Wildfire Update: Watson Creek Fire 8/27/18

Horses on the dozer line. Watson Creek Fire (Inciweb)

Horses on the dozer line. Watson Creek Fire (Inciweb)

Watson Creek Fire at a Glance
Acres: 56,185
Containment: 50%
Location: 6 Miles southwest of Paisley, Oregon
Cause: Under Investigation
Personnel: 1,043
Resources: • 27 Crews
• 75 Engines
Aircraft: • 5 Type 1 Helicopters
• 3 Type 2 Helicopters
• 1 Type 3 Helicopters
Structures
Threatened:
• 212 Residences
• 300 Other
Infrared Map Watson Creek Fire CLICK FOR LARGER

Infrared Map Watson Creek Fire
CLICK FOR LARGER

 

Incident Meteorologist Matt Mehle accurately forecast the windy conditions experienced over the fire area on Sunday. In the northwest corner of the fire, crews were able to take advantage of favorable wind directions by utilizing controlled burning to strengthen the lines. Some spot fires were detected in the morning but contained by end of shift. All aircraft were able to fly the entire day and containment lines held.

There will be a public meeting at the Paisley Community Center 7:00 p.m. today, August 27, 2018.

On Tuesday, the public is invited to tour the fire camp in Paisley any time between 1:30 and 3:30 p.m.

In collaboration with Team 6 the Lake County Sheriff’s Office has agreed to retain all evacuation levels at their current status and will re-evaluate today at 4:00 p.m.

Evacuation notices are coordinated by the Lake County Sheriff’s Office:

  • Level 3 (GO): Lakeview Estates neighborhood just north of Campbell and Deadhorse Lakes in the Fremont-Winema National Forest is still in effect. Lake County Sheriff’s Office evacuated area residents August 19.
  • Level 2 (Be Set):
    • Residents west of Highway 31 from Beachler’s Corner (Mile Post 105) north on Highway 31 to Forest Road 29, also known as Government Harvey Pass Road. This includes the town of Paisley west of Highway 31.
    • Residents south of Forest Road 3510 from Forest Road 33 to the west side of Forest Road 3509 and the east side of Forest Road 28.  Properties on both sides of Forest Road 3428 from Dairy Point Campground to Forest Road 34.  Both sides of Forest Road 34 north of Forest Road 3428 to the junction of Forest Roads 33 and 28.
  • Level 1 (Be Ready): Residents east of Highway 31.

Closure Order Number 06-02-03-18-02-02 for the Fremont-Winema National Forest remains in effect.


Projected Incident Activity

12 hours: Fire activity will moderate as the fire transitions from large patches of beetle-killed lodgepole to open-understory canopy with grasses, sage, and ceanothus. Group and isolated torching with lower surface spread rates are expected.

24 hours: Fire activity will continue to moderate in the open-understory ponderosa and sage. Areas of beetle-killed lodgepole will still exhibit intense surface fire with some torching. Moderate spread rates in the continuous ceanothus and sage/grasses is expected.

48 hours: Continued moderated fire behavior with mostly surface fire with creeping and smoldering as firefighters continue to secure the perimeter. Interior pockets of unburned fuel will continue to be active.

Weather

Observed: After a chilly start to the day with lows in the mid-30s to 40s, temperatures warmed into the 60s and 70s by the afternoon. Relative humidity was up to 20% to 30%. Light and variable winds prevailed in the morning before switching to westerly and eventually northwesterly by late afternoon. Strongest gusts were 20 to 25 mph over the higher peaks.

Forecasted: A passing upper level disturbance will bring heightened fire weather concerns on Sunday with gusty winds and low relative humidity. Southwesterly winds may develop during the morning hours before switching to westerly mid-day and northwesterly by evening. Strongest gusts will occur from mid-day through evening hours with gusts 25-30 mph. Winds will gradually diminish overnight, but remain breezy.


Klamath Falls News coverage of the 2018 Wildfire Season is brought to you by Excel Auto Body.

We at Excel Auto Body appreciate the brave men and women wildland firefighters that put themselves in harms way to protect our greatest treasures. Thank you for all that you. 

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