(FIRE UPDATE) Launch Fire

Contact(s): Erica Hupp 541-883-6715

Klamath Falls, Oregon – The Launch Fire, located on the northern side of Fourmile Lake in Klamath County, Oregon was not very active yesterday.  Fire crews aggressively constructed a fire line around the perimeter of the fire limiting its spread. 

The fire perimeter was accurately mapped yesterday using a GPS (Global Position Satellite) system and is now estimated to be 42 acres in size.  Water pumps and fire hoses have been installed on most of the perimeter of the fire utilizing the abundant and easily available water from Fourmile Lake.  Mop-up (extinguishing all burning and smoldering material) near the fire line will continue today.  Fire crews and equipment will be released from this fire as they are no longer needed to meet incident objectives.  A smaller incident management team has arrived from Idaho to learn the suppression strategies and tactics employed on this fire so that their transition to managing the Launch Fire tomorrow morning becomes easier and more efficient.

Safety concerns for the firefighter remains paramount.  Abundant snags must be safely removed before crews begin their work in the mop-up stage or work under any aerial hazard.  Heat-related injuries (heat stroke and exhaustion) are also a major issue for firefighters working in temperatures predicted to be in the mid 80’s with a relative humidity (amount of moisture in the air) expected to be in the low 20% range.  Fortunately, the winds are forecasted to be light, coming from the southeast and should not present a challenge to containing this fire.  There is a slight chance for isolated thunderstorms this afternoon.

Yesterday, an aerial observer flying over the fire spotted a nearby new lightning-caused fire from the recent thunderstorm and initial attack fire crews assigned to the Launch Fire supported efforts by the Fremont-Winema National Forest to quickly line and suppress this fire.

There are no changes to the closure orders for this fire and the Great Meadows Snow Park, along Highway 140 near Lake of the Woods remains closed to the public so that helicopters can safely operate and refuel.

The following closure orders remaining in effect on Forest roads, trails, campground, and area closure within the specific area on the Fremont-Winema National Forest, Klamath Ranger District.

  • Forest Road 3661 from its intersection with Forest Road 3661-360 to Fourmile Lake Campground.
  • Forest Trail 993 (Twin Ponds Trail,) from its intersection with the Pacific Crest Trail to its intersection with Forest Road 3661 at Fourmile Lake Campground.
  • Forest Trail 3759 (Badger Lake Trail,) from its intersection with Forest Road 3661-560 to its intersection with south boundary of the Sky Lakes Wilderness.
  • Forest Trail 3712 (Lost Lake Trail,) from its intersection with the Sky Creek Wilderness boundary to its intersection with the Pacific Crest Trail.
  • Fourmile Lake Campground is closed.

For the area closure and map, see the inciweb site at http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/4018/.

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