Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Grizzly Bear Complex Daily Update 8/25/15 9:00 a.m.

Grizzly Bear Complex Fire Crews continue working toward containment
     Elgin, Ore. – Firefighters continue to make overall progress containing the Grizzly Bear Complex fire.  Direct and indirect firelines were improved and 5% containment was achieved.

A new fire started yesterday afternoon near the north edge of the Grizzly Bear Complex.  Named Green Ridge, it is burning in mixed fuel (grass, timber, slash).  Although 60% contained yesterday, it grew last night to 7 acres.  Its cause is being investigated.

A vehicle accident occurred last night as fire crews were deployed to work the night shift.  In the dust and smoke, an engine staffed with three people got too close to the road shoulder and rolled off the edge.  All three firefighters were transported to a local hospital.  One has a shoulder injury. Two were uninjured.  All are well, but feeling sore this morning.

Incident Commander Brian Gales emphasized the need to drive carefully and manage fatigue as crews continue to work extremely hard and effectively over this long fire season.

US Forest Service Regional Supervisor Jim Pena visited the Incident Command Post in Elgin, Ore. yesterday.  He also expressed appreciation and support for the hard work firefighters are engaged in on the Grizzly Bear Complex.  He emphasized that the nation recognizes the challenging weather and scarcity of firefighting resources that the northwest is experiencing.

On the north, south and east sides of the fire, crews continue to prepare and improve direct and indirect fire lines.  The main foundations of these lines is Forest Road 4608 on the north, Forest Road 62 on the south; and dozer line and roads such as 4309 on the east.  Scouting for containment opportunities on the fire’s west side to prevent spread and ensure protection of the Mill Creek watershed continues. 

The majority of active fire is no longer at the communities of Troy, Grouse Flats, and Eden Flats. Because the immediate threat has been reduced, resources and personnel working under the Oregon State Fire Marshal’s Office incident management team will be leaving the fire this morning.  Some of these engines will continue working on the fire under their standard firefighting agreements.
Although some structures were unfortunately lost, firefighters reported that many residences in the area were saved due to the capacity and coordination provided by Oregon State. No structures were lost yesterday.

Warm, dry weather with light winds is expected to continue today.  Fires can ignite easily because fuels are so dry.  The major danger is from spot fires that are difficult to detect in heavy fuels and smoky conditions.  If the fire has an opportunity to move uphill it can move quickly.  More moderate weather conditions are expected to develop as a cold front moves into the area Friday night bringing a 60% chance of wetting rain.

After today, evacuation levels north and east of Anatone will be evaluated for possible reduction.

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