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Wildfire

Most Areas Around The South Obenchain Fire Reopen

fireline Water tender - S OBenchain - inciweb.png
inciweb.nwcg.gov
Tactical water tender delivering water to an engine on the fire line on the South Obenchain Fire

Conditions are very favorable on all parts of the fire to continue mop up and rehab. The fire has burned 32,671 areas and is 65 percent contained.

FINAL UPDATE: Monday, Sept. 21, 10:45 a.m. ...
Unless renewed fire conditions warrant, this is JPR's final update on the South Obenchain Fire.

Current situation:

All perimeters around the South Obenchain Fire are in mop-up and/or patrol status. Resources are steadily making progress mopping up into the interior up to 300 ft. to secure all containment lines.

The entire west perimeter is now in patrol status. The repair group is making good progress cleaning up dozer lines, repairing fencing, waterbarring and completing other suppression repairs.

Reconnaissance flights are occurring twice a day scouting for visible smokes from above. Resources determined as excess to operational needs are demobilized to return home for a well-deserved rest or reassigned to assist with other incidents.

Visible flames and smoke will persist within the fire perimeter until a season-ending rain or snow event.

Evacuations: Areas inside the immediate burn area remain at Level 3 with restricted entry and areas outside the immediate burn area have been reduced to Level 2. Please view the following web pages for the most current evacuation maps:

Jackson County Emergency Management-

https://jacksoncountyor.org/emergency/News/News-Information/jackson-county-evacuations-north-county-update-obenchain-fire-1

Jackson County Sheriff’s Office

https://jacksoncountyor.org/sheriff

UPDATE: Friday, Sept. 18, 3:45 p.m. ...

Most areas involved in the South Obenchain Fire are now open for residents to return.

This includes the City of Butte Falls and Butte Falls Highway. However, those drivers using Butte Falls Highway will need to show proof of residents at the check point.

The following areas remain at Level 3 “Go”. (See attached map). Those area include:

· Those areas around the immediate fire perimeter, and;

· Those areas north of Oregon 140 between Salt Creek Road east to BLM Road 36-2E-26.

UPDATE: Friday. Sept. 18, 11:00 a.m. ...

Cooler weather is moderating fire behavior and has allowed for firefighters to make good progress on mop up in the fire area.

The evacuation level lowered from a level 3 to a level 2 in the Indian Creek area for residents that live outside of the fire perimeter. Residents should be aware that firefighting personnel and equipment will still be working in the area. Please drive with caution.

A cold front coming in from the west will bring cloud cover, with a chance of showers this morning becoming isolated in the afternoon. As smoke is pushed out of the area, visibility is expected to increase.

Today firefighters continue mopping up, reinforcing solid black line and completing additional containment line. Crews remain vigilant watching for flare ups inside and outside the line. With increased visibility, air attack will be active on the fire.

Fire suppression repair work continues today on dozer lines within the cool fire area.

Cooler temperatures, with excellent daytime humidity, combined with mild wind conditions is conducive for low fire behavior. Conditions are very favorable in all divisions to continue mop up and rehab.

The light rain will be welcome helping fire suppression efforts, but this is not a season ending event and the risk of extreme fire continues.

Jackson County Road Department crews continue to mitigate hazards along the Butte Falls Highway. Power has been restored to the town of Butte Falls.

The Oregon Department of Forestry provided an unmanned aircraft (drone) with infrared capabilities. The drone will again fly again tonight on the fire locating heat. A map with those locations will be provided to firefighters to find and mop up the hotspots.

The Urban Search and Rescue Team is in the area completing their final structural damage assessments to private property.

Acreage: 32,833
Containment: 35%
Cause: Under investigation
Fire Information: (541) 776-7338E-mail: SouthObenchainFire@gmail.com
Wildfire Information Center: https://southwestoregonwildfireinformation.blogspot.com/Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SouthObenchainFireInciweb: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/7185Air Quality: http://oregonsmoke.blogspot.com/

Evacuations: Evacuation orders are in place to protect the public and the firefighters that are working to control the fire. Please adhere to the evacuation level issued for your area. Please view the Jackson County Emergency Management web page for the most current map.
South Obenchain Fire https://jacksoncountyor.org/…/jackson-county-evacuations-no…

Shelter Location: The evacuation shelter is located at the Jackson County Expo Center, 1 Penninger Rd. in Central Point, Oregon where care and services are available such as food, medical care, bathrooms and showers.

UPDATE: Thursday, Sept. 17, 6:00 a.m. ...

The forward progress of the fire has been stopped. The eastern flank of the fire continues to be the highest area of concern. Crews were able to contain a one acre spot fire last night in the Doubleday creek area. Aircraft assisted in locating and reducing hot spots. Dozers are reinforcing direct lines on the eastern part of the fire.

Firefighters will strengthen existing containment lines and continue mop-up of hot spots on the south, west and north flanks of the fire. In cooler parts of the fire, repair from fire suppression efforts are beginning. Repairs could include damaged roadways, fencing, water barring and pulling berms of dozer lines in preparation of the winter rainfall and snows.

A task force of structural engines with the Oregon State Fire Marshal continues to patrol along the Butte Falls Highway and Butte Falls providing point protection.

Jackson County Road Department crews continue to mitigate hazards along the Butte Falls Highway. Pacific Power is also working along the Butte Falls Highway to restore power. An official drone operation may occur over the fire area tonight to search for heat near the fire line.

Acreage: 32,814
Containment: 25%
Cause: Under investigationFire Information: (541) 776-7338E-mail: SouthObenchainFire@gmail.com

Information Websites:Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SouthObenchainFireInciweb: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/7185Air Quality: oregonsmoke.blogspot.com

Evacuations: Evacuations orders are in place to protect the public and the firefighters that are working to control the fire. Please adhere to the evacuation level issued for your area. Please view the Jackson County Emergency Management web page for the most current map.https://jacksoncountyor.org/…/almeda-fire-evacuation-zones-…Jackson County Sheriff Departmenthttps://jacksoncountyor.org/sheriff

Shelter Location: The evacuation shelter is located at the Jackson County Expo Center, 1 Penninger Rd. in Central Point, Oregon where care and services are available such as food, medical care, bathrooms and showers.

Weather: Widespread smoke will continue over the area. Thursday will be cooler with a chance of showers and thunderstorms in the afternoon and evening. Westerly winds gusting to 15 mph in the afternoon will be possible with gusty and erratic winds near the thunderstorm. Temperatures will be around 70 with relative humidity near 40%.

Resources-914: 1-type 1 hand crew, 1-type 2 initial attack crew, 22-type 2 crews, 3- light helicopters, 5-medium helicopters, 4- heavy helicopters, 66-engines, 27-dozers, 33-water tenders and 6-skidgens.

Temporary Flight Restrictions: For the safety of the firefighters and aircraft fighting the South Obenchain fire, a temporary flight restriction has been placed over the fire area. Please consult the Notice to Airman for specifics. If you fly, we can’t. The entire air operation must be shut down until the air space is reported clear.

Donations: Donations to help individuals and families that have been displaced by the Almeda and South Obenchain Fires can visit Accesshelp.org.

Closure: The Bureau of Land Management has closed public lands in and near the South Obenchain Fire to all forms of public access. In addition, the Medford District has temporarily closed all Bureau of Land Management-administered public lands in and near Cascade Siskiyou National Monument, as well as south of Grants Pass, Interstate 5, and U.S. Route 199 to the border of the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest.

To View Closure Order and map: https://www.blm.gov/…/r…/oregon-washington/fire-restrictions or call 818-975-0419 for more information about the closure.

UPDATE: Wednesday, Sept. 16, 4:45 a.m. ...

Fire officials say solid work by fire fighters combined with favorable weather conditions the past few days helped turn the corner on the growth of the South Obenchain Fire.

A complete line surrounds the fire which still requires much needed improvement to be considered contained. The majority of the fire is in mop up and patrol status with the eastern edge being the exception.

A small spot fire of one acre was extinguished with helicopter bucket work and ground crews aggressive suppression action.

A task force of structural engines with the Oregon State Fire Marshal continues to patrol along the Butte Falls Highway and Butte Falls providing point protection. Firefighters continue to mitigate the many hazards associated with firefighting such as, danger trees, extreme fire behavior, driving on unimproved roads, working around heavy equipment and working around aircraft.

Acreage: 32,814

Containment: 25%

Cause: Under investigationFire Information: (541) 776-7338E-mail: SouthObenchainFire@gmail.com

Information Websites:Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SouthObenchainFireInciweb: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/7185Air Quality: oregonsmoke.blogspot.com

Evacuations: Evacuations orders are in place to protect the public and the firefighters that are working to control the fire. Please adhere to the evacuation level issued for your area. See the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office website for a full description of the evacuation levels. Link is below. https://jacksoncountyor.org/sher…/…/evacuation-levels-issued

Donations: Donations to help individuals and families that have been displaced by the Almeda and South Obenchain Fires can visit Accesshelp.org.ACCESS provides food, warmth, shelter, and other essential services to Jackson County’s low-income children, families, seniors, veterans, and people with disabilities. As the Community Action Agency of Jackson County, Oregon. ACCESS has been helping residents break the cycle of poverty since 1976. Last year, 52,497 people received assistance from ACCESS’s broad continuum of services, including obtaining safe, affordable housing, rental assistance, utility assistance, weatherization, free loaned durable medical equipment and healthy food.https://www.accesshelps.org/

Shelter Location: The evacuation shelter is located at the Jackson County Expo Center, 1 Penninger Rd. in Central Point, Oregon where care and services are available such as food, medical care, bathrooms and showers.

Weather: Warmer and dryer, highs 80-82, low humidity near 15% with afternoon, winds west to southwest changing to upslope/up valley. There is no mention of precipitation in the next two days. Smoke is also expected to linger over the region, at least until Thursday.

Resources-915: 1-type 1 hand crew, 1-type 2 initial attack crew, 23-type 2 crews, 3- light helicopters, 5-medium helicopters, 4- heavy helicopters, 43-engines, 31-dozers, 34-water tenders and 4-skidgens.

Temporary Flight Restrictions: For the safety of the firefighters and aircraft fighting the South Obenchain fire, a temporary flight restriction has been placed over the fire area. Please consult the Notice to Airman for specifics. If you fly, we can’t. The entire air operation must be shut down until the air space is reported clear.Closure: The Bureau of Land Management has closed public lands in and near the South Obenchain Fire to all forms of public access. In addition, the Medford District has temporarily closed all Bureau of Land Management-administered public lands south of Grants Pass, Interstate 5, and U.S. Route 199 to the border of the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest.

To View Closure Order and map: https://www.blm.gov/…/r…/oregon-washington/fire-restrictions or call 818-975-0419 for more information about the closure.

UPDATE: Monday, Sept. 14, 5:15 p.m. ...

Due to favorable conditions on the South Obenchain Fire, many evacuation levels are being rolled back by Jackson County Sheriff's Office to allow residents to return to their homes.

The following areas have been downgraded from Level 3 ("GO!") to Level 2 ("Get Set"), which will allow residents return to their homes (see attached map).

This includes the following areas:

* Nearly all of the City of Shady Cove and the Trail community

* All properties accessing Brophy, Ball, Reese Creek and Worthington Roads

* All properties on Crowfoot Road one mile north of Butte Falls Highway to Oregon 62. Oregon 62

* Butte Falls Highway from Oregon 62 to Reese Creek Road.

* Areas south of Oregon 140 and north of Brownsboro.

* All of Oregon 62.

The following areas have been downgraded from Level 2- "Set" to Level 1 - "Be Ready":

* Those areas directly southwest, west and north of Shady Cove

* And the properties accessing both sides of Oregon 62 between Trail and Casey State Park.

This reopens Oregon 62 through to Oregon 230/Diamond Lake intersection with Oregon 138E to U.S. 97. Oregon 62 at U.S. 97 near Chiloquin remains closed due to fire activity.

Obenchain202009141300_PIO.png
Jackson County
Evacuation Zones on the South Obenchain Fire as of 5:00 p.m. Sept. 14, 2020.

UPDATE: Monday, Sept. 14, 7:00 a.m. ...

Predicted strong winds did not materialize but the fire did became active on the east flank. Smoke continued to prevent the use of air tankers and helicopters on the South Obenchain Fire in north central Jackson County..

On Sunday, crews on the southwestern to northern flanks of the fire continued to reinforce dozer containment lines and mop-up.

Crews along the north east were able to complete a combination of dozer and hand line and continue to reinforce the perimeter. Firefighters are continuing to secure the line while watching for spotting over the next several days.

Sunday night, fire fighters focused on the south east end of the fire, looking for opportunities to go direct and establish containment lines.

Four task forces of structural engines, with the Oregon State Fire Marshal, are working along the Butte Falls Highway and the Shady Cove area triaging and providing point protection.

Evacuations remain in effect.

The fire has burned about 30,500 acres and remains at 20 percent containment.

UPDATE: Sunday, Sept. 13, 10:30 a.m. ...

Firefighters made significant progress Saturday on the South Obenchain Fire.

Crews on the southwestern to northern flanks of the fire continue to reinforce containment lines with dozers and heavy equipment.

Along the east and southeast flanks, crews completed a combination of dozer and handline around much of the perimeter. Improvements will be accomplished to secure the line over the next several days.

Aircraft available for the incident but were unable to fly due to low visibility associated with the thick smoke in the area.

Overnight, crews expanded and strengthened existing lines on the east and southeast of the fire in preparation for predicted high winds on Sunday afternoon. Crews also worked secure, hold and mop-up existing control lines on the southwest to north perimeters of the fire.

Four task forces of structural engines, with the Oregon State Fire Marshal, are working along the Butte Falls Highway and also the Shady Cove area triaging and providing point protection.

UPDATE: Saturday, Sept. 12, 7:15 a.m. ...

Cooler weather and calmer winds moderated fire behavior on the South Obenchain Fire yesterday, allowing firefighters to make good progress on containment.

The west perimeter is holding. Firefighters are in the process of mop-up and patrolling for hotspots on this perimeter.

The northwest perimeter has indirect line where the fire is backing down to the constructed line. The northern tip of the fire is located in the Indian Creek area. The terrain in this area is very steep and difficult to maneuver in. A scratch line has been constructed to tie in the entire north end of the fire. Much improvement to the line is needed to be considered secured.

A scratch line has also been completed on the east perimeter. Again, the next several days will be focused on improving to secure these lines.

Dozers are working to construct line along the south and southeast perimeters. Two task forces of structural engines, with the Oregon State Fire Marshal, are working along the Butte Falls Highway and also the Shady Cove area triaging and providing point protection for homes and businesses.

Three additional crews and other resources arrived Friday to join the suppression efforts. Containment percentage only increases when fire managers are confident the constructed fire line will hold.

Fire Information: (541) 776-7338
E-mail: SouthObenchainFire@gmail.comInformation
Websites:Facebook: South Obenchain Fire
Inciweb: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/7185
Air Quality: oregonsmoke.blogspot.com

See the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office website for a full description of the evacuation levels. https://jacksoncountyor.org/sheriffJackson County

Emergency Management Website https://jacksoncountyor.org/emergency…

Shelter Location: Please go to the Jackson County Expo Center, 1 Penninger Rd. in Central Point, where there is food, medical care, bathroom and showers.

UPDATE: Friday, Sept. 11, 10:00 a.m. ...

The South Obenchain Fire was very active yesterday making a major push towards Butte Falls. The fire burned to Star Lake Reservoir and just above the Salt Creek Road.

That push prompted a Level 3 “Go” evacuation of the entire town of about 500 people. Shady Cove and Trail are also under full evacuation.

Air suppression efforts were hampered by poor visibility. But officials say the fire line on the southwest side of the fire (towards Eagle Point) is holding. They’re predicting some short term changes in the weather for the better.

The South Obenchain fire started early Tuesday morning. It’s burning in a largely forested setting.

The fire perimeter is 23,150 acres. It’s still considered 0% contained.

The South Obenchain fire started early Tuesday morning. It’s burning in a largely forested setting.

The northern tip of the fire is in the Indian Creek area. An Interagency Hotshot Crew is assigned to this area and is working to tie this section of line together.

A large spot fire is burning at the junction of Derby Creek Road and Crowfoot Road.

Structure protection is in place.

Today, firefighters will continue to hold all fire lines, scout for anchors to begin new line construction, and provide point protection to infrastructure.

An unmanned aircraft (UAS) was reported over the fire area. Fire officials want to remind amateur drone operators that if you fly, they can't. The entire air operation must be shut down until the air space is reported clear.

Weather: A Red Flag Warning remains in effect until 8 PM this evening for unstable atmospheric conditions. High pressure will still be in control over the area. Winds will trend lower and remain westerly around 3 to 5 mph. Temperatures will be moderated due to a thick layer of smoke covering

Fire Information: (541) 776-7338

E-mail: SouthObenchainFire@gmail.com

Information Websites:

Facebook: South Obenchain Fire

Inciweb: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/7185

Air Quality: oregonsmoke.blogspot.com

UPDATE: Thursday, Sept. 10, 4:20 ...

LEVEL 3 GO! An evacuation has been ordered for all of Butte Falls, Cobleigh Rd., the McNeil Creek Area, and Crowfoot Road due to the Obenchain Fire. Evacuate EAST on Butte Falls-Fish Lake or South on Hwy 62 you will be escorted through Shady Cove.

The evacuated areas are bounded by Butte Falls Highway to the south and all connecting roads 2 miles past Butte Falls on Butte Falls -Fish Lake Road Northward including the first 4 miles past Butte Falls on Butte Falls - Prospect Hwy and northwesterly to toward Lost Creek Lake Dam, Highway 62 the northern boundary.


Click here for an interactive map of fire and evacuation areas in Jackson County.

UPDATE: Wednesday, Sept. 9, 6:15 p.m. ...

The South Obenchain Fire remained at 25,000 acres with 0% containment on Wednesday afternoon, according to fire and law enforcement officials.

Emergency managers said firefighting response to the rural area impacting the Obenchain Fire was initially less than the Almeda Drive Fire when both began burning on Tuesday because of the smaller threat to homes and lives.

But as of Wednesday, Level 3 evacuation orders are in effect for communities in northern Jackson County including Shady Cove and Trail.

“That fire has gained quite a bit of momentum and we are ramping up our evacuation notices,” says Jackson County Sheriff Nate Sickler.

According to Scott Majors with the Oregon Office of State Fire Marshal, support crews are on their way to the Rogue Valley from Lakeview and Union County. But, he said, with fires burning across Oregon, local emergency responders are competing for resources across the state.

Shelter Resource Info from the City of Medford

AVAILABLE EMERGENCY SHELTER/PARKING IN MEDFORD: The following are emergency parking and shelter areas available in Medford for families and individuals who have lost their homes or have been evacuated.

📌First Presbyterian Church at 85 S. Holly is offering emergency shelter for up to 25 individuals within families that have been displaced from their homes. Food and bedding will be provided and COVID-19 health and safety measures will be followed. With limited space available, please contact Pastor Murray Richmond at 907-347-3365 to check availability.

📌The New Life Church of the Nazarene, 1974 East McAndrews Road, is offering their parking lot with approximately 200 spaces available for vehicles and RVs. With limited space available, please call 541-779-7777 to check availability. Restrooms will be available. Vehicles will only be allowed every third space.

📌North Medford High School, 1900 N. Keene Way Drive, parking lot and gym will be open at 6:30 p.m. tonight (September 9). Restrooms and showers are available.

Looking to help? Our community partners are working hard to open additional sites that will need volunteers and other essential supplies.

If you are interested in helping, please contact Christine Quitt with the Homeless Task Force at christinequitthtf@gmail.com or Angela Durant with the City of Medford at angela.durant@cityofmedford.org.

UPDATE: Wednesday, Sept. 9, 1:50 p.m. ...

The Jackson County Emergency Management Center has announced that a Level 3 ("Go!") evacuation is now in effect for the Shady Cove area.

The area begins on Rogue River Drive at the Takelma Boat Ramp and runs north on both sides of the road to Highway 62. Level 3 includes all of the City of Shady Cove and continues north on Highway 62 to include the community of Trail.

This is a fast moving wind driven fire residents should immediately evacuate.

UPDATE: Tuesday, Sept. 8, 9:00 p.m. ...

From the Oregon Department of Forestry: The South Obenchain Fire is 8000 acres

Jackson County Sheriff’s Office issued Level 3 (“GO”) Evacuations for residents closest to the fire, and a Level 2 ("Get Set") Evacuation is in effect along Rogue River Drive from Highway 234 to Shady Cove; and along Highway 62, from Eagle Point to Shady Cove.

ORIGINAL POST: Residents along Highway 62 from Eagle Point to Shady Cove should be ready to evacuate, according to orders from Jackson County Emergency Management on Tuesday at 5:30 p.m.

The South Obenchain Fire was estimated to be 1,700 acres on Tuesday afternoon, according to the Oregon Department of Forestry.

The Jackson County Sheriff is asking residents who are not under evacuation orders to stay home to prevent traffic jams and allow firefighters and first responders to work.

The Almeda Drive Fire is burning further south near Ashland, Talent and Phoenix at an estimated size of 1,000 acres. Evacuations have been initiated in parts of all three towns.

Both fires are being driven by a high wind event over the last 24 hours.

Information about the South Obenchain Fire can be found here and here.