Umpqua National Forest issues Red Flag Warning for 'abundant lightning & dry fuels'
ROSEBURG, Ore. -- Umpqua National forest officials have issued a RED FLAG WARNING, which will be in effect from 11 a.m. Wednesday morning to 11 p.m. Thursday for abundant lightning and dry fuels, according to a news release.
Due to increased wildfire activity on the Forest, a new closure order, Forest Order 379, was issued Tuesday. The new closure order closes the area west of the Rogue-Umpqua Divide Wilderness within the Tiller Ranger District.
The Rogue-Umpqua Divide Wilderness remains closed. Complete Closure Order can be viewed here: https://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/fseprd557911.pdf
Officials reopened the north shore of the North Umpqua River from Susan Creek to Forest Road 4714 (Panther Creek Road). The North Umpqua River remains closed, but bank access to the river is now open.
Officials say weather is mostly cloudy, with a slight chance of showers and thunderstorms until noon, and then a continued chance of showers and thunderstorms. Very dry vegetation combined with scattered lightning during this time is very concerning for new fire starts. Wednesday’s forecast calls for high temperatures from 85 to 90 degrees with minimum humidity around 35% to 40%. Wednesday night will be clear but smoky. Minimum temperatures will be around 55 to 60 degrees with maximum humidity around 90% to 95%.
For air quality and smoke information, visit airnow.gov.
North Zone, Umpqua National Forest: A Type 1 Incident Management Team, California Team 4 (J.Kurth) is managing the Umpqua North Complex on the North Umpqua and Diamond Lake ranger districts. For more information, check inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5505/ and follow the Umpqua National Forest on Facebook.
South Zone, Umpqua National Forest: A Type 3 Incident Management Team (Thompson) is managing the Falcon Complex on the Tiller Ranger District. For more information about these wildfires, check inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5484/ and follow Falcon Complex Wildland Fires on Facebook. Northwest Interagency Incident Management Team 7 (Knerr) is managing the Paradise, Windy Gap, and Pup fires (formerly grouped in the Falcon Complex) as part of the High Cascades Complex. Broken Lookout, and Windy Gap Fires (7,500 ac) have grown together and will now be called the Broken Lookout Fire. For more information on these fires, check inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5503/ or follow the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest on Facebook.
Evacuations/Closures: Douglas County uses a 3-level evacuation process, with levels 1-3 corresponding to preparedness levels of “(1) Ready, (2) Set, (3) Go.”
The Level 1 Evacuation Notice (fire danger exists in the area, be prepared) was lifted on September 3rd by the Douglas County Sheriff for the Susan Creek and the Moore Hill Lane areas.
A Level 1 Evacuation Notice, “Get Ready” (fire danger exists in the area, be prepared) remains in place for the Clearwater/Toketee Village area.
A Level 2 Evacuation Notice, “Get Set” (threat is greater, you must prepare to leave at a moment’s notice) remains in place for Dry Creek, Umpqua Last Resort, and Illahee areas and Soda Springs/Slide Creek area (Highway 138 East between mile markers 53 and 61).
There are no Level 3 Evacuation Orders “GO” (threat is imminent, evacuate immediately) at this time.
To register your telephone for the Douglas County Citizen Emergency Notification System and receive notifications about emergencies near your home, workplace, children’s school, or other important places, log onto http://www.dcso.com/alerts/ or call 541-440-4464.
Diamond Lake, North Umpqua and Tiller Ranger District Closure Orders: Forest Order 378 restricts public access to trails, roads, and forest areas due to wildfire activity. To view the closure order and an accompanying map, visit https://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/fseprd557073.pdf.
River Closure: The north bank of the North Umpqua River is open between Susan Creek and Forest Road 4714. The river itself is closed to boating or rafting. The remainder of the river from Soda Springs Dam to the Susan Creek Campground remains closed to all angling, rafting and other recreational use due to significant public safety risks.
Road Information: Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) has closed Highway 138 (North Umpqua Highway) from mile marker 47 to mile marker 54. Highway 138 pullout closures are in effect from mile marker 31 to mile marker 35. Current road information for Highway 138 can be found on ODOT’s website at https://tripcheck.com/Pages/RCMap.asp.
Campgrounds: There are numerous campground closures. Please refer to the Umpqua National Forest website for a comprehensive list of campground closures at https://www.fs.usda.gov/alerts/umpqua/alerts-notices. For ideas of where to go, check out https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/umpqua/news-events/?cid=FSEPRD556360.
Campfires are permitted only in fire rings in designated campgrounds. A list of Public Use Restrictions is available at https://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/fseprd554660.pdf.
Industrial Fire Precaution Level restrictions (currently Level IV) protect the forest resources from unintentional fire starts due to unnoticed, accidental sparks or other heat sources associated with the use of machinery. In remote areas, unintentional small fires may quickly grow into large wildfires. Recreational campfires in approved fire rings, in approved locations, do not present the same level of risk, and so they continue to be allowed.
Due to widespread wildfire activity and the potential for extreme fire behavior, visitors are encouraged to know what areas of the Forest are closed so they can find places to recreate outside of closure areas. A forest closure is in place for public safety.