Friday, September 5, 2014

Deception Complex Fire Information Update 9/5/2014

Friday, September 5, 2014
% Contained
Total Personnel
Deception Complex

News & Highlights for the Deception Complex 
      Thursday’s extensive burnout operation was fully successful. There were no spots outside of the established firelines, and the intensity of the burn was kept to a low or moderate level.
      The Red Flag Warning remains in effect today through Saturday.  Increased fire activity and active fire behavior is expected.
      Firefighters will be monitoring yesterday’s burn to determine the extent of the heat and continue with an adaptive tactic based on changing conditions; no hand ignition is planned for today.
      Aerial ignition may occur in the interior southeast portion of the fire today to add some depth to the containment line.
      Water bucket drops are being utilized to cool the fire on the west flank to check the fire spread to the west.
      A convective column build up is again expected this afternoon through early evening as the fire actively burns and firefighters continue with burn out operations.  Fire activity will be active and visible at night from nearby communities.
      Forest Road 2102 has been added to the Willamette National Forest closure; the Lawler and Deception Trails remain closed. Larison Rock Trail is open.
      Oakridge and Westfir may be smoky in the morning as the inversion traps smoke in low areas. As east winds develop, however, air quality is expected to improve as smoke is pushed toward the southwest.
     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 or
     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-, football-, and recreation-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
Smoke may pool in the Oakridge and Westfir areas in the morning, but is expected to be scoured out by late morning winds. Transport winds will likely drive the smoke to the southwest, but there may be some drift down the Willamette Valley and into Eugene.

Deception Complex Operations Summary:

Deception Fire:
The burnout operation on Thursday proceeded south along the 5850 Road to the 523 Road junction, and east along Road 523, then north along the ridge near the 529 and 530 roads. The dual purpose for burning the fuel in this area is to 1) create a wide barrier of burned fuels between the remaining wildfire in Deception Creek and the eastern fire flank closest to homes and private property in the Oakridge/Westfir area; and 2) to attempt to slowly and carefully introduce fire at a rate that produces a low or moderate rate of combustion.

Significant heat is being produced by the fire to the north and south of Deception Butte.

Mop up of hot spots and slop-over ignited by the rapid fire spread on August 27th has nearly been completed, and crews will retain the established hose-lay for possible future use.

Engines and heavy equipment will continue work along Forest Roads 5840, 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 were able to begin direct attack on the Staley Fire on Thursday. The fire had backed down to a location where crews were able to engage it safely on the NE flank. Sprinklers continue to operate to check the spread to the east. 

Davey Fire: The Davey Fire is nearly ready for a return to management by the local unit.

Air Operations Summary 
Five 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 and the Staley Fire. 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 associated 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. A new closure is in effect that adds the 2102 Road to the closure.
  • 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: or visit the Willamette National Forest at or the Umpqua National Forest
SAFETY CONCERNS: Driving hazards in town are associated with school being in session, heavy recreation use, a big game day in the Willamette Valley, and very active traffic flow on narrow forest roads; also, smoke and poor visibility, depending on fire and burnout activity, may contribute to dangerous driving conditions.

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:  A critical fire weather pattern continues in effect today.  The low pressure area on the west side of the Cascade Mountains is intensifying today, bringing stronger winds from the east, gusting from 25 to 28 mph. Relative humidity as low as 8% is predicted today. The nightly inversion is expected to dissipate at 1030 today with a Haines of 6. Critical conditions are expected to remain through Saturday causing gusty easterly winds, atmospheric instability (Haines 5-6), and very low humidities.  A Red flag warning is in effect today through Saturday evening.  

Saturday, temperatures are forecast to be 84-89 with humidity ranging from 8-19% during the day. Winds on Sunday are expected to shift to a WNW orientation at 5-8 mph, gusting to 15. Humidities will be 12-23% and the atmospheric instability will moderate.

TODAY’S EXPECTED FIRE BEHAVIOR: Low RH’s and high temperatures will continue to contribute to increased fire activity throughout the day. Spotting can be expected up to ½ mile downwind, and eddying winds may throw spots against the prevailing wind. Probability of ignition will be up to 90% in unshaded areas. Upslope crown runs are anticipated. Expect active fire spread throughout the evening.

COOPERATING AGENCIES & PARTNERS: Willamette National Forest, Oregon Department of Forestry, Umpqua National Forest, Lane County, Oakridge/Hazeldell Fire Department, Lowell Rural Fire Protection District, Oregon Department of Transportation, Oregon State Police, Bureau of Reclamation, Lane Regional Air Protection Agency.

The Deception Complex was ignited by lightning on August 12, 2014 and is located two miles west of Oakridge, Oregon.



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