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Warming, drying trend has started for Umpqua North Complex

Umpqua North complex (via Umpqua National Forest)

ROSEBURG, Ore. -- The Umpqua North Complex continues to hold at 43,158 acres, officials said Wednesday morning.

Firefighter efforts and the recent snow & rains have stopped the fires in their tracks with no change in total acreage for the second week.

Wednesday will be sunny, with a high near 75. Wednesday Night, mostly clear, with a low around 44. The warming and drying trend has started, with relative humidity observations showing significant drops compared to this time yesterday. This trend will persist until Friday. Breezy east winds will persist into Wednesday but will start to diminish by late afternoon, and will generally be from the west to northwest.

There will continue to be smokes within the containment lines as individual logs and stumps smolder. These smokes are well interior and are surrounded by already burnt vegetation and do not pose a threat to the containment lines.

The mitigation of snags and hazard trees along Hwy 138 in between MP 46-51 (Illahee Flats) is tentatively scheduled to run through the end of this week. This project started on Tuesday. The Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) will provide traffic control and pilot car escort along the corridor from 8:30 am until 6:00 pm each day.

On Forest Road 38 to 3811, the horizontal grinder has been working steadily in conjunction with a front-end loader which has doubled production. They still have at least two, at the most, three more days of work until the suppression repair is completed in this area.

Fire suppression repair continues with hazard tree mitigation which has begun within the Fall Creek Fire area. On the 4711/550, 4770, 4760 and the 28 Roads snagging/hazard tree falling and clearing efforts continue. Last Saturday members of the Umpqua National Forest Fire crew entered the area and began flagging hazard trees in advance of a team of now 11 local area contract fallers under the supervision of a Falling Boss and a Safety Officer. The task force which includes a fire-line paramedic for crew safety along with a Skidder to clear the dropped trees off of the road is making slow but steady progress. It is anticipated that the task force has at least two to three more days work ahead of them.

Resources: 1 Crew, 11 Fallers, 3 Engines, 1 Grinder, 2 Water Tender, 3 Skidders, 1 Backhoe, 8 Dump Trucks, 1 Road Grader, 1 Log Loader, 1 Masticator, 4 Excavators, 1 Forwarder, 1 Log Grinder, 1 Chipper and 1 Front End Loader. Total personnel: 136

Closures: The revised closure order issued on September 22, 2017, is anticipated to remain in place, at least until the end of this week. The following trails are now open: segments of the North Umpqua Trail #1414, Mt. Bailey Trail, #1415, Dread and Terror Trail, #1461, Rodley Butte Trail, #1452, and West Lake Trail, #1452.

On the North Umpqua Ranger District, Forest Road 38 near Steamboat will reopen from the junction with Hwy. 138 to Forest Road 4760. Forest Road 38 will remain closed between Forest Road 4760 and Forest Road 3821. Steamboat ballfield Group Site is open again. Steamboat Falls and Canton Creek campgrounds will remain closed for the season and reopen in the Spring. Forest Road 3401 (Loafer1creek), leading to the Umpqua Hot Springs, and adjacent spurs are now open. Forest Road 34 will remain closed between the junction of Forest Road 3401 and the Willamette National Boundary. Devil’s Canyon area closure south of Hwy 138 on the Diamond Lake Ranger District has been greatly reduced, roads along Rough Creek and around Skookum lake in the fire area northwest of Garwood Butte will remain closed The public is being asked to respect closures. For additional information you can go to Inciweb website and the Umpqua National Forest website, which can be viewed at www.fs.usda.gov/umpqu.

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