High pressure front expected to increase Chetco Bar Fire activity Wednesday
BROOKINGS, Ore. -- Fog developed overnight and is expected to cover most of the lower elevations of the Chetco Bar Fire, resulting in cooler temperatures and improved humidity recovery which should moderate fire behavior, officials said.
However, they say later Wednesday, a strong high pressure front will move into the area. The resulting rise in temperatures, coupled with lower humidity and drying winds will increase fire activity.
Fire could make its way to the tops of individual or groups of trees and potentially cast embers up to three-tenths of a mile, causing new ignitions (or spot fires).
Temperatures will continue to rise this week and increases in fire behavior are anticipated, officials said.
Tuesday, the fire was active on the north, south and east perimeter. It pushed several miles to the northeast into the area previously burned by the 2002 Biscuit Fire.
With improved visibility, each of the seven helicopters assigned to Chetco Bar was able to work the fire on Tuesday. On the southern flank, aircraft provided bucket drops in the Emily Creek area. Crews connected most of the contingency line on the southwest/west edge and have been searching for, and extinguishing, hot spots within 25 feet of the fireline. Indirect line construction occurred in the Pistol River area.
Over the course of the incident, Oregon State Fire Marshal crews have assessed 1,222 structures, completed preparation work on 532 structures, and set more than 500 sprinklers.
National Guard firefighters are joining the effort Wednesday. They will extinguish hot spots that could potentially threaten containment lines between the fire and Brookings.
Firefighters will take advantage of the moderated fire behavior early in the day to construct line in advance of the coming weather. This effort includes fireline construction in the areas at risk near Emily Creek and Hog Mountain. Aircraft will assist crews on the ground as visibility permits.
Evacuations: Level 2 and 3 evacuations are in place in Curry County. They are being continually evaluated and adjusted to reflect developing conditions and resource availability. Residents are encouraged to monitor the Inciweb interactive evacuation map for changes.
For updates, visit the Chetco Bar Fire Information facebook page.