Big Windy Complex - Morning News Release
Incident: Big Windy Complex Wildfire
Fire Information Update
Saturday, August 3, 2013 - 9:00 AM PDT
Big Windy Complex: 6,151 acres total
-Jenny Fire: 1,728 acres
-Calvert Peak Fire: 130 acres
-Big Windy Fire: 4,289 acres
Highlights for the Big Windy Complex:
- -Warmer and drier conditions over the next couple of days will increase fire activity. As the inversion lifts around mid-afternoon today, there is potential of a large column of smoke to develop.
- -Firefighters are stationed in the Horseshoe area near the Jenny Fire to watch for potential spotting across the Rogue River.
- -The increased fire activity may prompt additional closures and the implementation of contingency plans. Law Enforcement officials from Josephine County and Curry County are prepared to coordinate any necessary actions.
- -The Incident Command Post for the Big Windy Fire is located in Merlin; camp operations are in process of becoming fully operational.
Big Windy Complex Operations Summary:
Ground Operations: Firefighters have worked around structures at the Zane Grey Cabin area and the Black Bar Lodge. Construction of indirect firelines are progressing along the Bear Camp Road, Peavine Road area, and a major ridge on the western side of the Fire. Firefighters have been assigned to scout the Galice Area and watch for potential spotting around Horseshoe.
Firefighters have made excellent progress the last couple of days and are continuing with prepping and building containment lines on the south and east flanks of the fire. Additional resources/heavy equipment will be ordered and assigned to the north side of the fire area as needed. The Whiskey Creek cabin and additional structures in the area being assessed for work as needed. Tree falling is expected to be completed on the ridge west of the Calvert Peak Fire by end of shift on Sunday.
Safety: Six Emergency Medical Technicians are stationed on the fire line today, along with six line Safety Officers, two Advance Life Support ambulances, and the National Guard medivac helicopter stationed out of Roseburg.
Air Operations: There are two Type 1 (heavy) helicopters and an additional Type 1 helicopter on loan from the Whiskey Complex. An air attack ship will provide reconnaissance over the fire area as visibility allows. The Big Windy helibase is located at the Merlin Airport.
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.
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: Becoming partly cloudy, with areas of smoke. Inversion mixing to 3,500 feet after 3:00pm. Low level instability in the afternoon.
FIRE BEHAVIOR: The marine layer has exited the fire area, bringing drier air that can cause surface fire behavior to easily transition to the crowns where sufficient intensity, slope, and ladder fuels are present. Rolling material will continue to cause concern due to the steep terrain and potential to start fires below where crews are working. Any fire that ignites below the main fire may cause up-canyon flanks to be comprised as the fire advances upslope.
RESOURCES ASSIGNED: 4 Type 1 hotshot crews, 9 Type 2 hand crews, 1 heavy helicopter, 2 light helicopters, 10 engines, 8 dozers and 5 water tenders, 2 camp crews and 123 National Guard members.
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, railroad crossings, black bears and cougars.
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.