Thursday, September 11, 2014

Deception Complex Information Update 9/11/2014


Fire Information Line: 541.782.5545

Thursday, September 11, 2014

% Contained
Total Personnel
Deception Complex
News & Highlights for the Deception Complex

  • A Red Flag Warning for gusty winds and low relative humidity will be in effect from today at 11:00 a.m. through Friday at 2 p.m. or later. Thewarming and drying trend will continue through the weekend.  This will increase fire behaviour and encourage smoke to lift and clear. Haines Index is predicted to be a 5 High on Thursday with potential to be a 6 High on Friday and Saturday, indicating unstable atmospheric conditions. Fires become more active when the Haines index reaches the 5-6 level.
  • Firefighters and air resources are prepared to take action should the fire make active runs towards the west flank.  No burnout activities are planned for today or tomorrow.
  • Oregon Team #4 will arrive on the fire this afternoon. The team, led by Incident Commander Brian Watts, will “shadow” Pacific Northwest Team #2 on Friday and assume command of the fire on Saturday at 6:00 a.m.
  • Firefighters continue to make good progress mopping up the east, north, and northwest containment lines. They continue to hold and improve fire lines along the west edge of the fire. Meanwhile, sawyers are falling snags along much of the western perimeter to make areas safe for firefighters during mop up.
  • As temperatures and winds increased yesterday, firefighters conducted a small burn out in the Fivepoint Hill area.
  • Moderate smoke impacts are expected this morning due to smoke settling in low-lying areas throughout the night. East winds developed early this morning and should cause smoke to lift out of Oakridge early, but push smoke toward Cottage Grove. Air quality conditions will improve by mid-afternoon as the inversion lifts. Smoke monitors have been placed to keep the public apprised of current smoke conditions. 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
  • There is a clean air facility at the Willamette Activity Center in Oakridge that is open Mon-Fri from 9-5 p.m.  The center may also be opened in the evening on an as needed basis. Please call the Red Cross Coordinator Jerry Shorey at 541-915-3880 or the Oakridge Police Department at 541-782-4232.
  • Motorists traveling Highway 58 are advised to proceed with caution near the community of Oakridge/Westfir due to smoke, particularly during the school week, and amidst continuing heavy fire traffic.
  •  A Burned Area Emergency Rehabilitation Team (BAER Team) is being ordered and will be arriving in the next few weeks to assess current conditions.

Deception Complex Operations Summary:

Deception Fire:

Yesterday’s high pressure system over the Pacific resulted in lower humidity, higher temperature, and higher wind speed. This greatly improved afternoon burning conditions. Hand crews were able to burn out a small area around Fivepoint Hill along the west edge of the fire to strengthen fire control lines in that area, however the burnout was shut down early due to erratic winds.

As the high pressure system strengthens over the fire area today, the fire is expected to become much more active. The escalating fire behavior today will increase the potential for group tree torching and possibly even intense burning of unburned islands within the fire perimeter, potentially creating a convective column. This could test the west fire containment lines.

Incident Commander Chris Schulte welcomes such a test. “We’ll get to see where fire lines need to be touched up to make them more secure while we have more people, equipment, and air support available to deal with the challenge,” said Schulte.

The following resources are assigned to the Deception Complex:


Staley Fire:  A hand crew and two engine crews continue rehabbing contingency lines in the vicinity of the Staley Fire.  The remaining work is expected to be completed on Friday, September 12th, at which time management of the fire will be returned to the Middlefork Ranger District.

Davey Fire: Suppression repair activities have been completed and all fire equipment has been removed.

Air Operations Summary 

Five heavy helicopters, including a 2000-gallon capacity Sky Crane, and two light helicopters, one medium helicopter and three scooper planes are available to the Deception Complex today. These resources will be available to assist with control of any fire that approaches the existing fire lines.
      A temporary flight restriction (TFR) is in place over the Deception Fires 272, 274 and 278. Military Training Route R346 remains closed due to the TFR. The TFR over the Staley Fire has been lifted.

      Oakridge Airport remains closed to civilian air traffic as it is currently serving as the helibase for the Deception Complex.

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. Forest Roads 2102, 5840, 5847 and 5850 remain closed.  The Larison Rock Trail (Trail 3607) was recently opened and visitors can access the lower trailhead. However, access to the upper elevation Larison Rock Trailhead is blocked due to the Forest Road 2102 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.  
      Public use restrictions on campfires, smoking, motorized travel, and internal combustion engines are in effective as of today, Wednesday September 10, 2014, through October 9, 2014, unless sooner rescinded.

Check Inciweb for full closure information, including maps: or visit the Willamette National Forest at or the Umpqua National Forest
SAFETY CONCERNS: Driving hazards exist from smoke on the highway mixed with school traffic and the up-coming weekend tourist traffic. Heavy fire traffic on smoky, dusty, narrow forest roads produces serious driving hazards. Potential Firefighter and public smoke exposure may cause health related concerns. As the primary winds shift, firefighters will be exposed to increasing numbers of falling fire-weakened trees.

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: East winds and warmer, drier conditions are expected today through Friday. As a result of the high pressure system off the coast, winds are expected to increase to 25 - 30 miles per hour and relative humidity is likely to drop to 15% to 20% today and tomorrow.

TODAY’S EXPECTED FIRE BEHAVIOR: Increased wind speed and low relative humidity will combine to create critical fire weather conditions. The escalating fire behavior will increase the potential for group tree torching and test containment lines on the west perimeter. This could result in large columns of smoke lifting above the fire at times during the day.

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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