Douglas Complex Fires Update

As of August 6th, the Oregon Department of Forestry reports that both the Red Cross shelters at the Josephine County Fair Grounds and Glendale Elementary have been closed. Railroad repairs on the damaged rails and trestles will continue.

A community meeting in Wolf Creek is scheduled for tomorrow night, August 7th, at 6:30pm. The location will be determined later.

The Douglas Complex currently consists of Rabbit Mountain, Dad’s Creek, and Farmer’s fires. Favorable weather conditions overnight have allowed firefighters to make progress with fire line construction and firing operations. Fire activity is expected to increase today with continued lower humidity and higher temperature.

Rabbit Mountain – 17,751 acres
Firing operations in the Darby Creek drainage will continue today. The containment along the eastern side of the fire continues to hold and mop up operations continue with success. A combination of direct and indirect line construction has been completed from Middle Creek north and then south to Cow Creek. These lines will continue to be tested with the heat and lower relative humidity.

Dad’s Creek – 20,396 acres
The south end of the fire continues to burn actively near Grave Creek. Holding of previous firing operations were conducted overnight from the ridge south of Glendale to Grave Creek. Lines around homes in the Dry Creek and Poorman Creek areas were strengthened to secure homes. Approximately 30 homes remain threatened in the Grave Creek, Poorman Creek, and Lower Wolf Creek areas. Structure engines are actively working in the area.

Weather: Little change from yesterday with increasing high clouds, high temperatures ranging from 86 to 91 degrees. Widespread dense smoke will exist in valleys and along slopes. Slight winds in the valleys and ridgetops will be 6 to 10 miles per hour today. In the afternoon, winds will increase and become gusty. There is a threat of thunderstorms Wednesday.

Evacuations and Closures:

* Cow Creek Road from Riddle into the fire area and from Glendale into the fire has been closed. The National Guard will be conducting traffic control at road blocks and not interfere with firefighters working in the area.

* Evacuations are at a Level 2 (residents allowed back home, but restricted public access) for McCullough Creek Road, Reuben Road, and Mt. Reuben Road in Douglas County. A Level 3 (restricted access for everyone) is still in effect for Poorman Creek Road, Lower Grave Creek, Grave Creek, and Lower Wolf Creek in Josephine County.

* Residences in the area are still 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 County Sheriff’s Offices.

Firefighters are contending with hazards, like falling boulders and trees, old mine shafts, and narrow roads 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. Five minor injuries have been reported. Two outbuildings have burned. One vehicle has been damaged by a falling snag.

Douglas Forest Protective Association has increased prevention restrictions for both industry and the public. Check before commencing your activities.

Fire Statistics:
Location: 7 miles north of Glendale, OR
Percent Contained: 17%
Complex Size: 38,406 acres
Cause: Lightning
Start Date: 7/26/13
Total Personnel: 3,080
Resources Include: 87 Type 2 hand crews, 5 Type1 hand crews, 97 engines, 30 dozers, 43 water tenders, and overhead personnel, and National Guard. Air Resources: 8 Type 1 helicopters, 6 Type 2 helicopters, and 5 Type 3 helicopters

This entry was posted on Tuesday, August 6th, 2013 and is filed under Local News, State News.