Fire Update for Umpqua National Forest

Release Date: Sep 5, 2017   Roseburg, Oregon

Contact: Jim Hyland, (541) 670-5289

9:00 a.m.

Current Situation: Fire Weather Watch in effect from early Wednesday morning through Wednesday evening for abundant lightning on dry fuels.

Forest visitors are advised to use extreme caution when using any heat source. Smoking is limited to within vehicles or boats on water. Due to dense smoke and limited visibility, visitors should use headlights and caution when driving.

Crews continue to patrol the Upper Ash Flat and Double Buck fires on the Tiller Ranger District, which are now 58% contained. No growth was reported on either fire today. Firefighters also assisted the High Cascades Complex on additional fires that are burning on the Umpqua National Forest.

Weather: Gradually increasing humidity will spread over the forecast area through the next several days, west of the Cascades today, and along and east of the Cascades starting tomorrow. There is a slight chance of thunderstorms east of the Cascades this afternoon. Thunderstorm chances increase area wide Wednesday. Today’s forecast calls for high temperatures from 95 to 100 degrees with minimum humidity around 20% to 30%. Tonight will be clear, but smoky. Minimum temperatures will be around 60 to 65 degrees with maximum humidity around 75% to 85%.

Air Quality: For air quality and smoke information, visit airnow.gov.

North Zone, Umpqua National Forest: A Type 1 Incident Management Team, California Team 4 (J.Kurth) is managing the Umpqua North Complex on the North Umpqua and Diamond Lake ranger districts. For more information, check inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5505 and follow the Umpqua National Forest on Facebook.

South Zone, Umpqua National Forest: A Type 3 Incident Management Team (Thompson) is managing the Falcon Complex on the Tiller Ranger District. For more information about these wildfires, check inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5484 and follow Falcon Complex Wildland Fires on Facebook. Northwest Interagency Incident Management Team 7 (Knerr) is managing the Paradise, Windy Gap, and Pup fires (formerly grouped in the Falcon Complex) as part of the High Cascades Complex. For more information on these fires, check inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5503 or follow the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest on Facebook.

Evacuations/Closures: Douglas County uses a 3-level evacuation process, with levels 1-3 corresponding with preparedness levels of “(1) Ready, (2) Set, (3) Go.”

The Level 1 Evacuation Notice (fire danger exists in the area, be prepared) was lifted on September 3rd by the Douglas County Sheriff for the Susan Creek and the Moore Hill Lane areas.

A Level 1 Evacuation Notice, “Get Ready” (fire danger exists in the area, be prepared) remains in place for the Clearwater/Toketee Village area.

A Level 2 Evacuation Notice, “Get Set” (threat is greater, you must prepare to leave at a moment’s notice) remains in place for Dry Creek, Umpqua Last Resort, and Illahee areas and Soda Springs/Slide Creek area (Highway 138 East between mile markers 53 and 61).

There are no Level 3 Evacuation Orders “GO” (threat is imminent, evacuate immediately) at this time.

To register your telephone for the Douglas County Citizen Emergency Notification System and receive notifications about emergencies near your home, workplace, children’s school, or other important places, log onto www.dcso.com/alerts or call (541) 440-4464.

Diamond Lake, North Umpqua and Tiller Ranger District Closure Orders: Forest Order 378 restricts public access to trails, roads, and forest areas due to wildfire activity. To view the closure order and an accompanying map, visit www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/fseprd557073.pdf.

River Closure: A small portion of the North Umpqua River has been opened for angling and more access may open soon. The north shore of the river is open from the Falls at Steamboat Inn to the Jeannie Fishing Hole. The remainder of the river from Soda Springs Dam to the Susan Creek Campground remains closed to all angling, rafting and other recreational use due to significant public safety risks.

Road Information: Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) has closed Highway 138 (North Umpqua Highway) from mile marker 47 to mile marker 54. Highway 138 pullout closures are in effect from mile marker 31 to mile marker 35. Current road information for Highway 138 can be found on ODOT’s website at https://tripcheck.com/Pages/RCMap.asp.

Campgrounds: There are numerous campground closures. Please refer to the Umpqua National Forest website for a comprehensive list of campground closures at https://www.fs.usda.gov/alerts/umpqua/alerts-notices.  For ideas of where to go, check out www.fs.usda.gov/detail/umpqua/news-events/?cid=FSEPRD556360.

Campfires are permitted only in fire rings in designated campgrounds. A list of Public Use Restrictions is available at www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/fseprd554660.pdf.

Industrial Fire Precaution Level restrictions (currently Level IV) protect the forest resources from unintentional fire starts due to unnoticed, accidental sparks or other heat sources associated with the use of machinery. In remote areas, unintentional small fires may quickly grow into large wildfires. Recreational campfires in approved fire rings, in approved locations, do not present the same level of risk, and so they continue to be allowed.

Due to widespread wildfire activity and the potential for extreme fire behavior, visitors are encouraged to know what areas of the Forest are closed so they can find places to recreate outside of closure areas. A forest closure is in place for public safety.