the Bureau of Land Management, Curry County Sheriff’s Office and the Gold Beach Ranger District are working cooperatively to provide staffing at the Bear Camp Road closure checkpoints. Josephine County Emergency Services and Coos Forest Protection Association, in cooperation with Oregon Department of Transportation, has provided signing.
The fire has moved very close to the south bank of the Rogue River; at 2 p.m., heavy smoke, aerial debris and active flame fronts were reported by agency personnel. As a result, the Rogue River Ranch was evacuated as a precautionary measure.
River recreationists are advised that smoke will continue to impact the Rogue River corridor. Rapid changes in fire behavior may force closures in order to protect public safety.
Pacific Northwest Team 2 (Incident Commander Chris Schulte) assumed management of the Big Windy Fire at 6:00 am this morning. The Incident Command Post (ICP) is currently being established in Merlin. The fire team appreciates the use of the Grants Pass Interagency Office during the transition to ICP.
The Big Windy Complex consists of three separate fires, the largest of which is the Big Windy Fire on the south end; Calvert Peak on the west and the Jenny Fire on the north end.
Big Windy Operations Summary:
Fire operations personnel are busy developing strategies for suppression and associated closures in cooperation with multiple agencies and stakeholders. Firefighter and public safety is always the top priority. A risk analysis process is being utilized to determine firefighting tactics that are commensurate with the values at risk.
Operations personnel are scouting potential fire line locations on the north branch (Rogue River) and the south branch (Bear Camp Road) of the fire and determining needs for structure protection. Priorities for protection include the Zane Grey Cabin, the Rogue River Ranch, Mariel Lodge, the Black Bar Lodge, and numerous cabins.
Air operations are based out of the Merlin Airport; aircraft is being shared with neighboring incidents based on need and priorities.
Big Windy Complex: Located on Medford District Bureau of Land Management lands protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry Started: July 26, 2013 at 3:00 a.m. Cause: lightning Location: Approximately 8 miles NW of Galice. The north part of the fire is within two miles of Winkel Bar on the Rogue River.
SAFETY CONCERNS: Steep, unforgiving terrain, mixing of fire and public traffic on Bear Camp Road, variable winds in the river corridor, inactive and active mining claims.
WEATHER FORECAST: Temps in the mid-70s and overcast with smoke and smoke plume development. Upslope winds 3-4 mph with some increased Rh.
TODAY’S EXPECTED FIRE BEHAVIOR: Extremely dry fuels will rapidly ignite with sporadic crown runs.
COOPERATING AGENCIES & PARTNERS: Oregon Department of Forestry, Medford District Bureau of Land Management, Josephine County, Curry County, Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest.