Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Deception Complex Information Update 9/9/2014


Fire Information Line: 541.782.5545

Tuesday, September 9, 2014
% Contained
Total Personnel
Deception Complex

News & Highlights for the Deception Complex

      Smoke cleared earlier than expected yesterday, allowing firefighters and air resources to make excellent progress with burnout operations along the southwestern, western, and northwestern sides of the fire.

      Firefighters have successfully strengthened the containment line around the entire perimeter of the fire; the goal to complete this work prior to the warming and drying trend predicted for Thursday through Saturday has been achieved.

      Due to the excellent progress made, Lane County has lifted the Level 1 evacuation notice for the Deception Creek Mobile Home Park, the Middle Fork Ranger Station and houses along La Duke Road.

      Today, firefighters will continue to mop up and hold the fireline along the southwestern and western and eastern portions of the fire.  Aerial ignitions will continue when the smoke lifts and visibility is adequate to fly.

      Smoke is expected to pool in the Oakridge and Westfir areas in the morning and should clear by late afternoon.  A night time inversion tonight is expected to trap smoke near the surface, which will likely remain until early Wednesday afternoon.

      A warming and drying trend predicted for Thursday through Saturday will increase fire behavior and will also assist with smoke lift and clearing.

      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.

      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 http://www.lrapa.org or http://oregonsmoke.blogspot.com.

      Motorists traveling Highway 58 are advised to proceed with caution near the community of Oakridge/Westfir due to possible heavy smoke, particularly with the school week, amidst continuing heavy fire traffic. 

Deception Complex Operations Summary:

Deception Fire:

A cold front moved through the fire area last night, causing winds to shift direction from the west to the northwest and increasing minimum relative humidity to 46%, causing some challenges for firefighters implementing the burnout operations during night shift.  A high pressure system is predicted to be in place over the fire area by Thursday and Friday.

Taking advantage of cooler temperatures and calmer winds, crews on Monday were able to burn out fuels along a substantial amount of the western flank of the fire. Burnout was accomplished by hot shot crews west of Little Deception Rock along Road 1790 and northward along Road 1714 which forms the boundary between the Willamette and Umpqua National Forests.  During the greater part of Monday, the helitorch, or flying drip torch, was used to more fully ignite the fuels surrounding the younger patch of trees. 

Aerial PSD (Plastic Spherical Device) ignition was conducted for nearly two miles along a sharp ridge to the northwest from a point near Little Deception Rock. Interior fires are being established on the upper third of the slopes to add depth to the black around the perimeter and to encourage cooler backing fires that help to prevent the forest canopy from burning.

Resources assigned to the Deception Complex are as follows:


Staley Fire: Firefighters continue suppression rehab/repair activities such as construction of water-bars on exterior dozer and hand lines.  Patrol and mop-up of hot spots continue to secure areas of the fire along Roads 332 and 300. 

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

Air Operations Summary 

Five heavy helicopters including a 2000-gallon capacity Sky Crane, a medium helicopter, three light helicopters and an air attack platform are assigned to the Deception Complex. Limited visibility due to smoky conditions are expected to significantly limit flight time.
      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 because it is 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 Trail 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 exist from smoke on the highway mixed with school traffic. Also, the heavy fire traffic flow on smoky, dusty, narrow forest roads produces serious driving hazards, and potential smoke exposure to firefighters and public can cause health related concerns.

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 dry cold front swept across the region late Monday. The winds shifted in direction coming from the northwest and are expected to be 6-9 mph with gusts to 16mph.  Relative humidity is predicted to be 42-54% with temperatures in the low to high 60s.  Wednesday, temperatures are expected to increase to the low to mid 70s with relative humidity at 24-36%.  Thursday, temperatures are predicted to increase again to the high 70s to low 80s along with lower relative humidity in the range of 16-28% and a highly unstable atmosphere (Haines Index 5).   

TODAY’S EXPECTED FIRE BEHAVIOR: Fire activity will continue to moderate as an inversion is expected to continue through later afternoon today.  Isolated and group tree torching is expected in the afternoon on south and southwest aspects of the fire.  Fire activity will continue to moderate with higher relative humidity on Tuesday.

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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