Weather Moderates The National Fire Complex Near Crater Lake
UPDATE: SATURDAY, AUGUST 15, 4:50 P.M. ... Yesterday’s cooler temperatures and higher humidity moderated fire behavior and the Crescent Fire did not increase in size significantly. No major smoke columns were visible in the afternoon. Firefighters continued to extinguish any smoldering vegetation on the spot fires north of Highway 230.
Fire crews also extended the length and depth of their burn-out operations along State Highway 230 to further secure and strengthen that containment line.
The closure of State Highway 230 remains in place.
The National Fire remains at 119 acres as crews continued to mop-up (extinguish all hot spots) near containment lines. Some fire hose and excess equipment will be removed today as the mop-up work objectives are met. An infra-red flight was flown last night and only a few hot spots were detected well inside the National Fire containment lines.
On Saturday, firefighters are scouting possible containment lines in front of the fire front that use existing Forest Service roads and natural features. A dozer line has been completed that connects State Highway 230 with State Highway 138, south of Diamond Lake on national forest lands. That dozer line will be improved today and crews will conduct burn-out operations along that fire line to limit the northern spread of the fire towards Diamond Lake.
A structure protection group, supported by initial attack resources, is working in the Diamond Lake area installing sprinklers and hose lays to better protect structures. Forest Service Road 3703, on the Umpqua National Forest near the border of the two Forests, (south and west of Diamond Lake), will be brushed and improved to function as a fire containment line.
Helicopters will be utilized today if called upon to cool hot spots, transport equipment or provide a reconnaissance platform for fire managers.
Warmer and drier temperatures are expected today and are predicted to increase during the next few days. Fire behavior will also increase with the change in weather. The relative humidity is expected to be near 25% and winds may reach up to 10 mph.
Fire crews will take advantage of the increased burning conditions today and may conduct burnout operations to further secure containment lines. The fire perimeter did not increase in size significantly yesterday due to more accurate mapping and an infra-red flight last night.
ORIGINAL POST: FRIDAY, AUGUST 14, 4:30 P.M. ... Fire officials have expanded the closure of West Diamond Lake Highway (Oregon 230).
The highway closure is now at the intersection with Oregon 62 (mile post 0), north of Union Creek. The closure spans north to its intersection with Oregon 138 near Diamond Lake (MP 24).
Travelers must take alternate routes. Oregon 138 between Roseburg and U.S. 97 remains open.
There is no expected time of reopening Oregon 230 due to fire activity.
The National Creek Complex consists of the the National Fire burning on the Rogue River -Siskiyou National Forest and the Crescent Fire located in the northwest corner of Crater Lake National Park. Both fires were started during a series of lightning strikes on August 1, 2015.
They total 3,000 acres burned, with perimeter containment listed at 10 percent.
On Friday, firefighters are holding and mopping-up the National Fire and are building fire line and scouting contingency line for the Crescent Fire while working to hold the line that is already constructed. The structure protection group, supported by initial attack resources, is working in the Diamond Lake area.
Firefighters are poised to take advantage of the drop in temperatures and increase in humidity levels. They will work to contain spot fires north of Highway 230, fortifying that road for use as a fireline. Crews will begin constructing a contingency line northeast of the fire, working off of the 100 road east toward Highway 138 to keep the fire from spreading toward Diamond Lake. They will also begin improving the 3703 road to be a contingency line.
Diamond Lake Area is under a Stage 1 (READY) evacuation notice.