Saturday, August 24, 2013

8/24/2013 - Final Blog Update (Facebook and Twitter to Continue)

Air Attack - Heli on Big Windy Complex


The Southern Area Red Type 1 Incident Management Team will assume responsibility for management of the Big Windy Complex at 0600 on Sunday, August 25th.  PNW Team 3 wishes to thank community members and cooperators for the outstanding support that was provided to the fire fighters and team members for the duration of the team’s assignment. This will be the final post on the blog. The incoming team will continue to provide updates through the Facebook and Twitter sites.

8/24/2013 - Evening Update 5:00 pm PDT


The Big Windy Complex started Friday morning, July 26, 2013, after lightning ignited several fires on Bureau of Land Management (BLM) lands protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF).
Operational Objectives:
Contain the fire south of the Rogue River using a combination of direct and indirect line and the natural barrier created by the river.
·       Branch I: Complete firing, holding and mopup operations along the indirect line from the Branch I/II break to the Rogue River, proceeding from the south to the northeast, to contain the east flank of the fire.
·       Branch II: Carry out firing, holding and mopup operations along the prepared containment line from the Branch I/II break to the Rogue River, proceeding from the south to the northwest, to contain the western flank of the fire.
·       Prevent fire spread north of the Rogue River through the use of handcrew to staff hotspots along the river and aviation resources to patrol and provide bucket work as needed.
·       Complete preparation of alternate, indirect containment lines in Branches I and IV, to contain fire spread, should primary containment lines prove ineffective.
Provide for structure protection within the area of responsibility of the Big Windy Complex.
Respond to new fire starts within operational area of the Big Windy Fire. Support Oregon Department of Forestry on Initial Attack outside the operational area as requested.

Basic Information
Incident Type
Wildfire
Cause
Lightning
Date of Origin
Friday July 26th, 2013 approx. 03:00 AM
Location
25 miles NW of Grants Pass
Incident Commander
Ed Lewis
Current Situation
Total Personnel
1,103
Size
28,936 acres
Percent Contained
35%
Estimated Containment Date
Saturday September 07th, 2013 approx. 12:00 AM
Fuels Involved
Timber (litter and understory) Herbaceous canopy understory is thick and continuous.
Fire Behavior
Smoldering, creeping and some surface spread.
Significant Events
Containment lines currently holding. Burnout operations are ongoing but limited due to some light rain associated with previous thunderstorm activity. Direct line in Division A is being scouted and implemented by an interagency hotshot team. Transition with Southern Area Red Team today.
Outlook
Planned Actions
Hold and secure all Divisions. Continue direct line in Division A, Branch I. Continue to prepare firelines, scout areas of opportunity, burnout as weather allows, hold and secure firelines in Branch II. Ground and aerial ignitions possible as weather allows to gain depth of containment lines in both Branches I and II. The Southern Area Read Team will assume command at 6:00 a.m.
Growth Potential
Medium
Terrain Difficulty
Extreme
Remarks
The northwest portion of the fire is in Curry County.
Current Weather
Wind Conditions
6-12 mph SW
Temperature
65 degrees
Humidity
56%




This information also available on Inciweb: http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/3570/

^MARH

Fighting Wildland Fires

     


Providing for public and firefighter safety while minimizing acres burned continues to be the primary goal of fire managers on the Big Windy Complex Fire.   Meeting these objectives is paramount, but effectively managing the cost of fighting the fire is also a factor that managers must consider.  Currently the total cost of fighting this fire is just over $25.0 million.  The Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) will incur the majority of that cost, which translate to Oregon property owners and taxpayers.  ODF and the Medford Bureau of Land Management (BLM) are working closely with the Incident Management Teams to ensure that costs are commensurate with the values that are being protected.

The Big Windy Complex Fire has grown to approximately 23,700 acres.  It’s burning in very difficult and inaccessible terrain which has contributed to the cost.  Though fighting fire is not inexpensive, “approximately 70% of the total cost goes directly back into the State’s (Oregon) and local economies,” said LuAnn Grover, Finance Chief for the Pacific Northwest Incident Management Team 3.  For example, all contract crews and engines working on the Big Windy Fire are based out of Oregon; materials and supplies are purchased locally whenever possible; and the cater and all its employees are based in Klamath Falls, OR.  

The monetary costs for firefighting are high and given climate change, fuel loads, and development in the wildland urban interface they will likely continue to increase in the future.  Land Managers and Incident Management Teams, however are committed to doing what they can to manage those costs while achieving the primary objectives of safety and minimizing acres burned.


FOR ADDITIONAL AND UPDATED FIRE INFORMATION, PLEASE VISIT:


08/24/2013 Morning Update 9:00 am PDT




Yesterday’s Fire Operations: The small amount of rain that fell on Thursday was enough to hamper burnout operations in most areas again yesterday.  Crews took advantage of the quieter conditions to further strengthen and secure containment lines.  A small amount of burnout was completed on the fire’s west flank and burnout operations will resume in other areas as fuels continue to dry out.  A reconnaissance flight was completed and helicopter water drops were used to check the fire’s growth further into Howard Creek.   
    
Today’s Fire Operations: Cooler temperatures and higher humidity have moderated activity to allow a hot shot crew to be inserted into the bottom of Howard Creek to explore the option of building a fire line closer to fire’s edge.  If this works it could eliminate a dangerous burnout operation on some steep topography. 

A Type 1 Incident Management Team from the southeastern United States will assume responsibility for management of the Big Windy Complex on Sunday.  PNW Team 3 wishes to thank community members and cooperators for the outstanding support that was provided to the fire fighters and team members for the duration of the team’s assignment.  

Weather: Cloud cover is expected to cool temperatures slightly today and relative humidity is expected to increase, moderating fire activity.  This morning’s inversion is expected to lift by 2:00 pm and this may allow a short window for burning in the late afternoon.  



Evacuations: A Level 2 evacuation is in place north of the Rogue River and south of the Marial Byway. A Level 1 evacuation is in effect in the Galice area and west.

Closures:
  • Grave Creek to Marial Back Country Byway, which includes Mt. Reuben Road (34-8-1 Road), 32-8-31 Road, a portion of the 32-8-9.2 Road, and the Marial Access Road (32-9-14.2). 
  • Bear Camp Road (BLM # 34-8-36 and Forest Service #23) is officially closed.  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 23 to the junction with Forest Road 33.
  • Rogue River Trail from Grave Creek to Rogue River Ranch.


FOR ADDITIONAL AND UPDATED FIRE INFORMATION, PLEASE VISIT:
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Friday, August 23, 2013

8/23/2013 - Evening Update


The Big Windy Complex started Friday morning, July 26, 2013, after lightning ignited several fires on Bureau of Land Management (BLM) lands protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF).
Operational Objectives:
Contain the fire south of the Rogue River using a combination of direct and indirect line and the natural barrier created by the river.
·       Branch I: Complete firing, holding and mopup operations along the indirect line from the Branch I/II break to the Rogue River, proceeding from the south to the northeast, to contain the east flank of the fire.
·       Branch II: Carry out firing, holding and mopup operations along the prepared containment line from the Branch I/II break to the Rogue River, proceeding from the south to the northwest, to contain the western flank of the fire.
·       Prevent fire spread north of the Rogue River through the use of handcrew to staff hotspots along the river and aviation resources to patrol and provide bucket work as needed.
·       Complete preparation of alternate, indirect containment lines in Branches I and IV, to contain fire spread should primary containment lines prove ineffective.
Provide for structure protection within the area of responsibility of the Big Windy Complex.
Respond to new fire starts within operational area of the Big Windy Fire. Support Oregon Department of Forestry on Initial Attack outside the operational area as requested.

Basic Information
Incident Type
Wildfire
Cause
Lightning
Date of Origin
Friday July 26th, 2013 approx. 03:00 AM
Location
25 miles NW of Grants Pass
Incident Commander
Ed Lewis
Current Situation
Total Personnel
1,058
Size
23,829 acres
Percent Contained
35%
Estimated Containment Date
Saturday September 07th, 2013 approx. 12:00 AM
Fuels Involved
Timber (litter and understory) Herbaceous canopy understory is thick and continuous.
Fire Behavior
Smoldering and creeping.
Significant Events
Containment lines currently holding. Burnout operations are limited due to some light rain associated with thunderstorm activity. We are assisting local units with initial attack resources.
Outlook
Planned Actions
Hold and secure all divisions in Branch I and finish cleanup of alternate line in Division C. Continue fireline preparation, scouting areas of opportunity, burnout as weather allows, holding and securing lines in Branch II. Ground and aerial ignitions are possible as weather allows, to gain depth of containment lines in both Branches I and II. The Southern Area Red Team is Shadowing PNW Team 3 on August 24.
Growth Potential
Medium
Terrain Difficulty
Extreme
Remarks
The northwest portion of the fire is in Curry County.
Current Weather
Wind Conditions
5-12 mph W
Temperature
70 degrees
Humidity
54%


This information also available on Inciweb: http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/3570/


^MARH