Thursday, August 27, 2015

Grizzly Bear Complex Daily Update 8/27/15 9:00 a.m.

Grizzly Bear Complex Fire becomes more active due to fire-favorable atmospheric conditions
Elgin, Ore. – Residents around the fire saw the low-level smoke dissipate to sunnier blue skies yesterday afternoon. More solar energy and improved ventilation increased fire activity causing a number of spot fires to approach and push across established containment lines.
On the southern fire perimeter, the Grizzly Fire Complex, now estimated at 71,959 acres and 10% contained, spread approximately 160 acres across Forest Road 62. Fire fighters will be working today to stop further movement into the Elbow Creek drainage.
To the north, the main Grizzly Bear Complex fire is most active throughout the Rainbow Creek drainage and at Crooked Creek. The Bear Ridge Fire is active near Cougar Creek.
Structure protection remains a priority. The communities of Grouse Flats and Troy are being patrolled. A “thermal gel plant” is now operational on the north side of the fire. Both helicopter- and ground-based applications are planned to protect historic and recreational properties at risk.
The use of aircraft has periodically been interrupted due to the low level smoke around the fire. Delivery of water drops to the fire, particularly when breaches or spot fires occur, is a key suppression tactic to slowing fire growth. Yesterday afternoon’s clearing of low-level smoke did allow helicopters to fly and assist firefighters on the ground.
Personnel continue to scout and construct contingency lines to the west and northeast of the Fire.
Cooler, moister weather is anticipated this weekend when a weather front approaches from the west. Although only a few tenths of inches of rain are forecast, the increased moisture will reduce fire behavior and the chance for spotting and spread.
No changes in the current Evacuation Levels are planned for today.
A public meeting will be held in Dayton, Wash., at 7 p.m. this evening at the Seneca Activity Center. A briefing about the Grizzly Bear Complex Fire will be presented by Brian Gales, incident commander, operations personnel from Branch 1 (based in Dayton), administrators from the Umatilla National Forest, and emergency managers from Columbia County. Those attending will have an opportunity to have their questions answered by incident staff managing the fire.

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