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The Archie Creek Fire In Douglas County Grows, But Crews Are Gaining Ground

firefighter Archie Creek Fire 9-13-20 inciweb.jpeg
Firefighter during a burnout operation on the Archie Creek Fire in Douglas County on Sept. 13

The Archie Creek Fire burning east of Roseburg in the North Umpqua corridor on state, private and federal land. It's burned 125,498 acres and is now 20 percent contained.

UPDATE: Wednesday, Sept. 16, 4:00 p.m. ...

Firefighters continue to work in the Little River area with heavy machinery, engines and crews, to construct and hold containment lines. Structure protection resources remain in place along Little River Road.

On the far eastern portion of the fire, crews are allowing the fire to slowly back down the hillside to Panther Creek where crews have prepared roads to hold the fire.

Heading north from Highway 138E, firefighters are scouting and constructing both primary and secondary containment lines from the Canton Creek area into the Upper Rock Creek area.

Containment lines from South Calapooya Creek down to Glide continue to hold.

Suppression efforts on the Archie Creek Fire were boosted yesterday by an additional 125 personnel from the Oregon National Guard. These soldiers are working to hold containment lines around the perimeter of the fire and mop-up hot spots near structures. Total personnel assigned to the incident is now 773 people.

Air resources were grounded again yesterday due to safety concerns because of the thick smoke. Four helicopters and two Single Engine Air Tankers (SEATs) remain available in the area for use when the smoke clears.

Winds today are likely to push the smoke from west to east, providing some relief to residents and firefighters. When smoke lifts, temperatures will rise and humidity will decrease leading to increased fire activity.

Highway 138E remains closed to non-fire traffic from Milepost 21 through Milepost 83. Crews from the Oregon Department of Transportation, Douglas County Public Works Department, Pacific Power and their contractors continue to work along Highway 138E, Rock Creek Road and other county-maintained roads within the footprint of the Archie Creek Fire.

The Archie Creek Fire has burned 125,498 acres and is 20% contained. The breakdown of acres by ownership include: • 62,623 acres of private lands• 38,536 acres of Bureau of Land Management (BLM) lands• 24,300 acres of US Forest Service (USFS) lands• 39 acres of State of Oregon lands

Archie Creek 9-16-20.JPG
Liam Moriarty
Here's the fire map for Wednesday, September 16. It uses colors to illustrate the four types of land ownership: green = U.S. Forest Service yellow = Bureau of Land Management orange = Bureau of Indian Affairs blue = State Evacuation levels are show as green (1/READY); yellow (2/SET); and red (3/GO)

ORIGINAL POST: As firefighters make gains on the Archie Creek Fire, the Douglas County Sheriff's Office has downgraded several evacuation orders, including taking the entire county off a Level 1 ("Get ready") alert.

On Monday, crews reported minimal fire activity along the western edge of the Archie Creek Fire from Glide up to the Nonpareil area. In the Little River Road area, crews are using a combination of existing road systems and dozer lines to stop the fire from advancing downhill toward nearby structures. Spot fires have crossed containment lines in the Little River area, where firefighters are working to contain them and tie back into the primary line.

Fire activity picked up slightly on the southeastern portion of the fire due to northwest winds over the area. Firefighters plan to hold the fire in this area near Panther Creek. Crews also scouted the Canton Creek and Scaredman Creek areas, looking for opportunities to successfully engage on the fire. Heavy equipment will be used in this area to open existing roadways and construct new dozer lines to tie back into the Upper Rock Creek area.

Fire spread on the east flank is low intensity. It’s backing into primary lines helping to achieve security in that area. Crews from the Oregon Department of Transportation and Pacific Power continue to work along Highway 138E within the burned area. The highway remains closed to all non-fire traffic between Milepost 21 and Milepost 83. Douglas County Public Works Department is also working to clear Rock Creek Road and other county roads.

An infrared flight last night shows the Archie Creek Fire at 125,498 acres. It is 15% contained with 708 people assigned to the fire.

The National Guard has arrived, will meet with fire officials this morning and be out on the lines this afternoon. Firefighters will continue construct direct and indirect line. They will hold and mop-up completed line, improve and mop-up around structures, and assess opportunities to exclude acres when possible.

Air resources are available should the smoke clear enough to make flying safe. Weather today will be similar to yesterday.

Dense smoke continues to hang over lower elevations, with possible clearing at upper levels near the Glide area, which may increase fire activity.

Evacuations, shelter areas: The Douglas County Sheriff's Office is reducing evacuation levels in the following areas.

*Bar L Ranch Road, Terrace and Upper Terrace: Downgraded from a Level 3 "GO!" to a Level 2 "BE SET".
*Nonpareil Road from Plat K to Banks Creek Road (and all side roads): Downgraded from a Level 2 "BE SET" to a Level 1 "BE READY".
* Banks Creek Road to Hinkle Creek Road: Downgraded from a Level 3 "GO!" to a Level 2 "BE SET".
* Hinkle Creek to the end of Nonpareil Road: This section of Nonpareil remains at a Level 3 "GO!".
* All of Douglas County: The Level 1 "BE READY" has been removed for Douglas County. However, residents are encouraged to have an emergency plan in place. Resources can be found at www.ready.gov or www.dcso.com. An interactive evacuation map can be found at www.dcso.com/evacuations.

Fire managers and the Sheriff’s Office urge residents returning to their homes to drive cautiously and watch for falling hazards such as trees and debris. If you feel unsafe, evacuate on your own and do not wait for notification from the sheriff.

For further information:

Inciweb https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/closures/7176/

Douglas County Sheriff website www.dcso.com/evacuations and Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/DouglasCoSO

Air quality: The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality at http://www.oregon.gov/deq

Road closures: Monitor www.tripcheck.com for updates on the highway closures. Bureau of Land Management (BLM): all lands east of Interstate 5, within the Swiftwater Resource Area are closed.

Umpqua National Forest: Maps and closure orders can be found on Inciweb at: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/closures/7176/ . Additional information on the Forest Service closures are available at: https://www.fs.usda.gov/alerts/umpqua/alerts-noticesmanaged lands east of Interstate 5, within the Swiftwater Resource Area are closed.