Big Windy Complex - Evening News Release
Incident: Big Windy Complex Wildfire
Tuesday, August 6, 2013 - 9:00 PM PDT
Big Windy Complex: 10,841 acres total
-Jenny Fire: 3,092 acres
-Calvert Peak Fire: 177 acres
-Big Windy Fire: 7,572 acres
Estimated Containment: September 1, 2013
Highlights for the Big Windy Complex:
-Firing operations from last night along the S containment lines of the Big Windy Fire held during today’s operational period. Burnout operations resumed early this evening and will continue through the night, attempting to bring fire to the southeastern most point of the containment line.
-Overall, good progress was made on the fire lines today. Containment lines on the east-southeast flank of the fire perimeter have been completed and crews are ready to begin burnout operations. This tactic is used to reduce the fuels between the fire and the containment lines.
-Good progress was made on secondary containment lines on the N side of the river should they be needed. Locations to bring these lines down to the north side of the river were established.
-Dry thunderstorms are possible after midnight tonight as the weather pattern becomes unstable.
Big Windy Complex Operations Summary:
Ground Operations: Firefighters have made excellent progress with containment lines in all divisions, and continued looking for opportunities for secondary containment lines on the SE flank of the fire. At the Black Bar Lodge, crews began firing operations to create a blackened area around the lodge to help protect it. At Zane Grey’s cabin, crews are ready to begin burnout operations. 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. Coordination with all agencies and partners continue.
Air operations: Air support continued to be hampered by limited visibility due to the persistent inversion and smoky conditions. Two heavy helicopters, two light helicopters and one air attack plane was assigned today.
Closures in Place:
-The Bear Camp Road (BLM # 34-8-36 and Forest Service #23) 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 National Guard is providing staffing at all road closure checkpoints.
-Burnt Ridge Road, Forest Service Road 2308, is closed from the junction with Forest Road 2300 to the junction with Forest Road 3300.
-Rogue River Trail from Grave Creek to Rogue River Ranch.
-The BLM portion of the Wild Section of the Rogue River is closed from Grave Creek to Mule Creek due to extreme fire conditions and public health and safety issues.
Evacuations: A level 2 evacuation notice is in place starting at the Marial Lodge and following the Rogue River east to Grave Creek, then north and west on the Marial Byway back to the Marial Lodge.
Big Windy Complex: Consists of the Big Windy (Josephine County), Calvert Peak and Jenny Fires (Curry County). 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.
VALUES AT RISK: Boaters and campers on the Rogue River, Wild and Scenic River below Grave Creek, economic considerations associated with recreation, Black Bar Lodge (18 structures), Zane Grey Historical Cabin, Marial Lodge, Rogue River Ranch, cultural resources, threatened & endangered species habitat, late successional reserves, fisheries and wildlife.
WEATHER: N-NE winds tonight, RH 63-70%, minimum temp 56 degrees. We are anticipating thunderstorms after midnight with the potential for light showers.
FIRE BEHAVIOR: Fire behavior will initially be similar to last night. Upslope winds will tend to push the fire against lines. Conditions are good for a successful burnout operation until passing thunderstorms develop. If this occurs, winds may change to a southerly direction and become erratic with gusts to 30 MPH. As a result, if conditions change, burnout operations will be adjusted accordingly.
RESOURCES: Assigned to the night shift burnout operation includes 5 Type 1 hotshot crews, 2 skidgens, 8 engines, several 20-person crews, 1 safety officer and additional medical personnel.
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, ticks, bee stings, hazard trees, poison oak, poor air quality, aviation operations, extreme fire behavior, railroad crossings, black bears and cougars. Safety trends include bee stings, and knee and ankle injuries.
COOPERATING AGENCIES & PARTNERS: Oregon Department of Forestry, Medford District Bureau of Land Management, Josephine County, Curry County, Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest, Jackson County, Rural Metro Fire Department.