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Curry Coastal Pilot ^ | 31 August 2002 | Bill Lundquist

Posted on 09/01/2002 8:06:18 AM PDT by Grampa Dave


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.

Zone 2-California

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.

TOPICS: Extended News
KEYWORDS: biscuitfire; christines; kalmiopsisfire; oregonburning; oregonstillburning; ruralcleansing; unhealthyforests
The Biscuit Fire is still having a few hot spots.

It appears that they had a little of the Chetco Effect or Banana Belt Effect.

1 posted on 09/01/2002 8:06:19 AM PDT by Grampa Dave
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To: Granof8; AuntB; Archie Bunker on steroids; blackie; EBUCK; wanderin; Salvation; Sir_Ed
This is today's Oregon is still burning thread. I was remiss yesterday as the news lines were remiss.

I will be off line most of today and tomorrow. We will be baby sitting Bubba Bam Bam and his sister.
2 posted on 09/01/2002 8:08:34 AM PDT by Grampa Dave
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To: madfly; WaterDragon; backhoe; Ernest_at_the_Beach
Fyi and your pinging.

I will be off the board very soon and most of tomorrow. So I'm not ignoring your pings and responses.

3 posted on 09/01/2002 8:10:26 AM PDT by Grampa Dave
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To: AAABEST; sauropod; countrydummy; glock rocks; BOBTHENAILER
Good morning to the non Westerners who are concerned about these fires in Oregon.

I will be off the board very soon for all day and most of tomorrow. We are baby sitting with Bubba Bam Bam and his sister. We will crawl later Monday.
4 posted on 09/01/2002 8:12:36 AM PDT by Grampa Dave
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To: Grampa Dave; Free the USA; Libertarianize the GOP; Stand Watch Listen; freefly; expose; ...
Sorry to hear this beast is still alive!

Have a great day!

5 posted on 09/01/2002 8:39:20 AM PDT by madfly
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To: madfly
This beast, the former Kalmiopsis Wildnerness will be alive and simmering until the heavy fall/winter rains start!
6 posted on 09/01/2002 8:48:29 AM PDT by Grampa Dave
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To: Grampa Dave
7 posted on 09/01/2002 10:34:51 AM PDT by Aquamarine
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To: Grampa Dave
I was brought to tears over the mass deaths of our forests today.

BiscuitFire.comInformation Collected @
08/31/02 @ 12:00 a.m. PST

Name: (formerly the Florence Fire)

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

Cause: Lightning

Contained: 90%

Expected Containment Date: 09/06/2002  6:00 p.m.

Fuels/Materials Involved: Mixed Conifers and Brush

Structures Threatened:
Residences: 274
Commercial: 0
Outbuildings: 0

Structures Lost:
Residences: 4
Commercial: 0
Outbuildings: 9

Resources Threatened:
65 structures in the Wilderness Retreat, Gardner Ranch, Chetco Inn, Tolman Ranch and Pistol River areas.

Industrial timberlands

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.

Personnel Assigned:
2,976 personnel

2 broken ankles, 1 bee sting reaction, and cases of heat exhaustion have been reported. 

Equipment Assigned:
Type I: 8
Type II: 45
Camp Crews: 21
Type I: 7
Type II: 3
Type III:7
Engines: 70
Dozers: 64

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
Temperature: 75-92°
Relative Humidity: 12-32%

8 posted on 09/01/2002 10:48:21 AM PDT by madfly
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To: Aquamarine; Grampa Dave; AuntB
Source: Status page

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 Oregon’s 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  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

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


9 posted on 09/01/2002 10:54:09 AM PDT by madfly
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To: Grampa Dave
Healthy Forests Task Force Named

WASHINGTON, DC, August 29, 2002 (ENS) - The Departments of Agriculture and Interior have named eight members of a new task force that will work to implement the Bush administration's Healthy Forests initiative.

On Wednesday, Agriculture Secretary Ann Veneman and Interior Secretary Gale Norton announced the names of senior officials assigned to work as a joint federal team on President Bush's healthy forest initiative. The team will work to meet the directive by the President to improve the regulatory process to ensure more timely decisions, greater efficiency, and better results in reducing the risk of catastrophic fires.

The departments will coordinate their efforts with Council on Environmental Quality Chairman Jim Connaughton. The team will begin its work immediately.

The team members from the Department of Agriculture/Forest Service include:

* Undersecretary for Conservation and Natural Resources Mark Rey
* Deputy Undersecretary for Natural Resources David Tenny
* Chief of U.S. Forest Service Dale Bosworth

The members from the Department of the Interior include:

* Assistant Secretary for Policy, Management and Budget Lynn Scarlett,
* Assistant Secretary for Land and Minerals Management Rebecca Watson
* Solicitor of the Interior Bill Myers
* Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs Neal McCaleb
* Assistant Secretary for Fish, Wildlife and Parks Craig Manson

The President's healthy forests initiative calls for more active management of public lands to reduce the risk of extreme wildfires. The 2002 fire season is already one of the worst in American history and may break all records.

Six million acres of public and private lands have burned this year, with more than a month of fire season remaining. This fire season has destroyed hundreds of millions of trees, hundreds of thousands of acres of endangered species habitat and thousands of homes and structures. Tens of thousands of people have been evacuated from communities all across the West.

Environmental groups and others critical of the Healthy Forests initiative warn that it could increase commercial logging on public lands by providing incentives for timber companies to clear brush and small trees.

Secretary Norton also announced the appointment of Allan Fitzsimmons as the Department of the Interior's Fuel Coordinator. In this newly created position, Fitzsimmons will coordinate and implement fuels treatment on lands managed by the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Park Service. This appointment does not require confirmation by the U.S. Senate and is effective immediately.

"This new position supports our commitment to fully implement the President's "Healthy Forests" initiative and the 10 year Implementation Plan that was signed this past May by the Western Governors, Agriculture Secretary Ann Veneman, and me," Norton said. "Allan Fitzsimmons has a solid reputation as a problem-solver, having worked on a wide range of natural resource issues in and out of government service, and I welcome him to my team."

Fitzsimmons will coordinate fuels treatment analysis and strategies among Interior agencies and work in concert with the U.S. Forest Service. He will represent the Interior Secretary in consultation with state, county, and local officials, as well as with other stakeholders when making land use management decisions involving fuels treatment.

From 1983 to 1985, Fitzsimmons served as a special assistant to the deputy director of the National Park Service. From 1985 to 1989, he was assistant secretary for fish and wildlife and parks at the Interior Department, and he was deputy under secretary for policy, planning and development at the Department of Energy from 1989 to 1992.
10 posted on 09/01/2002 12:12:23 PM PDT by marsh2
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To: marsh2
11 posted on 09/01/2002 1:41:39 PM PDT by WaterDragon
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To: Grampa Dave
Stop the attacks on our Freedoms by the wacko, extreme left-wing, lunatic fringe, dirt worshipping Green Jihadist, enviro-nazis terrorist's and their toadies in the media !!

Freedom Is Worth Fighting For !!

Molon Labe !!


F.I.R.E. !!
12 posted on 09/01/2002 2:17:09 PM PDT by blackie
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To: Grampa Dave; EBUCK; glock rocks; justshe
I went to Crescent City today via the 199 from Grants Pass. The road looks better then I had anticipated, so travel on it this winter should be no more hazardous than usual.

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?

13 posted on 09/02/2002 9:11:37 PM PDT by wanderin
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To: marsh2
Thanks, I like this as a rallying title for what needs to be done with our forests:

Healthy Forests


14 posted on 09/02/2002 10:34:52 PM PDT by Grampa Dave
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To: wanderin
thanks for the local report!

stay safe
15 posted on 09/03/2002 4:17:08 PM PDT by glock rocks
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