Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Grizzly Bear Complex Daily Update 8/26/15 8:00 a.m.

Firefighters are doing a great job at the Grizzly Bear Complex, continue to improve containment lines, and take on new fires
Elgin, Ore. – Light winds over the past several days have allowed firefighters to make excellent progress in all facets of fire suppression of the Grizzly Bear Complex. In the absence of significant wind, additional acreage burned is primarily terrain-driven occurring where upslope cured fuels are available to ignite from the fire below. Active wildfire and black line operations to secure containment lines total 67,930 acres burned. Fire containment is 10 percent.
The Bear Ridge fire crossed containment lines yesterday along the Misery Trail and spread to an additional 3 to 4 acres. The fireline breach was suppressed by water drops and hand crews. A hand crew will work on containment and mop-up today. Firefighters are also working to fully contain the 5- to 7-acre Green Ridge Fire later today or Thursday.
Structure protection remains a priority. Homes in Grouse Flats, Eden Bench and Troy continue to be patrolled and mopped up. As the wildfire moves to the north and west through wilderness areas, protection of homes and structures continues in Slick Ear, Turkey Tail and Ski Bluewood. A thermal gel batch plant will afford firefighters additional opportunities to defend homes threatened by the fire.
To the south, Forest Road 62 continues to be used as a primary containment line. Fire firefighters have another 1.2 miles of vegetation to clear along the road to secure this firebreak line. Firefighters continue to work with local livestock owners to relocate animals prior to conducting any operations. A chance of lightning is forecast for later this week. Any new ignitions resulting from lightning strikes will be handled by initial attack forces, but Grizzly Bear Complex resources can respond if requested.
Persistent ground level smoke has been impacting many communities within and surrounding the fire footprint. The smoke can be particularly problematic for people who have a high sensitivity to fine particulate pollutants. The communities of Enterprise, Joseph, and Halfway, Oregon and Clarkston, Washington will be in the “Unhealthy” category today. The evacuated community of Troy is “Very Unhealthy” for air quality today. Residents and visitors to these towns should take appropriate precautions based on personal health sensitivity. Rigorous exercise in smoky conditions should be postponed until outdoor air conditions improve.
Evacuation levels will remain the same until fire weather conditions allow for a change. The community of Troy remains in a Level 3 evacuation.
Because the threat to occupied homes has diminished and low number of evacuees, the Red Cross Shelter located at the Enterprise High School has been closed. The Red Cross can be contacted directly if its services are needed.

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