(FIRE UPDATE) 790 Fire

Contact(s): Lisa Swinney (541) 947-6261

Yesterday afternoon, winds increased as relative humidity’s decreased, prompting more increased fire growth on the 790 Fire.  Crews worked late into the evening in an effort to suppress the increased fire activity.  It is estimated the fire has grown approximately 200 acres, bringing the estimated total fire size to 800 acres.

A Type 3 Incident Management Team (Edwards) members is currently reviewing conditions and adjusting strategies for full fire suppression efforts of the 790 Fire.  Currently, a hand crew is supported by a 10-mule pack string and three helicopters.

The 790 Fire is located in the Sky Lakes Wilderness north of Big Ben Creek.  This fire resulted from the lightning activity that occurred July 31, 2014 and is located in an area difficult for crews to access safely.  The terrain is rugged and rocky with much blow down debris and standing snags, which prevent firefighters from safely and actively engaging with the fire perimeter.

Due to firefighter safety concerns, indirect methods have been utilized to fight the fire. Until yesterday, fire behavior has been very moderate. Shifting and increased winds combined with very low relative humidity created an active fire condition which pushed the fire east and up Big Ben Creek past Hemlock Lake. 

Additionally the recent activity has pushed the fire enough to the East and across the Pacific Crest Trail. Eastward movement has subsided as of 9:00 pm yesterday evening and continues to hold while currently under cooler conditions and higher relative humidity.