Big Windy Complex - Morning News Release
Incident: Big Windy Complex Wildfire
Saturday, August 10, 2013 - 9:00 AM PDT
Big Windy Complex: 15,238 acres
Estimated Containment: September 1, 2013
Highlights for the Big Windy Complex:
-Starting today, the Big Windy Complex will provide fire updates once a day in the morning.
-Pacific Northwest Team 3 (Lewis) will receive an inbrief this afternoon and will shadow Pacific Northwest Team 2 on Sunday as they prepare to take over management of the Big Windy Complex.
-Late yesterday afternoon, firefighters did an excellent job with a medical evacuation needed for a firefighter who suffered from a heart condition. The firefighter is in the hospital and is in stable condition.
-The red flag warning issued earlier has been cancelled due to wetting rains received in the area. Isolated thunderstorms will linger in the area today, particularly in early afternoon. Thunderstorms are likely to drop heavy rainfall in the southwest area of the fire, but in scattered locations. As a result, some areas of the fire may receive significant cooling due to weather conditions, and other areas will continue to hold significant heat.
-Night operations were withdrawn earlier than shift change last evening due to an increase thunderstorm activity. Bear Camp and Peavine Roads burnout operations will continue.
-A spike camp is setup in Eden Valley area to reduce travel time for firefighting resources north of the Rogue River. The spike camp will facilitate shorter driving times to the fire and better rest between work shifts.
-Portions of the Douglas Complex have moved south/southwest towards the Big Windy Complex second contingency line. Operations personnel from both incidents continue to work together to make firefighting operations as safe and efficient as possible.
Big Windy Complex Operations Summary:
Firefighters were able to move forward with burnout operations prior to the late afternoon thunderstorms yesterday. The burnouts created good depth to the fireline on the SE flank. Crews will focus on holding the SE and SW flanks that were burned yesterday. On the W flank, dozer line is approximately 50% complete and brushing has been completed on the north end of that line. The Zane Grey and Rogue River Ranch contingents remain in place.
On the N flank, a small portion of handline remains to be finished. Crews continue to work closely on the NE corner of the fire near the Douglas Complex. Approximately ½-9/10” inch of rain was received in that area of the fire yesterday. On the E flank, a small piece of line needs completion. Work in the Whiskey Creek area is complete and crews are starting to pull equipment in Black Bar. Burnout operations may be minimal today due to weather conditions.
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 (Level 2 means be prepared to leave if asked by a law enforcement or fire official) 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. A Level 1 Notice has been issued for the area of Galice Access Road, including the Galice Access Rd - north to the Graves Creek Bridge along Galice Road. Level 1 means persons are alerted that current or projected threats from hazards associated with the approaching fires may be severe. This is the time for preparation and precautionary movement of persons with special needs, mobile property, and possibly pets and livestock.
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 e 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: There will be a 30% chance of precipitation today. Scattered thunderstorms are likely to fall heavy at times early afternoon. The low pressure system is staying in the area creating a longer period for thunderstorm activity. In order for thunderstorms to have a positive effect on the fire, a constant rainfall covering the entire fire would need to occur, which is unlikely. Current forecast shows short isolated thunderstorms over the next day. Maximum temperatures 75-79 degrees in the valleys and 63-69 degrees on ridges; maximum humidity level 41-45% valleys, 49-53% ridges. Winds will be light to variable around the area. Ridgetop winds 6-9 mph northerly with gusts up to 14 mph in the afternoon.
FIRE BEHAVIOR: Fire activity is expected to be fairly minimal today due to weather conditions. It will be limited to creeping and smoldering unless fuels dry out in the afternoon. If fuels dry out enough for activity to pick back up, short crown runs are possible. Wind gusts developing due to thunderstorms may cause a moderate increase in activity.
RESOURCES ASSIGNED: 9 Type 1 hotshot crews, 19 Type 2 hand crews, 2 heavy helicopters, 2 light helicopters, 48 engines, 15 dozers and 19 water tenders, 3 camp crews and 58 National Guard members. Total personnel assigned is 1,214.
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.