BLUE RIVER, Ore. - (Adding update on 56,000-acre Watson Creek Fire near Paisley; some evacuation levels lowered)
The Terwilliger Fire burning in the Willamette National Forest has grown to more than 6,200 acres as the containment figure slowly grows, now at 4 percent, officials said Tuesday.
Here's the Tuesday morning update from fire officials:
Terwilliger Fire Information Phone Numbers:
Public Information (541) 719-8135
Size: 6,249 acres Containment: 4% Cause: Under Investigation
Location: 5 miles SE of Blue River Structures Destroyed: 0
Total Personnel: 382 including 9 hand crews, 16 engines, 5 dozers, 9 water tenders, and 4 helicopters
Incident Commander: Alan Sinclair with the Southwest Area Type 2 Incident Management Team #3
Yesterday fire activity was light in the morning as clouds, cooler temperatures, and amount moisture covered the fire area until mid-afternoon from overnight showers. Light fuels saw significantly decreased fire behavior because of the rain, but heavier fuels continued to maintain heat throughout the night. On the southwest perimeter, crews continued to strengthen a direct line along the 208 road and added to the containment line established. Air operations engaged the western and southwestern perimeters heavily with over 20 hours of combined flight time and dumping over 50,000 gallons of water.
Fire activity is expected to increase today with temperatures 12-15 degrees above normal and forecasts temperatures of up to 87 degrees in the valleys. Higher elevations expect to see wind gusts up to 20-22 mph until the afternoon.
Firefighters will focus on expanding the southwest perimeter containment line and strengthening the western perimeter with heavy equipment deployed to construct a direct line, as well as burnout operations to strengthen the line on this perimeter. As more control line is set, containment percentages have not increased exponentially.
Containment is “the status of a wildfire suppression action signifying that a control line has been completed around the fire, and any associated spot fires, which can reasonably be expected to stop the fire’s spread.” As wildfires grow, the length of the perimeter to establish a physical barrier grows as well. Even when more control line is established, if a wildfire continues to grow, it may keep containment percentages stable or diminish.
Crews continued to conduct structure assessments on facilities around the Cougar Dam and moving north towards river corridor communities. To do your part in living in a fire active area, take the time to learn about defensible space and “Firewise” principles at: https://www.nfpa.org/Public-Education/By-topic/Wildfire/Preparing-homes-for-wildfire
Closures: Willamette National Forest has implemented Closure Order # 06-18-01-18-17 seethe closures tab on InciWeb for more details, map and a pdf of the original Forest Order.
Restrictions: The Willamette National Forest has implemented a Forest wide campfire ban, which includes all campgrounds and Wilderness areas. For specific information and on Forest Order 06-18-00-18 Public Use Restrictions, see the Willamette National Forest website at https://www.fs.usda.gov/alerts/willamette/alerts-notices.
Temporary Flight Restrictions: Temporary flight restrictions (TFR) are in effect around the entire fire area. Remember, that temporary flight restrictions also apply to unmanned aircraft systems (drones). If you fly, we can’t!
Meanwhile, more than 1,000 firefighters continue to battle the now-56.695-acre Watson Creek Fire six miles southwest of Paisley, which as of Tuesday was 65 percent contained.
Officials said crews connected fire lines Monday around the fire's entire perimeter and are strengthening the lines, mopping up and patrolling.
In collaboration with Team 6 the Lake County Sheriff’s Office has reduced some evacuation levels.
The Lakeview Estates neighborhood Level 3 evacuation is still in effect. The areas previously at a Level 2 evacuation have been lowered to a Level 1. The evacuation notice has been lifted for residents east of Highway 31.
More information: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/6153/