Aug 20th Operational Briefing for the Whitewater, French, Little Devil & Rebel Fires: 2017



Pacific Northwest Team 2, Type I Incident Management Team, is responding to multiple fires within the Willamette National Forest:

French Fire is currently burning in very steep and hard-to-access terrain approximately one mile northwest of Detroit. The large volume of water being delivered to the fire area by sprinklers has aided in reducing fire spread and significantly decreased smoke output. Resources were also able to use hose lays to slow forward progress of the fire to the north. A threat of rollout or fire spread has been reduced, but still remains. Today, firefighters will continue to work on contingency lines as well as maintain the sprinkler system.

Whitewater Fire/Little Devil Fires are actively burning near Whitewater Trailhead in Mt. Jefferson Wilderness east of Detroit. Firefighters conducted both hand and aerial firing operations to reinforce control lines yesterday. Crews also worked to complete line along the north portion of the fire. Today, crews will hold and monitor the lines, assessing opportunities for tactical firing operations on the Whitewater Fire. The spread of the Little Devil Fire was primarily to the east yesterday. This fire is located within planned control lines for the Whitewater Fire.

Rebel Fire is burning in heavy timber and rugged terrain along the South Fork of the McKenzie River. Yesterday, crews worked to hold Forest Road 19. Fire resources will continue to prepare indirect lines and hold FR 19 today. One lightning-caused wilderness fire located to the northeast of the Rebel Fire has been included in the incident management team’s area of management.

Avenue Fire is located two miles south of McKenzie River Ranger District office in difficult terrain and showing minimal growth. Crews continue to assess options to contain this fire using segments of the current road system, paired with constructed line. A total of four fires are burning in the Avenue Fire area, three of which are burning in the wilderness.

Weather and Fire Behavior is anticipated to be similar to yesterday with a high of 76 degrees and minimum relative humidity of 45%. Ridge top winds will be light out of the north/northeast with a shift in the afternoon to the northwest. Transport winds will be light this morning and smoke may be an issue.

Fire Closures/Area Closures are in place with numerous trails, campgrounds, and roads closed. Many campgrounds and trails in the eclipse path of totality are closed due to fires. This includes access to Mount Jefferson and Jefferson Park. For current conditions and closure information please visit: http://go.usa.gov/xRnz7.

Media are free to use this in reports. Please credit: “USDA Forest Service and Pacific Northwest Team 2”

Filmed and edited by PIO Kale Casey

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