Firefighters Brace for Windy Conditions, Potential Thunderstorms
JACKSON & JOSEPHINE COUNTIES, Ore. (August 5, 2021) – A significant shift in the weather pattern on Thursday could challenge fire lines and crews; this potential is the biggest focus today on active incidents on the Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) Southwest Oregon District. The National Weather Service is predicting a slight chance of thunderstorms in the morning with strong, shifting winds throughout the day. Not only could these conditions affect the progress crews have been making, but it increases the risk of new fires starting.
Smoke in the area from various fires surrounding southern Oregon is also affecting visibility and may impact the use of aircraft; firefighters on the ground are taking this into account, and adjusting their strategies based on the potential of losing this resource for the better part of Thursday. The smoke is also impacting the ODF Southwest Detection Center, and detection center camera views are limited from the haze. Smoke information is available on https://fire.airnow.gov/ and https://airquality.weather.gov/sectors/pacnorthwest.php.
Crews on the two remaining fires on ODF-protected land in Jackson and Josephine Counties are continuing to make progress on strengthening perimeters and general mop-up; The Round Top Fire, located 10 miles northwest of Shady Cove, is still holding at 23 acres. Firefighters have been able to mop up 50 feet into the interior of the fire, and will continue that work today. Four 10-person crews, two engines and three water tenders are assigned to the Round Top Fire today. The Buck Rock Fire, located 5 miles north of Trail, remains at 17 acres. A 10-person crew, 20-person crew, five engines and three water tenders are assigned to this fire today to continue mop-up operations. On both of these incidents, steep terrain and hazardous trees have challenged crews and caused safety concerns. Firefighters assigned to these fires will be taking these factors into account as they continue to push forward on suppression efforts.
ODF Southwest is continuing to provide resources to fires burning in southern Douglas County on Douglas Forest Protective Association (DFPA) protected land and the Umpqua National Forest. Information on these specific fires can be found on https://www.facebook.com/skylineridgecomplex/, https://www.facebook.com/2021-Devils-Knob-Complex-112079071131008, https://www.facebook.com/DouglasForestProtectiveAssociation and https://www.facebook.com/UmpquaNationalForest.
Additional information about fire season is also available online at www.swofire.com, Facebook @ODFSouthwest and Twitter @swofire.