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Umpqua North Complex firefighters continue improving containment lines

Umpqua North Complex low and slow burn operation with Vale Hotshots, Umpqua NF Eng-65 and holding resources made up of various engines and Imperial Forestry Crew on Friday, Sept. 1, 2017, in the Umpqua National Forest. (Kari Greer/U.S. Forest Service)

GLIDE, Ore. -- A little rain fell on the Umpqua North Complex Tuesday morning, but it didn't affect the fire to any degree, officials said Wednesday morning.

Fire behavior increased predictably in the afternoon, when the fuel had the least amount of moisture content. The Devil Fire, the Eagle Rock Campground and the northeast section of the Ragged Ridge Fire were the most active areas.

Tuesday’s night shift reported very little activity on the complex. This was due to cooler temperatures and higher relative humidity.

Wednesday, in the Boulder Creek area, crews will monitor fire progression and be ready to burn out along established containment lines if needed. Direct suppression and mop up continues on the Devil Fire. Throughout the complex, firefighters will work on suppression repair and improving existing containment lines. The Fall Creek Fire and the western edges of the Ragged Ridge and Happy Dog Fires are in patrol status.

Wednesday, high temperatures are expected to be between 80 and 88 degrees, with minimum relative humidity values in the 22 to 35 percent range. Thursday, a cooling trend begins that is expected to last through the weekend.

The Umpqua National Forest released a revised set of closures on Tuesday. The Cougar Bluffs area closure has been reduced, the Fall Creek Trail is open, as is the Williams Creek Campground. See the revised order at: https://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/fseprd558669.pdf. Regular fire updates can also be found on the Umpqua National Forest Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/UmpquaNationalForest/ and on Inciweb: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5505/#

Evacuations: The areas of Dry Creek, Illahee, and Slide Creek along Highway 138 East, Mile Markers 53 to 56, and the Clearwater area, Mile Markers 56 to 61, are in Level 1 Evacuation Notice “Be Ready.”

Road Closures: Vehicles continue to be piloted through the wildfire zone on Highway 138 East, between Mile Markers 47-53. Be aware that conditions could change at any time and the highway may be closed due to safety concerns. Multiple trees have fallen across the highway in the past few days, but no injuries have resulted.

The Umpqua National Forest remains closed in areas of the North Umpqua and Diamond Lake Ranger Districts. The North Umpqua River remains closed to boaters and anglers from Soda Springs Dam to the Susan Creek Campground. The north shore of the North Umpqua River from FR 4714 (Panther Creek Road) to Susan Creek is open to anglers only. For more information on forest closures see Public Notices at https://www.fs.usda.gov/alerts/Umpqua/alerts-notices.

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