Big Windy Complex Morning Update
Incident: Big Windy Complex Wildfire
BIG WINDY COMPLEX
Fire Information Update
Tuesday, July 30, 2013 - 10:00 am PDT
Complex: Big Windy
Size: 2,117 acres
Personnel: 70, with additional resources on order
News & Highlights for the Big Windy Complex:
-Due to the remote location of the fires, the extremely dry and heavy fuels, the very rugged terrain and the predicted long-term weather forecast, the Big Windy Complex will be an incident of long duration.
-Safety is an absolute priority for firefighters due to a lack of escape routes and safety zones
-For local residents and those traveling through the area, please drive safely on one-lane roads; the combination of limited visibility due to smoke and heavy equipment on the road is a concern.
Big Windy Operations Summary:
After sizing up the fire situation yesterday, operations personnel have identified a strategic plan for suppression of the Big Windy Complex. The plan is to build indirect fire line on the west side of the fires, utilize the Bear Camp Road and join with the Peavine Road to contain the fires.
The Biscuit Fire scar is located south of the Big Windy Complex. Because this area has already burned, it will help suppression efforts somewhat; however, other components such as thick brush fields and numerous snags pose significant challenges and safety concerns for the firefighters. Two advanced life support ambulances are being stationed in the field today, along with two line medics.
Ground operations: Crews will focus on any point protection as needed and start working on prepping for fire line construction. Fire crews will also be scouting for potential medivac sites for the helicopters.
Air operations: One heavy helicopter and one light helicopter is on loan to the Big Windy Complex from the Labrador Fire. There is also one light helicopter that is assigned to the Big Windy Complex.
Closures in Place:
- The Bear Camp Road is officially closed with closure orders and maps issued by the Medford District of the Bureau of Land Management/Grants Pass Interagency Office and the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest/Gold Beach Ranger District. See websites above for additional information. The Josephine County Sheriff’s Office and the Curry County Sheriff’s Office are providing staffing at the closure points and signs are in place.
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 and unforgiving terrain, mixing of fire and public traffic, particularly on one-lane roads, variable and unpredictable winds in the river corridor, inactive and active mining claims, ticks.
WEATHER: Smoke will continue to hamper suppression efforts with light northeast and east winds overnight into Tuesday. Southwest winds will blow over the top of the fire on Tuesday and Wednesday, but will not reach ground level, where a north flow will continue. Thunderstorms should stay mainly in the Cascades into Thursday. Maximum temperatures today 85-90 with 30% relative humidity (Rh). Light NE winds 1-2 mph becoming N 2-5 mph in afternoon. Tonight, partly cloudy until midnight with minimum temperatures 45-50 valleys and 50-55 ridges. Maximum Rh 90-100 % valleys with 70-90% ridges and 20-foot winds 5-8 mph evening.
TODAY’S EXPECTED FIRE BEHAVIOR: Expect very active surface fire behavior with occasional intense flare ups in thicker fuels. Steep slopes and thick ladder fuels will continue to increase the likelihood of group torching and spotting. Rolling ignited material is a prominent safety concern on steep slopes; such material may roll considerable distances, starting fires below with the potential to cause rapid uphill runs.
COOPERATING AGENCIES & PARTNERS: Oregon Department of Forestry, Medford District Bureau of Land Management, Josephine County, Curry County, Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest.