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Wildfire

Crews Wrapping Up The Crane Fire In Lake County

Crane Fire - from near Crane Creek.jpeg
USFS
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The Crane Fire, on the Fremont-Winema National Forest, near Lakeview, Ore., Sunday, Aug. 16.

The Crane Fire, burning on Crane Mountain on the Fremont-Winema National Forest southeast of the town of Lakeview, was discovered Sunday, Aug. 16.

UPDATE: Wednesday, Aug. 26, 10:00 a.m. ... The Crane Fire is holding at 2,993 acres and is now 75 percent contained.

Firefighters continue to mop-up and patrol north, east, and west of the fire, and prep southeastern contingency lines. Crews will hold the control line around a contained spot to the south, mop up and improve control lines. Suppression repairs will continue around the fire perimeter, including chipping vegetation debris on roads prepped to be contingency lines.

The Fremont-Winema National Forest emergency fire closure order 06-02-02-20-01 is still in effect today for the area between Hwy 140 and the Oregon/California Stateline, and from the forest boundary on the west to Forest Roads 3610, 3910, 3910-019 to the forest boundary and Road 3915 to the Stateline. Recreation sited in the area remain closed. A new emergency fire closure order, reducing the closure area boundary closer to the Crane Fire, is expected to go into effect at 12:01 a.m. Thursday. More detailed information about this closure will be release later today.

There will continue to be significant traffic around the fire area and on local roads as suppression and repair activities continue. Please use caution driving in the area.

UPDATE: Sunday, Aug. 23, 6:00 p.m. ... The Crane Fire has grown to 2,918 acres and is now 25 percent contained.

On Saturday, fire crews increased the depth of control lines during mop-up operations on the western side of the fire and burned islands of remaining fuels on the eastern side of the fire. Firefighters used hand tools to construct a control line along Crane Creek and built indirect control lines on the rugged southeastern flank of the fire. Helicopters conducted bucket drops to cool burning concentrations of fuels near control lines.

Today, firefighters are cautiously optimistic that they can complete control lines around most of the fire. These control lines require additional work to increase depth to ensure existing lines are secured.

Fire crews continue mop-up work on the western and northern portions of the fire. Work is ongoing to complete control lines in the challenging terrain of the largely roadless southeastern portion of the fire. Firefighters have been preparing control lines for the forecast winds and Red Flag Warning conditions expected over the next two days.

There is an initial attack group of firefighters and engines ready for any new fire starts, and these resources will be positioned to respond if the need arises.

UPDATE: Friday, Aug. 21, 4:00 p.m. ... The Crane Fire has grown to 2,474 acres and is now 15 percent contained.

Thursday, fire crews were able to secure the remaining spot fires from Wednesday night’s burning operations and worked on strengthening control lines on the western side of the fire. The fire burned to the 3915 road in some areas on the eastern side of the fire, and firefighters engaged the fire where it spotted across the 3915 road. Fire crews will continue to secure and patrol areas along the fireline.

Today, firefighters have been working on strengthening control lines on the western flank of the fire and will also prepare for additional burning to secure the control line along the 3915 road. Fire crews continue to build indirect control line looking for opportunities to decrease the fire perimeter.

NW Team 12 is coordinating with the Lake County Chamber of Commerce, Fremont-Winema National Forest, and South Central Oregon Fire Management Partnership (SCOFMP) to hold Virtual Community Meetings today. There will be an English Virtual Community Meeting at 5:15 PM and a Spanish Virtual Community Meeting at 6 PM on Facebook Live. The videos will be posted on both Lake County Chamber of Commerce sites as well as the Fremont-Winema National Forest page and the SCOFMP page for those who would like to view the meeting later.

UPDATE: Thursday, Aug. 20, 10:00 a.m. ... The Crane Fire has grown to 2,330 acres and is now 10 percent contained.

Fire crews began burnout operations last night in the southwestern portion of the fire after winds were weaker than forecast. Firefighters also responded to multiple spot fires outside of fire lines on the western edge of the fire yesterday. Fire crews continued work to remove vegetation along firelines to prepare for burnout operations. Helicopters made water drops to cool hot spots on the fire.

Today, firefighters will hold and secure the spot fires located last night and will continue constructing control lines and burning operations today. These burnouts will remove fuels in advance of the fire with a lower intensity burn.

Team 12 also has initial attack responsibilities for new fire starts within the overall fire area and is coordinating with the rural fire protection district and ranchers around the fire perimeter to perform structural assessments on homes and ranch buildings.

Smoke from fires in California as well as the Crane Fire will continue to impact Lakeview and New Pine Creek and will be visible throughout the area.

The Fremont-Winema National Forest issued emergency fire closure order 06-02-02-20-01 for the area between Hwy 140 and the Oregon/California Stateline; and from the Forest Boundary on the west to Forest Roads 3610, 3910, 3910-019 to the Forest Boundary and Road 3915 to the Stateline. This emergency order closes the Twin Springs, Willow Creek, and Deep Creek Campgrounds; Crane Mountain and Rogger Meadow Trailheads; the Crane Mountain Trail and the Oregon Timber Trail from the Stateline north to the Camas Sno-Park.

Hwy 140 remains open. Please be aware of increased fire traffic in the fire area, as well as surrounding communities. Slow down and use caution around fire equipment.

The team is working in concert with Lake Health District to protect the community from the threat of COVID-19.

UPDATE: Tuesday, Aug. 18, 4:00 p.m. ... The fire remains at approximately 1,900 acres with no containment. Yesterday’s wet weather and reduced winds moderated fire behavior, but there was still some spread.

The fire is burning in mixed conifer on steep, rocky terrain with limited road access.

Yesterday firefighters worked on indirect fireline construction. They will continue to build indirect firelines today and begin burning materials between those lines and the main fire. This should strengthen and secure those indirect lines and lead to a rise in containment.

Currently there are 222 personnel assigned to the fire.

Smoke from the Crane Fire will likely be visible from Lakeview, New Pine Creek and the surrounding areas this afternoon and evening. Those with smoke sensitivity are urged to take precautions.

The communities of Lakeview and New Pine Creek are not currently threatened by the fire, but trigger points for evacuation orders are being discussed.

ORIGINAL POST: The fire is generally burning in mixed conifer on steep terrain. Fire behavior has included some torching. As of Monday morning the fire is estimated to be 1,900 acres with no containment.

There is a Red Flag Warning in effect until 11 p.m. Monday and abundant lightning is forecast. Fire managers will be closely monitoring weather conditions throughout the day and related fire behavior.

Smoke from the Crane Fire is expected to be highly visible from Lakeview, New Pine Creek and the surrounding area this afternoon and evening. The communities of Lakeview and New Pine Creek are not currently threatened by the fire, but trigger points for evacuation orders are being discussed.

There may be smoke impacts to local communities depending on wind direction later in the day. Those with smoke sensitivity should take precautions.

A local Type 3 Incident Management Team is currently assigned to the Crane Fire. A Type 2 Incident Management Team is scheduled to transition in tomorrow morning.

Resources from multiple agencies are working on the fire, including U.S. Forest Service, Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF), and Bureau of Land Management (BLM). This includes multiple engines, dozers, helicopters, air attack, a lead plane, heavy air tankers and single engine air tankers. More firefighting resources are ordered.

Recreation sites in the South Warner Mountains outside Lakeview are currently closed and the public is advised to avoid the area.

Sunday, Willow Creek and Twin Springs Campgrounds and the Crane Mountain Trailhead were evacuated, and law enforcement officers were notifying others recreating in the area of the threat. Private landowners and residents in the South Warners were also notified.

Fire information is available on Inciweb at www.inciweb.gov/incident/6985. Updates can also be found through the South Central Oregon Fire Management Partnership on Facebook at www.facebook.com/scofmpfireinfo or on Twitter @scofmpfireinfo.

For more information on the Fremont-Winema National Forest, visit www.fs.usda.gov/fremont-winema, follow the Forest on Twitter @FremontWinemaNF or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/R6FWNF.