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Douglas Complex Fire Update July 30, 2013
Special Message: Josephine County Sheriff issued a road closure order yesterday afternoon due to fire activity in the area. Lower Wolf Creek Road is closed from the town of Wolf Creek to the Water Tank drainage and Grave Creek Bridge to the Water Tank drainage. Josephine County Sheriff also issued an evacuation order for all residences on Lower Grave Creek Road from the Grave Creek Bridge to Lower Grave Creek Road and Lower Grave Creek Road at the intersection of Lower Wolf Creek Road to the Water Tank drainage on Lower Wolf Creek Road. A Conflagration was invoked for Josephine County, allowing State Fire Marshall office to provide structure protection in the county.
The Farmer’s Fire, a fire that has been burning for several days in the Grants Pass Unit (Oregon Department of Forestry) will become part of the Complex. This fire is approximately 200-400 acres.
The Governor has declared a State of Emergency for Josephine and Douglas Counties.
Current Situation: The Douglas Complex has been divided up into three branches – Milo, on the east side of Interstate 5; Rabbit Mountain, on the west side of Interstate 5, northwest of Glendale, and Dad’s Creek, west of Glendale. Fire continues to burn actively on the east side of the interstate. Firefighters are contending with hazards, like falling boulders and trees, and old mine shafts, which are affecting access into some of the fire area. Values at risk include homes, commercial timberland, and critical wildlife habitat. There are no reports of homes burned. One minor injury has been reported.
Milo Branch is a group of smaller fires, all less than 20 acres in size. Firefighters will begin patrol of these fires. Minimal fire activity is expected today for this branch.
Firefighters are making progress on line construction on the north end of the fire, near Middle Creek. Rugged terrain on the west side of the fire is a concern, and the south end of the fire continues to burn actively.
The south end of the fire continues to burn actively, near Poorman Creek; however, growth has slowed. Line has been established from Cow Creek to the north part of the fire. Line constructed by dozers has been established behind the homes for protection. Overnight, were able to take advantage of the cooler temperatures and higher humidity to conduct a small burnout operation on the east side of the fire, establishing a containment line to protection the City of Glendale. Burn out operations will continue when weather is conducive. Citizens may see smoke coming from that activity. State Fire Marshal Office will provide protection in the Grave Creek area as well as continue protection in other evacuated areas of the fire. The fire is expected to burn actively again in the afternoon when temperature increases and winds start to affect fire movement. Smoke and erratic winds may impact air operations. Areas around Glendale will see more smoke in the area, mostly during the morning hours.
Weather: A threat of dry lightning and thunderstorms is expected Tuesday night through Wednesday. There is a chance for rain on Wednesday and Thursday, and then a drying trend Friday through the weekend.
Evacuations and Closures:
* Cow Creek Road from Riddle into the fire area and from Glendale into the fire has been closed. The public is asked to honor the road blocks and not interfere with firefighters working in the area.
* Evacuations have been ordered for McCullough Creek Road, Reuben Road, and Mt. Reuben Road in Douglas County, and Poorman Creek Road in Josephine County.
* An additional four hundred residences are considered threatened. This means evacuations could be necessary at some point in the future. Any official evacuation orders would be issued by the Douglas County or Josephine Sheriff’s Offices.
Fire Information Meetings: Yesterday, a public meeting was held at the Glendale Elementary School with approximately 500 people in attendance. Updates were provided by the Glendale Fire Chief, Douglas County Sheriff, State Fire Marshall Office, both teams managing the Complex, Bureau of Land Management, Douglas Forest Protective Association, and American Red Cross.
Public Safety/Prevention: Due to winds transitioning from the northwest and inversions setting in at night, thick smoke from the Dad’s Creek fire is settling into Glendale during the morning hours. To address any concern as a result of smoke in the area, an air quality sensor has been installed in Glendale. Go to www.oregonsmoke.blogspot.com to track air quality measurements.
Douglas Forest Protective Association has increased prevention restrictions to IFPL 3, where a 1 p.m. shutdown is in effect. Public restrictions are also in place. Check www.dfpa.net before your activites.
Location: 7 miles north of Glendale, OR
Percent Contained: 5%
Complex Size: 21,400 acres
Start Date: 7/26/13
Total Personnel: 1260
Resources Include: 39 Type 2 hand crews, 75 engines, 8 dozers, 26 water tenders, and overhead personnel
Air Resources: 3 Type 1 helicopters, 6 Type 2 helicopters, and 2 Type 3 helicopters
Places to get information:
Douglas Forest Protective Association -www.dfpa.net
Twitter – www.twitter.com/DouglasFPA
InciWeb – http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/3559/
ODF PIO Blog – http://wildfireoregondeptofforestry.blogspot.com/.
ODF Southwest Oregon District – www.swofire.com
American Red Cross – www.redcross.org/nss
Air Quality – www.oregonblogspot.com
Fire retardant is dropped on the Douglas Complex Fire July 29, 2013. PHOTO: ODF