Big Windy Complex - Evening News Release
Incident: Big Windy Complex Wildfire
Friday, August 9, 2013 - 9:00 PM PDT
Big Windy Complex: 14,364 acres
Estimated Containment: September 1, 2013
Highlights for the Big Windy Complex:
-Today’s isolated thunderstorms in the fire area moved completely around the Big Windy Complex in a counter clockwise direction from the north. Thunderstorms are likely to drop heavy rainfall starting in the southwest flanks but there could be areas of the fire that could not receive any activity. For fire activity to decrease constant wetting thunderstorms would need to stay in place for a long duration.
-Bear Camp and Peavine Roads burnout operations are continuing along and are completed in the Black Bar Lodge area. Night hotshot crews will be moved to days due to persistent nightly thunderstorm activity that diminishes the burnout operations.
-Construction of indirect firelines is complete along the east and south perimeters and progressing along a major ridge on the western perimeter. Burnout operations will begin on the SE flank. The E flank continues to be prepped for burnout operations over night provided that precipitation doesn’t stop efforts. SW flank is continuing to be held with burnout and preparation on the W flank. An alternative route was started on the NE flank.
-Crews are progressing with the work around Black Bar and Zane Grey cabin and both cabins are wrapped. Brush and prep work is occurring around the Galice.
-Portions of the Douglas Complex have moved south/southwest towards the Big Windy Complex second contingency line. The two Complexes are working together on construction of the contingency lines on the north flank of Big Windy Complex to make firefighting operations as safe and efficient as possible.
Big Windy Complex Operations Summary:
Ground Operations: Today, crews worked on contingency lines north of the river and on the E and NE flanks. On the W flank, felling crews and dozers still worked to complete line north to the river in preparation for burnout. The NW flank found an alternative route to work on in progressing with the line. Firing crews continued to hold burnouts. Horseshoe bend crew was relocated because of the containment in the area. Night crews were pulled from the burnout operations because the thunderstorms set in over the burnout operations.
At Zane Grey’s cabin, crews began burnout operations. Crews and heavy equipment operators continue to work 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, Rogue River Ranch and Marial. Coordination with all agencies and partners continue.
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: Thunderstorms are likely to drop heavy rainfall up to 1” starting in the southwest flanks. This pattern is forecasted into tomorrow with the low staying in the area. In order for thunderstorms to have a positive effect on the fire, a constant rainfall covering the entire fire will need to occur. Current forecast shows short isolated durations over the next day. Maximum temperatures 50-52 degrees in the valleys and 53-55 degrees on ridges; maximum humidity level 85-89% valleys, 69-72% ridges. Ridge winds north shifting to the E after the midnight. Low level inversion forming after 11:00pm.
FIRE BEHAVIOR: Fire activity is expected to 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 still possible. If wind gusts develop due to thunderstorms, expect 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.