Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Grizzly Bear Complex Daily Update 9/1/15 9:00 a.m.

National Guard Marches on Grizzly Bear Complex Fire
      Elgin, Ore. A second contingent of 155 National Guard Members arrived in Elgin yesterday bringing the number of personnel fighting the 74,471 acre Grizzly Bear Complex to 1,056.  With a formidable show of efficiency, the Guards swapped uniforms for green pants and yellow shirts, packed their line gear and climbed into the back of personnel carriers for deployment to the southern flank of the fire by 6 a.m. this morning.
Their added strength (a total of 305) is welcome as crews widen a crucial line holding the belly of the fire north of Grouse Flat. Structure protections are being reinforced.
Fire will continue to burn its way up the Wenaha River but fire fighters are determined to keep the fire from continuous fuels in the Elk Flat Wenaha Breaks Research Natural Area. 
Brian Gales, Incident Commander of the Grizzly Bear Complex summed up today’s work as “heavy into mop-up” along most fronts. The slow, often dangerous work involves dropping and removing trees whose roots are compromised by fire, dragging fallen trees out of the line, grubbing up burning debris and soaking it with water or mixing it with dirt.
Crews continue improving fire line along the 64 Road beyond the western edge of the fire using masticators and bulldozers. Burnout operations on the northeastern corner along the 300 Road are planned for today.
Firefighters work to hold the Bear Ridge Fire east of the Misery Trail. Helicopters are being used in many places. Some heavy equipment and crews are being moved into the rugged country of the First Creek drainage. This effort along the Driveway Ridge is to cut off a corner of unburned fuels.
South of Troy mopping up around structures and widening of lines continues. Twenty percent of the line now meets standards that should not allow fire to escape (containment). Snagging (dropping and clearing hazard trees) continues along the 62 road on the southeastern corner of the fire line.
Fire behavior is expected to be moderate today despite temperatures rising a few degrees above normal today. Winds will be light from the south and southwest. Fire fighters will use this weather to deny the fire the energy to escape the lines.

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.

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