Prescribed Fire Planned for Klamath Falls Near Highway 140

Prescribed Fire Planned for Klamath Falls Near Highway 140

LAKEVIEW, Ore. – A prescribed fire is planned starting on or about May 8 near Klamath Falls, along Highway 140 west, by the Klamath Ranger District of the Fremont-Winema National Forest.

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Ongoing Fall 2017 Prescribed Fire Projects [VIDEO]

Ongoing Fall 2017 Prescribed Fire Projects [VIDEO]

Lakeview, Ore. – Fire managers within South Central Oregon Fire Management Partnership (SCOFMP) are utilizing the warm fall temperatures to continue with prescribed burning as weather and air conditions permit.

Prescribed burns help decrease the threat of high-intensity, high-severity wildfires; reduce the risk of insect and disease outbreak; recycle nutrients that increase soil productivity; and improve wildlife habitat.

The actual days of ignition for these burn projects will depend on several factors including appropriate humidity levels, wind speed and direction, temperature, and fuel moisture. Burns only occur on days when the Oregon Smoke Management Office indicates suitable weather conditions exist for smoke dispersal.

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Prescribed Fire Operations Planned in Chemult Area

Prescribed Fire Operations Planned in Chemult Area

CHEMULT, Ore. – The Fremont-Winema National Forest Chemult Ranger District plans to begin prescribed burning October 17 through November 1, conditions permitting.

Approximately 500 acres of prescribed burning is planned for the Chemult Townsite Project area, located adjacent to the town of Chemult on Highway 97 and 400 acres in the Jack Unit area, located 13 miles east of Chemult, near Tea Table Mountain. An additional 700 acres are scheduled to be burned within the Cub Unit area, which is 25 miles southwest of Chemult, near Lookout Butte south of Highway 138.

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Successful prescribed fire treatment in the Burnt Creek Area

Successful prescribed fire treatment in the Burnt Creek Area

LAKEVIEW, Ore. – A successful day of prescribed fire was accomplished yesterday on the Lakeview Ranger District of the Fremont-Winema National Forest with 405 acres treated in the Burnt Willow project area located 6 miles east of Lakeview.

Fire managers are preparing to continue the prescribed burning operation tomorrow in the Burnt Creek area if weather conditions permit, with a plan for 157 acres of accomplishment for the day.

Smoke may be visible to residents and visitors in the Lakeview area.  Prescribed fires on are public lands is part of the continued commitment to protect communities and natural resources from wildfires.

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Fall Prescribed Fire Season starting in South Central Oregon

Fall Prescribed Fire Season starting in South Central Oregon

LAKEVIEW, Ore. – Over the next several weeks, communities in south central Oregon may see a different type of smoke column rising above the tree tops; a column that is the sign of the return of prescribed fire to the land.

Fire managers at the South Central Oregon Fire Management Partnership (SCOFMP) will be taking the opportunity to begin prescribed burning beginning the first week of October as weather conditions permit.

Area residents and visitors may notice smoke on public lands in various areas during the next few months as part of the continued commitment to protect communities and natural resources from wildfires.

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Wildfire Update: High Cascades Complex

Wildfire Update: High Cascades Complex

This will be the last daily update for the High Cascades Complex East Zone. When available, updated fire and closure information will be shared on Inciweb and the Rogue River-Siskiyou, Fremont-Winema and Crater Lake National Park websites. On Saturday, Sept. 30 at 7:00 a.m. Great Basin Team #4 will transfer command of the North Pelican, Blanket Creek and Spruce Lake Fires back to their local units.

Summary: Fire personnel worked hard this week identifying and repairing damage resulting from months of fire suppression activities. Hand crews moved down the line meticulously covering areas bare of vegetation, removing debris from blocked culverts and repairing roads damaged by heavy equipment.

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Wildfire Update: High Cascades Complex

Wildfire Update: High Cascades Complex

Limited phone calls and lack of fire activity eliminated the need for an additional fire information line at Crater Lake National Park. As of 0600 today, CLNP fire information can be obtained by calling the main line at 541.238.7164. Fire information boards will be updated every few days as needed. The incident meteorologist expects weather to reach the high 70’s on Thursday, but temperatures will decrease dramatically as a wet cold front moves in this weekend. There is some potential for aggressive creeping on Thursday, but that will be put to rest as cooler temperatures impede the fire’s ability to grow.

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Wildfire Update: High Cascades Complex [Video]

*** VIDEO - Chipping Efforts on the High Cascades Complex East Zone - AUDIO CAUTION - No audio with the exception of a loud chainsaw. (Inciweb) ***

Summary: Crews continued chipping away on repair efforts; increasing repair completion to 43 percent. Aerial operations assisted firefighters by shuttling crews and supplies into difficult to reach areas. While a warm and dry weather trend continued, high clouds prevented major temperature increases. Lingering snow remained a hurdle to repair operations but continued to slow remaining fire activity. Fire perimeters have little potential for movement. Grading operations are progressing smoothly as heavy equipment operator continue to overhaul roads impacted by operations.

North Pelican (27% repair complete): Crews cleaned the trailhead at the end of Cold Springs Road leading into the wilderness. Chipping is expected to continue on the North Pelican for the next several days to remove excess slash along the roads. In addition to hand work, three excavators will repair access roads surrounding the fire.

Blanket Creek Fire (45% repair complete): Firefighters finished much of the rehab work on the southeastern edge of the fire perimeter. Heavy equipment operators will continue scouting the dozer lines closer to Mazama Village to develop a timeline for repairs. The protective material surrounding the Honeymoon Cabin is expected to be removed today.

Spruce Lake Fire (62% repair complete): Air operations provided major assistance to crews on the Spruce Lake Fire by transporting 4,350 pounds of cargo to the Hotshot Crew repairing handline. A crew working in the backcountry is expected to reach the West Rim Road tomorrow.

Closures: Fire closures remain on public lands within some hunting units. Check trail, road, and area closures on InciWeb, park and forest websites. West Rim Drive in Crater Lake National Park remains closed for scheduled maintenance and repaving through Friday at 4 p.m.

Weather: The warming and drying trend should continue through Thursday when highs will reach the mid-70s and daytime relative humidity will drop to 30% or less. Long-range forecasts suggest a renewed wetter pattern by early next week.

Traffic: Expect possible delays on Highway 230 between Union Creek and the junction with Highway 138 due to road construction. In Crater Lake National Park, heavy construction traffic may bring delays near North Junction.

Wildfire Update: High Cascades Complex [Video]

Suppression repair for the High Cascades Complex East Zone picked up substantially with the warmer and drier weather. Firefighters removed over 20,000 feet of hose within the Blanket Creek and North Pelican Fires. Removal of additional water pumps and hoses will continue over the next few days.

On September 22, the East Zone flew an infrared mapping of the complex, which showed very few pockets of heat. The majority of heat signatures were scattered well within the interior of the three fires. Current weather forecast and an analysis completed by the incident’s fire behavior analyst does not suggest any significant fire spread in the East Zone in the coming week.

The management team continues to assess the situation and employ the right tools to complete needed suppression repair work. Equipment and crews best suited for the job will continue to work on repair. Handcrews will be used to repair handline and clean blocked culverts impacted by the fires, mitigating future erosion and water issues.

Improved weather conditions allowed for increased air operations. Helicopters logged a combined 5.4 hours of flight time and ferried 58 passengers and 4,200 pounds of cargo, largely to the Spruce Lake Fire.

A community briefing in Rocky Point was attended by 20 people and focused largely on area closures and firewood availability as a result of the suppression operation.

Radio Communication Site at Watchman Peak
Communication personnel fix the communication tower at Watchman Peak Lookout after it blew down due to 40-50 mph gusts of winds (Inciweb)

Similar repair work reported yesterday will continue on the North Pelican, Blanket Creek and Spruce Lake Fires. Acreage and containment remains unchanged. North Pelican (3,589 acres, 73% contained), Blanket Creek (33,322 acres, 23% contained) and Spruce Lake (15,826 acres and 22% contained).

Closures: Although modified, some area and road closures remain in place. South of the Middle Fork of the Rogue River and the South Fork 3703 trail closures have been lifted. Current closure information is available online at:https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5503. West Rim Drive in Crater Lake National Park remained closed for plowing and inspection after last week’s snowy weather.

The Rim Visitor Center will close for the season today. The Mazama Cabins, Campground and Annie Creek Restaurant and Gift Shop will close at noon on Monday Sept. 25. Motorists and visitors to the area need to be aware of delays on Highway 230 between Union Creek and the junction with Highway 138 due to road construction.

Video - Aerial video of the High Cascades Complex East. (NO AUDIO)
Aerial Video taken 09.22.2017 for the High Cascades Complex East Zone (Inciweb)

Wildfire Update: High Cascades Complex

East Zone Update

Photo by Adam Alltergot - Cold Morning on the High Cascades Complex East Zone

Photo by Adam Alltergot - Cold Morning on the High Cascades Complex East Zone

*** The Level 1 Evacuation Notification for Mazama Village is lifted.***

Crews were back on the line Thursday, Sept. 21, evaluating and implementing rehab plans for the Spruce Lake, Blanket Creek and North Pelican Fires. Several excavators arrived at the Incident Command Post on Thursday and will begin work today repairing dozer lines as soil conditions allow. Operational repair pace will continue to increase as weather improves. No fire spread is expected for the next several days but some creeping and smoldering in the sheltered forest stands may occur at lower elevations where heat remained during the storm cycle.

Community Briefing: A community briefing to discuss current fire operations and rehab plans will be held Saturday, Sept. 23, 2017, at 10:00 a.m. at the Rocky Point Fire Hall (25600 Rocky Point Road, Klamath Falls, Oregon).

North Pelican (3,589 acres, 73% contained) Crews bladed (smoothed) portions of Cold Springs Road and evaluated repair plans for the southwest edge near the wilderness boundary. They will continue cleaning hand and dozer lines for today’s operations. A deck of logs slid off a logging truck at the Junction of Cold Springs Rd and Hwy 140. The firewood is available for the public beginning Saturday with a permit obtained from the Ranger District.

Blanket Creek (33,322 acres, 23% contained) Crews started to pull hose on the western perimeter of Blanket Creek and assess hand and dozer lines to determine what type of equipment is required to complete repair work. Crews working the eastern perimeter chipped approximately 2.5 miles of NF road 3282, while crews on the southeast perimeter pulled 3.8 miles of hose.

Spruce Lake (15,826 acres and 22% contained) Two hand crews spent the day removing snags and other vegetation from the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) to access and rehab the southern handline from the Forest Service boundary to Copeland Creek.

Based on current weather and fire behavior, the National Park Service and High Cascades Complex (East) Fire Incident Management team determined the fire no longer poses a threat to Mazama Village.

The Level 1 Evacuation Notification for Mazama Village is lifted.

High Cascades Complex East Zone Map Last Update

Closures: Forest Managers are reevaluating area closures. For more information visit https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5503. The West Rim Drive is closed until Friday at 4:00 p.m. due to construction. All concession facilities and services remain open for visitors to the Park. Motorists and visitors to the area also need to be aware of delays on Highway 230 between Union Creek and the junction with Highway 138 due to road construction.

700 Sixth Graders Tour the Forest

Michelle Cottier a firefighter with ODF geared up Feanix Hightower of Chiloquin Elementary and instructs her how to use the fire hose of  Oregon Department of Forestry  Engine 8150 at the 54th Annual Klamath County Forest Tour. Image:  Brian Gailey

Michelle Cottier a firefighter with ODF geared up Feanix Hightower of Chiloquin Elementary and instructs her how to use the fire hose of Oregon Department of Forestry Engine 8150 at the 54th Annual Klamath County Forest Tour. Image: Brian Gailey

Keno Ore. - Located 11 miles out side of Keno Oregon near the Spencer Creek Drainage off Clover Creek Road is the Klamath Forestry Tour. For the past 54 years, this tour has been educating Klamath County sixth graders through individual stations about; forest products, recreation, survival, reforestation, tree identity, soils, water, forest management, fire suppression and wildlife.

"Sixth graders spend two days in the forest, learning about the forest...after 54 years we are expecting the great grandchildren of the original students that attended all those years ago to attend this week." Daniel Leavell.

Leavell adds, "It's a wonderful way to get to know the forest and uses of the forest and to teach them about different aspects of the forest environment."

Students arrived by bus to the location where they lined up to head to the different stations. Each station taught the classes something different about the forest.

At the Tree Identity station, Mr. Mike McKittrick and his students from Ferguson Elemtary learned how to use a classification diagram to determine if a tree was a True Fir or a Douglas Fir. Students also were able to identify what a Sugar Pine is as well.

At the soil station, Mrs. Kay Linmans' class from Henley Elementary learned about different layers of soil and how they impact all living things above ground.

Students from all local elementary schools were able to participate in this program. Students from Mrs. Sara Thomas' sixth grade class from Triad were able to hear about survival techniques if they were to become lost in the woods.

"We think of ourselves as being a rural area, but it is surprising how many kids in town, that this is their only experience out here. Getting out into the forest and seeing what really goes on." says Ron Loveness.

At the forest management station, Patrick Peterson and Jennifer Case from the Oregon Department of Forestry obtained a core sample from a fir tree. This core sample, was then used to educate the kids on how a tree can be aged without being harvested. This technique is used to better understand the forest and help selectively harvest trees for a healthier forest.

The tree they captured a sample on counted to be 96 years old. That means when the Forestry Tour started in 1963, that fir was a young 42 years old.

VIDEOS
Live Interview - http://bit.ly/2fmZSwj
Reforestation - http://bit.ly/2fmUaL4 
Forest Management - http://bit.ly/2fmZL3R
Recreation / Survival - http://bit.ly/2fmvNNg

Wildfire Update: High Cascades Complex

*** Cooler temps and rain allow crews to work on rehabilitation and suppression. ***

Bessie Creek Cabin (Inciweb)

Bessie Creek Cabin (Inciweb)

Summary: Keeping crews dry in light of weather conditions was the priority for the High Cascades Complex East Zone yesterday. Rain is expected to decrease dramatically over the next few days, allowing operations to re-engage the fire. Despite the weather, crews were able to complete one mile of road grading on the North Pelican Fire and remove 5,000 feet of hose and associated water pumps on the Blanket Fire. With the amount of rain and snow on the landscape, operational tactics will begin to focus on suppression rehabilitation efforts. Suppression rehab involves repairing constructed fire line, areas cleared of vegetation to control the fire, to minimize erosion and return the landscape to a more natural looking condition. Often, as with this fire, suppression repair work is done by firefighters even before the fire is contained. Rehab work also includes fixing fences, roads and drainage structures damaged during fire operations.

Fire crews work closely with resource advisors from the forest and park service to protect cultural resources, threatened, endangered and sensitive species habitat, high resource areas, campgrounds and infrastructure during this process. Methods for rehab work ranges from scattering excess brush and vegetation along the dirt lines to removing soil berms created during dozer operations. The ultimate goal is to mitigate impacts caused during fire operations.

Fire acreage remains steady.
North Pelican: 3,589 acres, 73% contained
Blanket Creek: 33,322 acres, 23% contained
Spruce Lake: 15,826 acres and 22% contained

Weather: Showers will diminish through Thursday with a drying and warming trend beginning Friday.

Closures: Forest Managers are reevaluating area closures, but until that decision is made, a number of area road and trail closures are in place. For specific closure information, visit https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5503. Roads in the National Park may be closed due to weather, visitors are urged to check conditions before heading out. The West Rim Drive is closed until Friday at 4:00 p.m. due to construction. All concession facilities and services remain open for visitors to the Park. Motorists and visitors to the area also need to be aware of delays on Highway 230 between Union Creek and the junction with Highway 138 due to road construction.

Press release from the High Cascades Complex

Wildfire Update: High Cascades Complex

*** Rain and SNOW has fallen on the fires ***

Placing downed vegitation on a dozer line during rehab helps with errosion and reforestation of the disturbed area. (inciweb)

Placing downed vegitation on a dozer line during rehab helps with errosion and reforestation of the disturbed area. (inciweb)

Summary: The High Cascades Complex East Zone received significant rain and snow over the Spruce Lake, Blanket Creek and North Pelican Fires. Moisture reduced fire activity and the threat to Rim Village, Park Headquarters, Munson Valley, West Rim Drive, Mazama Village and the south entrance. However, weather posed challenges to resources working on the line. Poor visibility and wet roads prevented some crews from engaging in operations. “We are able to use this time to develop solid repair plans and set priorities for future operations,” said Tim Roide, Incident Commander for the East Zone.

Inclement weather prevented aerial observations but managers do not anticipate any change in fire perimeter over the next several days. New acreage and containment percentages will be available when weather clears. Drier conditions are expected this weekend, which will provide fire managers a precursory view into potential fire activity for the rest of the season.

The Rogue River-Siskiyou reduced campfire restrictions and the Fremont-Winema National Forest lowered its Industrial Fire Precaution Level (IFPL) to IFPL-2. Public Use Restrictions have been rescinded on BLM, Forest Service and National Fish & Wildlife protected lands.

Weather: Heavy rainfall is expected today with gusts of 40-50 mph along ridgelines. There is potential for snow levels to drop below 5500 feet.

Closures: Area closures remain in effect but will be evaluated and reconsidered as weather continues to hamper fire activity. A number of area road and trail closures are in place. For specific closure information, visit https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5503. The North Entrance Road and East Rim Drive were closed yesterday due to weather. Park visitors are urge to check conditions before making plans as snow is expected at higher elevations today and Thursday. The West Rim Drive is closed until Friday at 4:00 p.m. due to construction. All concession facilities and services remain open for visitors to the Park. Motorists and visitors to the area also need to be aware of delays on Highway 230 between Union Creek and the junction with Highway 138 due to road construction.

A Level 1 Evacuation Notification remains in effect for Mazama Village in Crater Lake National Park. Level 1 is the first step in the “Be Ready, Be Set, Go!” system. For more information about evacuation levels and procedures, go to http://tinyurl.com/BeReady-BeSet-Go

Wildfire Update: High Cascades Complex

East Zone Update

*** Firefighers continue to work in rain and snow. ***

All three fires received wetting rains Monday night. Although some heat remains in dead and down surface fuels and litter, rains, cooler temperatures and high humidity greatly assisted firefighting efforts. As fire progression slows, crews will develop plans to rehabilitate hand and dozer lines used in suppression operations. The Incident Command Post was busy today constructing large tents with heaters to provide returning crews a warm place to dry out after a long day on the fire line. Inclement weather impeded aerial observations so no new acreage is available.

Spruce Lake Fire: (15,826 acres and 22% contained) Little fire growth is expected but active monitoring will continue.

Blanket Creek Fire: (33,322 acres and 28% contained) Crews conducted a minor backfire operation to button up a hot spot near constructed line along the southwest edge. Crews continue to prep between forest road 800 and 600, removing hazard trees to prepare for possible dozer work. Structure protection continued at Mazama Village.

North Pelican Fire: (3,589 acres and 73% contained) Heavy equipment and crews continued improving contingency lines on the north and southwest edges. Crews started to evaluate possible suppression repair opportunities. Weather permitting, crews will begin some suppression repair today along the southern boundary.

Weather: A robust rain event is expected the next few days. Total rainfall will range from one to almost two inches. Snow of up to eight inches is anticipated at elevations above 6000 feet. A warming and drying trend begins Thursday as high pressure builds over the Pacific Northwest.

Closures: A number of area road and trail closures are in place within Crater Lake National Park, Rogue River-Siskiyou, Umpqua, and Fremont-Winema National Forests. For specific closure information, visit https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5503. The North Entrance Road to Crater Lake National Park is open. The West Rim Drive is closed until Friday at 4:00 p.m. due to construction. All concession facilities and services remain open for visitors to the Park. Motorists and visitors to the area also need to be aware of delays on Highway 230 between Union Creek and the junction with Highway 138 due to road construction.

A Level 1 Evacuation Notification remains in effect for Mazama Village in Crater Lake National Park. Level 1 is the first step in the “Be Ready, Be Set, Go!” system. For more information about evacuation levels and procedures, go to http://tinyurl.com/BeReady-BeSet-Go.

Incident Summary Quick Facts
Fire Locations: Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest; Fremont-Winema National Forest-Klamath Ranger District; Crater Lake National Park; 
Approximate Acreage: 52,737 acres (East Zone Only)
Containment: 39% (East Zone Only)

Start Date: 
North Pelican – 08.10.2017
Spruce Lake – 07.29.2017
Blanket Creek – 07.26.2017

Cause: Lightning
Incident Commander: Tim Roide, Great Basin Incident Management Team #4
Total Personnel: 339

Large Interagency Wildfires [Map]

*** A follow up to a story we brought you an hour ago (http://bit.ly/2fwUd3L). Even with rains reducing fire restrictions, fire season is still in full effect. ***

The rain and cooler weather are a welcome change for #ORFireSeason2017, offering some help to firefighters across the #PNW.

However, as you can see from the updated map below, it will take more than a few days of rain to end this challenging season.

Please check and follow your local fire restrictions before burning those debris piles or campfires. Support our firefighters by preventing future wildfires.
https://gisapps.odf.oregon.gov/firerestrictions/PFR.html