DECEPTION COMPLEX FIRE INFORMATION UPDATE
Fire Information Line: 541.782.5545
Saturday, September 6, 2014
News & Highlights for the Deception Complex
● Friday evening’s glow seen from Oakridge was the product of successful burnout operations on the eastern perimeter of the fire line. There were no spots outside of the established fire lines, and the intensity of the burn was kept to a low or moderate level.
● Interior hot spots were detected near Deception Creek and water bucket drops were used to cool the area.
● Firefighters will be monitoring and tracking yesterday’s burn and continue with a monitor and hold tactic. As winds shift late this afternoon/evening, firefighters plan to start burnout operations on the north/northeast flank.
● The Red Flag Warning for gusty winds, low humidity and a high Haines Index of 5-6 remains in effect today until 11:00 p.m. Expect gusty easterly winds today through mid-afternoon. As a thermal trough moves over the area this afternoon and into the evening, winds will weaken but become erratic. Convective column build up is likely in the late afternoon.
● Fire activity will continue to increase in intensity today and into tomorrow, but decreasing early next week as a cold front moves in, bringing cooler temperatures and higher relative humidity.
● 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 smoke to the southwest, but there may be some drift down the Willamette Valley and into Eugene.
● Smoke monitors have been placed to keep the public apprised of the current situation. 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 this weekend 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 Operations Summary:
The burnout operation on Friday proceeded north along 5850 Road, and east and west of the junction of the 423 Road. 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 south and eastern fire flanks 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.
The fire continues to be active on the south end and along Deception Butte.
Crews, engines, and heavy equipment will continue work along most of the perimeter of the fire line to hold and improve the fire break and further establish a wide contingency line.
Work along the 5840 Road will continue in the northwest flank of the fire with chipping and removal of brush and small understory in preparation for burnout operations when the winds shift from easterly winds to advantageous north westerly winds.
Staley Fire: Firefighters were able to complete direct line along the eastern flank of fire line on Thursday which allowed for clean-up burning yesterday, to the fire’s eastern perimeter.
Davey Fire: Rehab efforts continue.
Air Operations Summary
Six 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. Forest Roads 5840, 5847 and 5850 were closed previously and remain closed. The Larison Rock Trail (Trail 3607) was recently opened. The lower trailhead for Larison Rock Trail is open; the closure of the 2102 Road means the upper elevation trailhead for Larison Rock Trial is closed.
· 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.
SAFETY CONCERNS: Driving hazards in town are with heavy recreation use, a big game day in the Willamette Valley, and very active traffic flow on narrow forest roads, potential smoke exposure to firefighters and public.
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 today with south/southeast winds approximately 7-12 mph with gusts up to 27 mph. Relative humidity between 16-20% is expected today. The nightly inversion is expected to dissipate at 1030 today.
Temperatures are forecasted to begin cooling Sunday. By Monday, temperatures 69-79 degrees, depending on elevation, with humidity ranging from 18-28% during the day. Winds on Sunday are expected to shift to a WSW orientation at 6-9 mph, gusting to 15.
TODAY’S EXPECTED FIRE BEHAVIOR: Low RH’s and high temperatures will allow isolated heat sources to build intensity and begin to grow together. Burn operations will continue to see similar results. Surface fire transition to lichen and crowns will lead to isolated and small group tree torching throughout the morning and early afternoon, and increasing after 2:00 p.m. Higher wind speeds could cause upslope crown runs. In the afternoon, probability of ignition will be up to 70% in unshaded areas, with a spotting distance less than one half mile.
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.
● Revised road and trail closures for the Willamette National Forest; see specifics below.