Big Windy Complex Morning Update
Incident: Big Windy Complex Wildfire
Fire Information Update
Friday, August 2, 2013 - 10:00 AM PDT
Big Windy Complex: 5,132 acres total
-Jenny Fire: 1,455 acres
-Calvert Peak Fire: 125 acres
-Big Windy Fire: 3,552 acres
News & Highlights for the Big Windy Complex:
-Firefighters continue to work on hand line and dozer line along ridges and road systems on the east and west flanks of the fire as they implement an indirect strategy. The indirect strategy is the first and best option for success in suppressing fires located in rugged and inaccessible terrain.
-With the lifting of the inversion coupled with predicted warmer weather over the next few days, fire behavior is expected to increase. An area of low pressure off the coast will lead to better smoke dispersion and increased mixing in the air with higher winds.
-Oregon National Guard joins the multi-agency wildfire response in SW Oregon with 5 helicopters, 36 aviation personnel, and 125 ground personnel.
-The BLM portion of the Wild Section of the Rogue River is still closed from Grave Creek to Mule Creek due to extreme fire conditions and public health and safety issues. The Recreation section of the Wild and Scenic Rogue River is currently open to rafters. However, the Grave Creek takeout is closed and law enforcement officials will not allow traffic into Grave Creek. Rafters floating on this section of the river should use the Argo, Almeda, or Rand river exits.
-Yesterday, firefighters completed preparations around the Black Bar Lodge and the Zane Grey Cabin. Crews are remaining on site near these important historical resources on the Rogue River.
Big Windy Complex Operations Summary:
Resources committed to the Big Windy Complex include 4 Hot Shot crews, 9 type II hand crews, 7 dozers, and 9 engines working on the fire. In addition to continuing work associated with the indirect line strategy, crews are scouting for north end contingency plans in the event the fire crosses the Rogue River. Operations personnel are creating structure protection plans for the east side of the fire.
Spotting activity from the Jenny fire has been observed up to 1/3 of mile from the main fire perimeter. Concern remains that spot fires may cross the river in the Horseshoe Bend area. Observers were on the Rogue River overnight to watch for spot fires on the north side of the river.
Air Operations: The inversion is expected to lift by midday today, allowing a window for aerial operations including both fixed wing and helicopter support. Crews are assessing for helispot locations on the west side.
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.
-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.
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. The north part of the fire is within two miles of Winkle Bar on the Rogue River.
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: Partly cloudy with areas of smoke. The inversion will be lifting to 4400’ after 12 PM. Winds N 3-8 mph shifting to N-NE 8-12 mph later in the day. Temperatures 65-71 degrees, reaching close to 80 in the valleys. RH 38-48% on the ridges and 32-40% in the valleys.
FIRE BEHAVIOR: With slightly higher temperatures, fire behavior is expected to increase as well. The fire is continuing as a surface fire with occasional flare ups in thicker fuels. Steep slopes and thick ladder fuels will lead to torching and spotting.
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 mine shafts, ticks, hazard trees, poison oak, poor air quality, aviation operations, extreme fire behavior, and railroad crossings.
COOPERATING AGENCIES & PARTNERS: Oregon Department of Forestry, Medford District Bureau of Land Management, Josephine County, Curry County, Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest, Jackson County.