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State of Emergency Declared in Oregon due to Wildfires

Posted by feww on July 31, 2013

Josephine and Douglas counties declare states of emergency

Oregon Gov. has declared a state of emergency Josephine and Douglas counties as wildfires burn thousands of acres, destroy scores of buildings and threaten hundreds of homes.

At least 7 major wildfires are currently active in the state of Oregon.  [Dozens of smaller fires have not been logged.]

Meantime, a threat of dry lightning and thunderstorms is forecast Tuesday night through Wednesday.

“A strong weather system will move through the Pacific Northwest and across the northern Rockies over the course of the week. Dry, gusty winds are already contributing to increased fire danger in this region, but conditions will worsen on Wednesday as the weather system brings a chance of ‘dry’ thunderstorms. The lightning from these storms could ignite new wildfires that could spread rapidly.” NWS reported.

douglas complex
Douglas Complex Fire. Credit: Marvin Vetter, ODF

Douglas Complex Fire. Some 54 lightning-sparked blazes have been burning at least 21,400 acres since Friday and were only 5 percent contained Tuesday evening.

  • Location: 7 miles north of Glendale, OR
  • Percent Contained: 5%
  • Complex Size: 21,400 acres
  • Cause: Lightning
  • Start Date: 7/26/13
  • Total Personnel: 1,260
  • Growth Potential: Extreme
  • Terrain Difficulty: Extreme

Evacuations and Closures:

Cow Creek Road from Riddle into the fire area and from Glendale into the fire has been closed. The public is asked to honor the road blocks and not interfere with firefighters working in the area.

Evacuations have been ordered for McCullough Creek Road, Reuben Road, and Mt. Reuben Road in Douglas County, and Poorman Creek Road in Josephine County.

An additional four hundred residences are considered threatened. This means evacuations could be necessary at some point in the future. Any official evacuation orders would be issued by the Douglas County or Josephine Sheriff’s Offices. [Inciweb]

The Whiskey Complex Fire. The Whiskey Complex consists of four distinct fires on the Tiller Ranger District: Buckeye, Big Brother, Whiskey, and Smith Ridge. The fires were caused by lightning on July 26, 2013. The blazes have consumed at least 3,068 acres in steep and remote terrain in timber, the fire activity has been primarily ground fire with occasional tree torching and spotting. [Oregon Interagency Incident Management]

Whiskey Complex - OR
The Whiskey Complex Fire.  Credit:  K. Gregor

The Whiskey Complex Fire is currently ZERO – 7 percent contained with about 780 personnel deployed.

  • Nine people were evacuated from five residences in Ash Valley on Monday as the Buckeye Fire crossed the top of the ridge above the homes. Firefighters expect the fire to slowly back down toward Ash Creek and spare the homes, but asked residents to leave as a precaution.
  • Residences in Ash Valley are being served a Level 3 evacuation due to an increase in fire activity on the Buckeye Fire.  Additional road closures are expected.

The Big Windy Complex Fire. The Big Windy consists of 3 fires: The Big Windy Fire, Calvert Peak Fire, and Jenny Fire (formerly the Windy 16 Fire).

  • Cause: Lightning
  • Size: 2,914 acres
  • Date of Origin: Friday July 26th, 2013 approx. 03:00 AM
  • Location: 25 miles NW of Grants Pass
  • Total Personnel: 186
  • Containment: 0 percent
  • Growth Potential: High
  • Terrain Difficulty: Extreme

Brimstone Fire.  Another lightning-sparked wildfire 10 miles northwest of Merlin, the blaze has consumed more than 2000 acres since Monday July 29th, 2013. Some 773 personnel have been deployed to control the fire.  Brimstone is one of 24 lightning-fires on land protected by ODF’s Grants Pass District.

The Labrador Fire. The blaze was ignited by lightning on July 26. The fire is currently estimated to be 1,050 acres and burning adjacent to the Illinois River near the community of Oak Flat.

  • Containment: The fire is 0 % contained
  • personnel: 414
  • Growth Potential: Extreme
  • Terrain Difficulty: High

The Colockum Tarps Fire. The blaze started at about 8:00 a.m. on Saturday July 27 near  the intersections of Colockum Road and Tarpiscan Road, south of Malaga, Chelan County, Washington. Malaga is near Wenatchee, Washington.

  • The Kittitas County Sheriff established a Level 3 Evacuation Notification for the western shore of the Columbia River from the northern boundary of Kittitas County south to Skookumchuck Creek and Scammon Landing. The Wild Hourse Wind Farm was placed under Level 2 evacuation notice. The Renewable Energy Center is now closed to the public. A Level 1 Evacuation Notice is now in effect for the Whiskey Wildlife Area as well.
  • Size:  59,316 acres (~93 square miles)
  • Percent Contained 8%
  • Total Personnel: 370
  • Significant Events:  Evacuations, continued progress on west, scouting for perimeter control opportunities in the south. Significant growth continues in south and west portions of the fire. Fire crossed Quilmene Rd. to the south. VLAT used to hold fire on Quilmene ridge and check slopover. Established trigger points with Kittitas County.
  • Growth Potential: Extreme
  • Terrain Difficulty: High

News Link: Evacuation and destruction caused by Colockum Tarps Fire

The Mile Marker 28 Fire. The blaze started on Wednesday, July 24, 2013. The fire is located 15 miles northeast of Goldendale, Washington along Highway 97 and is burning in grasslands, shrub brush, timber, and timber litter. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

  • Size 22,469 acres
  • Percent Contained: 60%
  • Total Personnel: 1,345
  • Significant Events: US Hwy 97 remains closed Teusday. The Level 1 (advisory) advisory and level 2 (potential evacuation) remains in effect.

Sunnyside Turnoff Fire

  • Size: 51,340 acres
  • Contained: 95%

Related Links

One Response to “State of Emergency Declared in Oregon due to Wildfires”

  1. feww said

    Kittitas County declares state of emergency from Wenatchee wildfire
    http://www.kirotv.com/news/news/firefighters-continue-battle-wildfires-state/nY6Xd/

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