Skip to comments.WINDS PUSH BISCUIT FLAMES OVER LINE, (Oregon still burning)
Posted on 09/01/2002 8:06:18 AM PDT by Grampa Dave
WINDS PUSH BISCUIT FLAMES OVER LINE
Published: August 31, 2002
By Bill Lundquist, Pilot Staff Writer
Chetco Effect weather conditions pushed the Biscuit Fire Wednesday afternoon over a contingency fire line near Tolman Ranch, but no structures were lost.
Alaska Incident Management Team Information Officer Bill Beebe said crews were moved back and helicopters dropped water.
Mike Frazier, with the U.S. Forest Service, said the area around Tolman Ranch has been cleared and protected, so there should be no danger to structures.
Due to the increased fire activity, the estimated containment date has been moved to Sept. 6.
In North Curry County, the fire was so quiet that Sheriff Kent Owens lifted pre-evacuation advisories for Agness, Illahe and Oak Flat, effective as of 6 a.m. Thursday.
The pre-evacuation notice for the upper Pistol River basin remained in effect.
As of Friday, the Biscuit Fire was 499,780 acres in size and 90 percent contained.
The reduction in size was due to a reassessment of computer mapping.
According to the Biscuit Fire Joint Information Center, the fire was expected to be fully contained by Saturday, but that has been delayed by low humidity and gusty winds.
Fire line construction was slowed and lines changed when winds created spot fires, so 14 miles of line still remain to be built.
The fire has so far cost $117.7 million to fight. The firefighting effort is now down to 3,144 people.
Zone 4-North Curry County
Spot fires on Wednesday were contained. The few remaining hot spots were concentrated in drainage bottoms.
From Sugarloaf Mountain south through Meadow Creek, hoses were laid along the fire line and crews doused hot spots and mopped up with water.
Fire activity from Sugarloaf Meadow south to Raspberry Mountain was moderate on Thursday.
Officials said burning would continue in the interior of the fire, but was not expected to present a threat.
The Quosatana campground will be closed through the holiday, but its boat ramp, along with those at Lobster Creek and Foster Bar, will be open.
Zone 3-South Curry County
A spot fire north of Mineral Hill was contained. The section of fire along the south fork of the Chetco River from Swede Heaven to Red Mountain Creek showed some heat.
The rest of the southern section of the zone remained cool, with mop-up operations and rehabilitation progressing well.
Rehabilitation continued under a Type III incident management team from the Six Rivers National Forest.
Zone 1-Illinois Valley
New personnel rotated in to patrol the fire line and continue the rehabilitation work.
Bear Camp Road remained closed as mop-up operations and patrols continued.
All other roads in the zone also remained closed while crews used heavy equipment to remove hazardous trees and rehabilitate firelines.
It appears that they had a little of the Chetco Effect or Banana Belt Effect.
Have a great day!
BiscuitFire.comInformation Collected @
08/31/02 @ 12:00 a.m. PST
Name: (formerly the Florence Fire)
Location: 26 miles southwest of Grants Pass, Oregon
Lat: 42° 24' 46"
Long: 123° 52' 14"
Date of Origin: 7/13/02, reported at 12 AM
Size: 499,887 acres
Expected Containment Date: 09/06/2002 6:00 p.m.
Fuels/Materials Involved: Mixed Conifers and Brush
65 structures in the Wilderness Retreat, Gardner Ranch, Chetco Inn, Tolman Ranch and Pistol River areas.
Threatened, Endangered, and Sensitive fish, plants and animal species, long term ecosystem productivity.
Rogue, and Smith National Wild and Scenic Rivers.
North Fork Smith Botanical Area and Port Orford Cedars.
2 broken ankles, 1 bee sting reaction, and cases of heat exhaustion have been reported.
Type I: 8
Type II: 45
Camp Crews: 21
Type I: 7
Type II: 3
Cost to Date: $129,126,000
Observed Fire Behavior:
Zone I: Creeping, smoldering, individual tree torching in the interior. Interior islands continue to burn out.
Zones 2: Zone 2 is now under the control of Six Rivers National Forest.
Zone 3: Red flag warning conditions brought strong NE winds and low relative humidity to Divisions Y and Z, (see map). Flare-ups with torching near the perimeter tested suppression efforts.
Zone 4: Fire activity was moderate today in Div W, V and U as fire backs into itself mainly in Lawson Creek, (see map). Fire behavior was mostly a low intensity backing fire with isolated tree torching were heavy surface and ladder fuels are present.
Current Weather Conditions:
Wind Speed: 10-15 MPH
Wind Direction: NE
Relative Humidity: 12-32%
Daily Biscuit Fire News Release
September 1, 2002 10 a.m.
Grants Pass, Oregon As of 7:00 pm Saturday night, the Biscuit Fire was 90% contained and 499,887 acres in size. Warm and dry conditions during the day, steep terrain, lack of natural barriers, and poor humidity recovery at night, has delayed the expected containment of the fire until September 6, 2002.
There is still approximately ten miles of fire line remaining to be built. The line was secured from Mislatnah Creek west to Forest Service Road #360. The area where the direct line construction is taking place is steep and heavily vegetated, with very little natural barriers. Crews will continue to work to tie the containment line together in other areas as weather permits and conditions are safe.
Zone 1: Bear Camp Road remains closed; an assessment for snags and other hazards is being conducted. All other roads in the fire area remain closed as heavy equipment and crews are working in the area for rehabilitation. The Burned Area Emergency Assessment (BAER) team is working on ground verifying satellite imagery on fire intensity in Zone 1.
Zone 2 (California): A Type III Incident Management Team from the Six Rivers National Forest is managing this portion of the fire. Rehabilitation continues.
Zone 3: The Chetco River area experienced red flag weather yesterday, strong north, northeast winds (gusts to 30 mph) raised temperatures and lowered humidity. Steep terrain and lack of natural barriers is making line construction difficult. Helicopters were used to drop water assisting in the direct line construction. The area was patrolled through the night and additional helicopter work is planned for today as direct line construction and burn out operations continue. The remainder of the southern section of Zone 3 remained cool with mop up and rehabilitation progressing well.
Zone 4: The northern half of Zone 4 continues to show very little fire activity and mop-up is proceeding well. Suppression related rehabilitation will continue. Burning within the interior will continue, but is not expected to present a threat. Jim Furlough/Dick Gormley Central Washington Incident Command Team, Team 5 assumed command of Zone 4 August 31, 2002 at 0600.
Boat Traffic: There are no restriction on tour boats, fishing or rafting traffic on the Rogue River. The Quosatana Campground boat ramp will be open Saturday August 31, 2002. The Quosatana campground will remain closed. Lobster Creek and Foster Bar boat ramps are open.
Areas still under Pre-evacuation Notice
Pistol River and the Wildnerness Retreat are the only remaining areas under a pre-evacuation advisory.
Expected Weather conditions
Red Flag warnings are predicted today for strong Northeast winds, higher temperatures and relative lower humidities. Temperatures during the day will range from 76-94 degrees, with the relative humidity to as low as 12%. Winds will be range from the NE 8-20 mph with gusts to 30 mph.
Biscuit Fire Facts
The fire is the top priority for the Pacific Northwest Region with 2,976 personnel representing various federal, state, local and private agencies and organizations. The Oregon National Guard, firefighters from Canada, Australia and New Zealand as well as 70 fire engines, 64 dozers and 17 helicopters and aircraft are providing support to the incident. The fire has cost an estimated $129,126,000 to date.
Biscuit Fire Background
The Biscuit Fire is located approximately 26 miles southwest of Grants Pass, Oregon. It has become the largest wildfire in Oregon in the last century. The Biscuit Fire includes most of the Kalmiopsis Wilderness and stretches from 10 miles east of the coastal community of Bookings, Oregon, south into California, east to the Illinois Valley and north to within a few miles of the Rogue River. The fire encompasses lands in Oregons Josephine and Curry Counties and Del Norte County in California.
Biscuit Fire Management
An Area Command Team is managing the entire fire from a center in Medford, Oregon, setting common objectives and strategies for firefighters. The Area Command Team headed by Edy Williams-Rhodes.
The Biscuit Fire is divided into four administrative zones. The teams are coordinating fire line construction; burn out operations and structural and rural community protection:
Zone 1: Zone 1 manages the eastern flank of the fire north of the California State Line. Its command center is located at Lake Selmac, Oregon.
Zone 2: This Zone is that portion of the Biscuit Fire in California. A Type III Incident Management Team from the Six Rivers National Forest is managing the Zone. Further information about this portion of the fire can be obtained by calling the Six Rivers National Forest at 707-442-1721.
Zone 3: The incident management team for Zone 3 is located 5 miles east of Brookings, Oregon on the North Bank Road. Zone 3 includes the southwest portion of the fire from the Oregon state line to about 5 miles south of Gold Beach.
Zone 4: The incident management team for Zone 4 is located at the Curry County Fairground in Gold Beach, Oregon. Zone 4 comprises the northwestern portion of the fire.
Zone command center representatives have been coordinating with local officials and conducting meetings to inform the public about important safety issues.
Biscuit Fire Information:
Information about the Biscuit Fire can be found at http://www.biscuitfire.com. The joint information center can also be reached by calling 541-471-6685 or 6686.
BAER (Burned Area Emergency Rehabilitation)
Jon Brazier, Rogue River/Siskiyou National Forest Hydrologist, leads a team of 25 specialists, assessing whether there are any immediate resource or human health and safety concerns caused by the effects of the fire. The team will be spending the next two weeks walking the ground verifying the satellite data with regard to burn severity.
Other Local Fire News:
The Apple Fire is located on the Umpqua National Forest is now estimated to be 11,800 acres and 70% contained. The fire is 21 miles east of Glide, Oregon. For information on the Apple Fire please call 541-496-3532 or visit them on the web at www.fs.fed.us/r6/umpqua.
The Tiller Complex Fire on the Umpqua National Forest is now estimated to be 69,252 acres and 95% contained. For further information on the Tiller Complex Fire please call 541-825-1002 or visit them on the web at www.fs.fed.us/r6/umpqua.
The only sign of fire visible along the road was near the town of Gasquet and the Cave Junction area (which has had pictures posted of those previously). There was some spot burning for a mile or so along the 199 just outside of Gasquet, no jumps of fire to the other side of the road that I could see. I was not able to discern if it was a careless cigarette (1st choice)or the Biscuit fire.
Smoke hung over the area and the smell of the fire was present even near the coast. They must have worked hard to keep the fire away from the 199 and the clusters of buildings located along it.
The ABC news station here was announcing this evening that the gov. is reporting that approx 200,000 acres were lightly burned, except for undergrowth which did burn. I will reserve comment on that until they open the area up and let people see for themselves, not a press release attempt at damage control on their ( somewhat sooty) image. The National guard is still blocking roads from the public view...due to safety reasons of course.
Has anyone seen the north side?
Now we have UNHEALTHY FORESTS
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