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Douglas Complex 100% Contained

Posted by on Sep 4, 2013 in News | 0 comments

Douglas Complex 100% Contained

The Douglas Complex of wildfires in southwestern Oregon has been declared contained, although smoke is expected to keep rising until fall rain finally extinguishes the smoldering remains.

The Douglas Complex was one of several large fires touched off by lightning on July 26.
Fire managers Tuesday night declared it 100 percent contained after growing to more than 76 square miles — about 48,700 acres.
Another of that July crop of fires, the Big Windy Complex to the southwest, is now considered 87 percent contained at about half that size.

The two other large Oregon fires remain:
• The Government Flats complex near The Dalles, considered 90 percent contained at nearly 18 square miles.
• The Vinegar fire northeast of John Day, considered 45 percent contained at about 2 square miles.


Yosemite Fire Containment Reaches 80%

Posted by on Sep 4, 2013 in News | 0 comments

Yosemite Fire Containment Reaches 80%

YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK, Calif. — There was no evidence of an illegal marijuana grow near the spot where a raging wildfire started near Yosemite National Park, a federal forestry official said Wednesday.

Investigators have ruled out the illicit activity as a potential cause, ending speculation by a local fire chief that the gardens that plague federal land could be to blame.

Jerry Snyder of the U.S. Forest Service said that the steep and inaccessible canyon where the Rim Fire started Aug. 17 in the Stanislaus National Forest doesn’t have a water source that growers look for when they set up remote gardens.

“The lead investigator says there’s no evidence of any type of grow in the area where the fire started,” Snyder said.

Snyder also said lightning isn’t to blame. It could take months for investigators to determine what ignited the blaze that has consumed more than 370 square miles of Sierra Nevada forests.

“They’ll be able to tell whether there was an illegal campfire in there,” he said. “Another thing to consider is that this area is very steep, and if there was a rockslide two rocks hitting together could make a spark to ignite dry brush.”

The fire is 80 percent contained, and crews don’t expect full containment before Sept. 20. The far-off date is because the portion of the fire burning in Yosemite National Park is headed toward granite outcroppings that will act as a natural firebreak but won’t be classified as technical containment.

Letting geological formations help will allow firefighters to focus some efforts inside the fire’s footprint. Snyder said they have begun to cut breaks and start backfires in an effort to save grazing land, wildlife habitat and historic buildings left over from early timber camps.

“We don’t want the entire interior to be burned too,” he said.

Officials said 111 structures, including 11 homes, have been destroyed. More than 4,300 firefighters are still battling the blaze.

Although no cause has been announced, one local fire chief speculated the fire might have ignited in an illegal marijuana grow. His remarks posted on YouTube prompted Snyder to shoot down the rumor.

Southern Oregon Forests Under Seige

Posted by on Jul 31, 2013 in News | 0 comments

Southern Oregon Forests Under Seige

The 21,400-acre, lightning-caused Douglas Complex fires are burning seven miles north of Glendale in Douglas County, and are 5 percent contained.

The Douglas Complex is now the highest priority nationally for resources.

Late Saturday evening Governor Kitzhaber declared the Douglas County Complex a conflagration. The declaration authorized the State Fire Marshal to mobilize structural firefighters and equipment to assist local resources battling the fire and working to protect structures. More than 400 homes are threatened. The Oregon Office of the State Fire Marshal is managing the fire jointly with Oregon Department of Forestry. read more