Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Grizzly Bear Complex Daily Update 8/31/15 8:00 p.m.

Grizzly Bear Complex Fire Crews Make Excellent Progress
      Elgin, Ore. Today, light winds, higher humidity and lower temperatures, aided firefighters in mop-up and line construction in all areas of the fire.  The fire was still active, finding its way through heavier dry fuels.  The optimum “burn window” (most active time for fire to advance) is now about three to four hours a day and crews took advantage to make good progress toward constructing and strengthening containment lines.  The current containment is 20%.
Crews hiked into the Bear Ridge Fire area (north of the main Grizzly Bear fire) constructing and improving fire line along the Misery Trail system and assessing the rest of the active fire. Helicopters were extensively used to provide water drops on the hot areas this afternoon.
A fire line to the north from Road 4039 is being used to hold the fire in check as firefighters seek a better containment line along the Wilderness boundary.
Line construction and improvement of primary fire lines continued on the western flank along Forest Road 64 and on the southwest flank in the Elk Flat area. Fallers cut down snags and fire-weakened trees in the south portion of the fire making it safe for mop-up crews to work.
When crews mop up a burned area, they examine the soil and organic debris for hot spots.  They expose any burning material and soak the embers with water or smother and mix the smoldering vegetation with dirt.
A second 155-member unit of the Oregon National Guard arrived in Elgin today and will join forces with a similar number of National Guard members who spent today mopping up around structures and fire lines at Troy and Grouse Flats.  Tomorrow they will work along Forest Road 62 mopping up hot spots near the fire line.
Crews returned to the Godman, Turkey Tail and Bluewood areas to fix the protective wrapping that came loose from structures in the strong winds last Saturday.
Due to containment accomplishments and moderation of the weather, the Evacuation Levels in place to the south and east of the Grizzly Bear Complex Fire decreased.  There are No areas under a Level 3 evacuation.  Troy, Grouse Flat, and Eden Bench are now at Level 2.  Asotin county north and east of Boggan’s Oasis and Big Butte are at Level 1.  Please look at inciweb and other websites listed above to view the current (August 31) Evacuation Level map.
Today was the first day of school in the small town of Troy, Oregon, evacuated for nearly two weeks and temporary home to a fire camp that houses over 400 firefighters.  Both students were glad to be doing something so normal.

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