Where Is The Oregon Red Flag Warning In Effect? Why Do Officials Warn Of Human Actions Could Spark To Fire?

Rum Creek Fire incident command in northern Josephine County reports that multiple days of extreme heat, high temperatures, and spells of strong winds have put the wildfire and its team to the test.

Only a few flare-ups were recorded today under Red Flag Warning circumstances yesterday, and no spot fires were discovered outside the wildfire’s containment lines, according to the report. Despite “unfavorable weather,” containment rose to 69% despite the fact that the scorched acreage has remained unchanged for two days.

For the past two weekends in a row, fire teams appear to be passing the challenges that the Red Flag Warning circumstances provide. “We are cautiously hopeful that things are going our way,” Operations Section Chief Manny Mendoza said.

A firefighter’s life, two houses, and six other structures have been lost in the catastrophic wildfire, which has scorched 21,347 acres since it was ignited by lightning on August 17th. Logan Taylor, 25, lost his life the following day while battling the biggest of 70 lightning-caused flames after being struck by a tree.

The Northern Rockies Incident Management Team 6 (Team 6) reports that the weather yesterday night brought clouds, colder temperatures, and greater humidity. Team 6 anticipates that Tropical Storm Kay’s remnants will pass over the fire zone today and tomorrow, perhaps bringing rains.

According to Team 6, “Any moisture will quickly infiltrate fine fuels like grasses and dead twigs, making them less likely to burn. These are the fuels that usually catch fire first and cause fires to spread and grow rapidly. Increasing moisture in fine fuels is similar to using damp paper to start a campfire. Relative humidity usually drops during the day, but rises at night.”

Larger fuels, such as stumps and logs, are slower to absorb moisture from the air and rain, so they can smolder or burn inside the fire until they are put out by winter rain and snow. Additionally, most of the fine fuels nearby have burned or will have a higher moisture content, which makes fire spread unlikely.

Firefighters stationed near the wildfire’s northwest border, according to Team 6, will finish their task today and head back to the main camp close to Merlin overnight.

Firefighters are looking for and putting out flaming logs, stump holes, and other hot spots at the border of the fire, according to the statement that they will monitor and suppress that area of the fire. Additionally, excess equipment that is not required for fire suppression is being removed.

“A major part of the repair is erosion control, mainly stabilizing exposed soils on fire lines by constructing water bars,” according to Team 6. “Waterbars are a series of dips and mounds placed at an angle across the fire line. Runoff from rain and melting snow flows down the fire line until it is intercepted by a water bar. Water is directed off of the erosion control structure and away from the fire line.”

Evacuations: Orders and notices for evacuations have not yet been issued. Visit https://www.rvem.org/Incident-INFO/Josephine-County for Josephine County Incident Information for the most recent resources and information on evacuations

Road Management: The Josephine County Sheriff’s Office has set up entry points for motorists around the fire zone. The following intersections have roadblocks: Hog Creek at Galice Road; Dutch Henry Road close to Kelsey Creek (42 44’56.2/123 40’35.4); Bear Camp Road at Peavine (top junction); Lower Grave Creek Road at Angora Creek (Grays Ranch); Quartz Creek Road approximately 3 miles up (end of County maintenance). Only authorized users and residents (who must present evidence of residency) will be admitted.

Status Of The River: Unless fire circumstances require closure, the Wild part of the Rogue River below Grave Creek will stay open. Daily assessments are made on the condition of the rivers. Call 541-471-6535 if you’d want additional details about permits for the Rogue River. At this time, no new boating licenses will be given.

Where is the Oregon Red Flag Warning in Effect?

Oregon Red Flag Warning
Oregon Red Flag Warning

Local fire authorities have issued Red Flag Warnings for the western part of Oregon and Washington, advising residents to refrain from any actions that may start a fire.

John Saltenberger, manager of the American Fire Weather Program This week, the Department of the Interior is requesting help from Oregon citizens in putting out “nuisance fires.”

It’s amazing how frequently campfires and barbecues are not properly put out after weekend recreation at a campground, according to Saltenberger. The number of times that firemen are called to put out a blazing campfire that may spread or people using lawn mowers or tractors without the right spark arresting gear — those types of nuisance fires, so to speak — are far more likely to occur in these dry, windy circumstances.

The Oregon State Fire Marshal has prepared a list of precautions to take in light of this week’s exceptionally risky fire conditions, including:

Avoid parking or driving on dry grass.
Outdoor cooking flames should be put out.
Not cutting dry grass
Verify and fasten the tow chains.
Say something if you notice it.

This week, unless absolutely necessary, Multnomah County Health Department asks residents to refrain from burning wood. Multnomah County has had a strict burn prohibition in place since July 25. The prohibition extends to open burning licenses, yard waste, recreational campfires, fire pits, and agricultural burning.

The local health agency advised “great care” when cooking outside. Local fire prevention organizations like the Douglas Forest Protective Association and governmental organizations have echoed this message throughout Western and Central Oregon.

“Forecasted triple-digit temperatures, strong east winds, and very dry air may support the rapid spread of flames,” the Douglas Forest Protective Association said. “This could rapidly and unexpectedly lead to life-threatening circumstances, loss of property, houses, structures, and natural resources.” Please take action to prevent a spark over the upcoming 48 hours. As smoke from fires to our east is transported into the area, these east winds will probably result in the return of poor air quality.

Electric companies like PGE aggressively cut power to thousands of customers in the Pacific Northwest in order to significantly lower the danger of wildfires.

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