DECEPTION COMPLEX FIRE INFORMATION UPDATE
Fire Information Line: 541.782.5545
Fire Information Line: 541.782.5545
Wednesday, September 3, 2014
News & Highlights for the Deception Complex
● Today, a warming and drying trend will begin, including a dry easterly flow with warmer temperatures and relative humidity into the single digits by Thursday. This will significantly increase fire activity and behavior as the drying trend continues to develop through Saturday.
● There is a Fire Weather Watch for gusty winds and low humidities in effect for Wednesday evening through Thursday afternoon.
● A convective column build up is likely late this afternoon.
● Local communities and surrounding areas can expect to see an increase in smoke as the firefighters respond to more active fire behavior by implementing planned burnout operations. This strategy will strengthen containment lines for the Deception Fire while keeping firefighter and public safety a top priority, and reduce the likelihood of a more devastating stand-replacement fire.
● Air quality in the valley should remain good today. However, starting Thursday morning, some smoke may impact the communites of Oakridge and Westfir and continue northwest along Highway 58 corridor into Lowerll and Dexter, and possibly beyond.
● A community meeting was held last night at Greenwaters Park in Oakridge. Approximately 50 people attended and received an update regarding the current and future suppression actions.
● A new smoke monitor is installed on the roof of the school in Oakridge to determine the level of allowable outdoor activity for students as smoke levels increase.
● Information from smoke monitors in the Oakridge area is incorporated in the daily Deception Complex smoke forecast which is posted on the Lane Regional Air Protection Agency website at http://www.lrapa.org or http://oregonsmoke.blogspot.com.
● Motorists traveling Highway 58 are advised to proceed with caution near the community of Oakridge as students and teachers return to school this week amidst continuing heavy fire-related traffic.
● Deception Creek Mobile Home Park, Middle Fork Ranger Station and houses along La Duke Road remain under a Level 1 evacuation notice.
Deception Complex Smoke Monitoring Discussion
As fire activity increases due to drier weather and burnout operations, a similar pattern of smoke intrusions as experienced last week, is expected. Smoke will initially impact the communities of Oakridge and Westfir, and as smoke builds and pools at night, may eventually move northwest down the HWY 58 corridor, and possibly deeper into the WIllamette Valley. Established smoke monitoring stations will continue to measure particulate matter; associated public notices will be issued by the Lane Regional Air Protection Agency. For today, however, winds from the north should push the majority of smoke to the south, away from Oakridge/Westfir area.
Deception Complex Operations Summary:
Several test fires were lit along the east flank of the Deception Fire yesterday in anticipation of implementing planned burnout operations. Due to moisture received from recent precipitation, the test fires did not burn hot enough to reduce the fuels as needed and operations were postponed. The night shift did have some success with burnout operations along Forest Road171.
A night shift of engines and hand crews continue to patrol, monitor, and take suppression actions as needed along the north and northeast flanks of the fire.
Today, crews will continue to prepare for Thursday’s anticipated increase in fire behavior. An approximate 2-mile section of line is planned for burnout utilizing a road, a ridge line and a reprod unit, to check the fire, allowing the fire to burn at lower intensities.
Lines are being bolstered on the N/NE flank as crews continue to mop up the direct hand line and dozer line on the eastern side of the ridge-top above La Duke Road. Engines and heavy equipment will continue work along Forest Roads 5847 and 5850 to improve the fire break and further establish a contingency line. As prep work is completed, heavy equipment is being demobilized.
Staley Fire: Firefighters are finishing rehabilitation, monitoring fire activity, and continuing to operate the sprinkler system as the fire backs toward the established containment line. Approximately 20% of the fire line is incomplete. Heavy helicopters worked the fire yesterday cooling hot spots.
Pool Fire: This fire is being patrolled aerially, and responsibility for the fire will soon be returned to the Middle Fork Ranger District.
Air Operations Summary
Currently, four heavy helicopters, a medium heli-torch helicopter, three light helicopters and an air attack platform are assigned to the Deception Complex.
● A temporary flight restriction (TFR) is in place over the Deception Fires 272, 274 and 278; a military training Route (R346) has been closed due to the TFR.
● Oakridge Airport is closed to civilian air traffic; currently serving as the helibase for the Deception Complex.
Willamette National Forest Area & Trail Closures:
● There are two closures on the Willamette NF association with the Deception Complex. The Deception Fire closure is an area, road and trail closure that currently includes the Lawler and Deception Trails and the Patterson Mountain Road; the Staley Fire closure includes an area and road closure.
Umpqua National Forest Closure:
● There is an area, road and trail closure southwest of the Deception Complex. Forest Road 17 remains open to Spirit Falls.
Check Inciweb for full closure information, including maps: http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/4093/ or visit the Willamette National Forest at http://www.fs.usda.gov/willamette or the Umpqua National Forest http://www.fs.usda.gov/umpqua.
Deception Complex: Started: August 12, 2014 Cause: Lightning Location: Two miles west of Oakridge, Oregon.
SAFETY CONCERNS: Driving hazards in town with school starting and on the forest roads with heavy traffic on narrow roads; wildlife in the area, smoke and poor visibility, depending on fire and burnout activity.
RESOURCE CONCERNS: Threatened and endangered species, including northern spotted owls and bull trout; timber resources, impacts to recreation opportunities, threatened communities of Oakridge and Westfir, municipal watershed of Westfir, Deception Creek watershed above the mobile home park.
WEATHER: Progressively warmer and drier weather is expected as high pressure builds over the area and a strong surface low develops just west of the Cascades. Increasingly dry conditions will cause very poor humidity recovery, especially above the 2500 ft. level and create very active burning conditions through the end of the week. N/NW surface winds will shift to NE beginning late tonight.
Today, temps will range from low 60s to low 70s today with humidity ranging from 24-29% during the day and 32-52% at night. Valley winds downslope 2-5 mph through 10:00 a.m., then NNW 6-9 mph with gusts to 16 mph in N-S oriented valleys. Ridge winds NNW 5-8 mph in the a.m. and increasing to 6-9 mph with gusts to 16 mph in the p.m.
On Thursday, temps will range from high 60s to low 80s over the fire area with humidity ranging from 14-24% during the day and 24-44% at night. Valley winds downslope 2-5 mph until 10:00 a.m., then ENE 6-9 mph with gusts to 16 mph in NE-SW oriented valleys. Ridgetop winds NE 5-8 mph in the morning, becoming ENE 6-9 mph with gusts to 16 mph in the afternoon.
On Friday, temps mid 70s to mid 80s over the fire area with humidity ranging 8-14% during the day and 18-34% at night.
TODAY’S EXPECTED FIRE BEHAVIOR: Fire behavior will be more active with moderate surface spread with isolated torching and spotting with occasional upslope, short duration crown runs. A convective column build up is likely in the late afternoon. There is potential for ignition of lichens in the upper canopies and some associated spotting.
COOPERATING AGENCIES & PARTNERS: Willamette National Forest, Oregon Department of Forestry, Umpqua National Forest, Lane County, Oakridge/Hazeldell Fire Department, Oregon Department of Transportation, Oregon State Police, Bureau of Reclamation, Lane Regional Air Protection Agency.