Elgin, Ore. – The 1,116 personnel working on the Grizzly Bear Complex are using opportunities of cool weather and low fire spread rates to increase direct fire line, accomplish mop-up and construct indirect firelines. The fire remains at approximately 74,709 acres, with scattered heat throughout the more heavily timbered areas. The fire is currently at 27% containment.
All Branches report significant progress in reaching their various objectives. In three to four shifts, Forest Road 64 will be fully brushed out for potential use as a future fire break along the west side of the fire. To the northeast of the fire, FR40 and hand line constructed along Driveway Ridge require about 2 days to complete. Mop-up along FR 62 and the fire perimeter near the communities of Troy, Grouse Flat and Eden Bench should be completed tomorrow.
Today, moderate winds of 10-12 mph are expected from the north and northeast. The fire hasn’t received very much wind from these directions. So the aspects and aligning drainages exposed to these winds are likely to burn more actively. Although spotting could occur, light fuels are wet enough that new fires are unlikely to ignite. Up to half an inch of rain is forecast over the fire area tonight and tomorrow.
There are no changes to the Evacuation Levels for surrounding residential areas with Troy, Grouse Flat and Eden Bench remaining at Level 2 with roads only open to local residents and fire traffic.
Due to the moderated weather and increased containment of the fire, the Umatilla National Forest has reduced its Closure Order to increase access to lands outside of the National Forest not impacted by the wildfire or wildfire suppression efforts. “There is a lot of interest from our hunting and camping community to access the area for the upcoming Labor Day weekend,” said Monte Fujishin, Pomeroy District Ranger. “We felt we could make some adjustments to the closures while keeping firefighters and the public safe.”
Panjab and Ladybug Campgrounds will be accessible and open. The entire Wenaha-Tucannon Wilderness remains closed to public entry in addition to some adjacent non-wilderness areas where fire-fighters and large equipment continue work.
A closure description and map of the reduced area and road closures are available at all Umatilla National Forest offices as well as on the Umatilla National Forest website: www.fs.usda.gov/umatilla/ .