Wildfire Update: Watson Creek Fire 8/30/18

View of Watson Creek Fire near Summer Lake, Oregon. (Jodie Barram / Inciweb)

View of Watson Creek Fire near Summer Lake, Oregon. (Jodie Barram / Inciweb)

Watson Creek Fire at a Glance
Acres: 58,218
Containment: 75%
Location: 6 Miles west of Paisley, Oregon
Cause: Under Investigation
Personnel: 764
Resources: • 18 Crews
• 60 Engines
Aircraft: • 3 Type 1 Helicopters
• 2 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

 

Details

A helicopter and ground crews quickly extinguished a small spot fire caused by interior torching yesterday near the Sycan River. Burning of interior islands may create smoke visible in the Paisley area today.  Crews will continue to hold and improve fire lines while mopping up and remaining vigilant for new spot fires.  Rehabilitation needs are being assessed and addressed.

Yesterday was likely the warmest day of the week.  As a cold front passes through the area today, winds are expected to be from the southwest this morning, the west in the afternoon and the northwest this evening.  No rain is anticipated in the near future.

The Lakeview Estates neighborhood is at a Level 2 evacuation level.  Areas previously at a Level 2 evacuation have been lowered to a Level 1.

The emergency closure order for the Watson Creek Fire on the Fremont-Winema National Forest was again reduced in size, removing several popular recreation sites from the closure area.

The Gearhart Mountain Wilderness is once again open, as are Corral Creek, Clear Springs and Happy Camp Campgrounds, and the recreation sites at Fremont Point.  Access to some recreation sites may be affected by road closures that make up the perimeter of the closure area.

The closure is formally referenced as Order Number 06-02-03-18-02-3 and can be seen in full at https://www.fs.usda.gov/alerts/fremont-winema/alerts-notices.

With the upcoming Labor Day weekend, be mindful of area closures, burning restrictions and increased traffic.  Fire danger remains high.  Take care to avoid sparking a wildfire

Fuels Involved

Timber, Brush, Heavy Logging Slash

Moderate density stands of mixed conifers containing significant dead material of all size classes. Surface fuels contain a significant heavy dead and down component from wide-spread insect mortality 10-20 years ago. Heavy dead fuels are a mix of standing and down material. Small, high elevation meadows are intermixed with timber fuels throughout the fire area.

Projected Incident Activity

12 hours: Fire activity will continue to be moderate in the open understory ponderosa, sage and beetle killed lodgepole. Fire will still exhibit intense backing fire with some isolated torching. Moderate spread rates in the continuous ceanothus and sage/grasses is expected. Additionally the increase in acres is the result of interior burning.

24 hours: Minimal fire behavior. Mostly surface fire with creeping and smoldering as firefighters continue to secure the perimeter. Interior pockets of unburned fuel will continue to be active.

48 hours: Minimal fire behavior along the perimeter with mostly creeping and smoldering. Interior unburned areas will still be active.

72 hours: Minimal fire behavior through along most of the perimeter. Interior unburned areas will still be active.

Weather

Observed: Wednesday morning started off warmer and drier than Tuesday morning. The warming trend continued into the afternoon with the warmest day of the week. Daytime temperatures reached the 70s to lower 80s. Relative humidity dropped to 15-25%. Light southerly winds prevailed in the morning before switching to west and southwest. Winds were strongest in the afternoon and evening hours with gusts up to 25 mph.

Forecasted: A dry cold front is forecast to push through the region on Thursday bringing slightly cooler temperatures and gusty winds. Temperatures on Thursday will cool to upper 60s to upper 70s with low relative humidity in the 15-30% range. Winds will be southerly early in the day then shift to northwest behind the front in the afternoon. Gusts up to 25 mph will be possible with the front.


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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