Big Windy Complex - Morning News Release
Incident: Big Windy Complex Wildfire
Sunday, August 11, 2013 - 9:00 AM PDT
Big Windy Complex: 15,278 acres
Estimated Containment: September 1, 2013
Highlights for the Big Windy Complex:
-Pacific Northwest Team 2 and the firefighters whom we support appreciate the assistance and encouragement provided by agency cooperators, the media and the public while working to suppress the Big Windy Complex.
-Pacific Northwest Team 3 (Lewis) received an inbrief yesterday and will shadow Pacific Northwest Team 2 today as they prepare to take over management of the Big Windy Complex.
-Daily updates will be provided once a day in the morning unless conditions change significantly.
-Crews and aviation resources responded to five initial attack reports within the northern contingency lines yesterday. Assigned resources are available to assist with initial attack as needed today.
-Minimal burn operations occurred yesterday due to rainfall over the fire, and are expected to be minimal again today. Bear Camp and Peavine Road burnout operations will continue as opportunities allow.
Big Windy Complex Operations Summary:
Ground Operations: Firefighters made little progress with the burnout operations due to afternoon thunderstorms yesterday. A substantial amount of rainfall (up to .25”) fell on the E flank; however, rainfall over the entire fire area was sporadic, ranging from 0-.25” received.
On the E flank, crews continue to work on contingency lines and complete burnout when conditions allow. Crews will focus on holding, patrolling and mop up in the SE and SW flanks. If the opportunity presents, they will try to increase the depth of the burn on the SW flank. On the W flank, line construction is continuing and hose lay will be put in to prepare for burnout operations. Two additional dozers will be working on the W flank. Work around Zane Grey cabin has been completed. Crews have also completed burnout and work around Black Bar Lodge and continue to work around Galice and Rogue River Ranch. On the N flank, contingency line construction continues.
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: The upper level low that has been responsible for all the afternoon thunderstorms will push off to the north allowing for onshore flow. Expect the low marine clouds to burn off by 10:00 am. A warm and dry weather pattern will become established through at least mid-week. Maximum temperatures: 78-83 degrees in the valleys and 65–70 degrees on ridges; maximum humidity level 42-46% valleys, 49-53% ridges. Winds will be light to variable around the area. Ridgetop winds 6-8 mph northerly with gusts up to 12 mph in the afternoon.
FIRE BEHAVIOR: Fire activity is expected to be minimal today due to weather conditions. It will be limited to some burning in heavy fuel concentrations with some creeping & crawling.
RESOURCES ASSIGNED: 9 Type 1 hotshot crews, 22 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: 1,284.
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, slick roads and weakened trees associated with recent rain.
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.