Monday, August 31, 2015

Grizzly Bear Complex Daily Update 08/31/15 10:00 a.m.

Grizzly Bear Crews Increasing Containment
      Elgin, Ore. – Yesterday’s rain was sparse over most of the fire area and did not penetrate the tree canopy. Fire will still be active, finding its way through heavier fuels. Gentle breezes and damp fine fuels will slow its ability to spread.  Days are getting shorter.  The “burn window” of most active fire behavior during the hottest, driest time of day now only lasts about three to four hours, down from seven hours or longer during hotter summer days.
Robert Trujillo, Agency Administrator for the Umatilla National Forest, warned crews to watch for complacency as they work to contain the 74,471-acre Grizzly Bear Fire Complex.  17 percent containment has been achieved, but hazards such as weakened trees and snags, ash pits, and driving on rough roads still exist.
Crews are scouting the Bear Ridge Fire area, constructing and improving fire line where breeches occurred along the Misery Trail system.
Contingency line construction and improvement continues on the western flank along Forest Road 64 and on the southwest flank in the Elk Flats area.  A contingency route to the north from Road 4039 is being scouted. On the northeast corner of the fire, helicopters will slow fire growth up drainages, especially First Creek.
Crews continue the arduous work of increasing fuel breaks around structures and building containment lines around the fire. National Guard members will add their strength to crews in Troy and Grouse Flats, enlarging defensible space near structures and widening fire lines.
When crews mop up inside a fire containment line, they examine the soil and debris for hot spots.  They expose any burning material and soak the embers. They cut down fire-weakened trees ensuring that any burned material inside is extinguished.  Unburned material is pulled out of the containment line.
Due to increases in containment and moderation of the weather, at 12 noon today, the Evacuation Levels in place to the south and east of the Grizzly Bear Complex Fire will decrease.  Areas currently at Level 3 (Troy, Grouse Flats, Eden Bench area) will become Level 2.  Areas currently at Level 2 (Asotin county north and east of Boggan’s Oasis and Big Butte) will become Level 1.  The evacuation warning has been lifted from areas that were previously Level 1.  Please look at inciweb and other websites listed above to view the current (August 31) Evacuation Level map.

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