Fire burning in 'an area of extreme risk for firefighters' on Umpqua forest

A wildfire in the Boulder Creek Wilderness prompted land managers to close a forest trail for public safety, the Umpqua National Forest said Wednesday. The forest closed a segment of the 1552 trail due to the Silver Rock Fire. (USDAFS)

ROSEBURG, Ore. - A wildfire in the Boulder Creek Wilderness prompted land managers to close a forest trail for public safety, the Umpqua National Forest said Wednesday.

The forest closed a segment of the 1552 trail due to the Silver Rock Fire.

The fire has burned about 3 acres around the 3,500 foot elevation in the wilderness.

The cause is under investigation.

Forest officials said weather conditions are presently in favor of firefighters. If the humidity remains high, firefighters should be able to gain the upperhand.

However, due to the terrain, firefighters started making bucket drops from helicopters on the fire Tuesday.

"This fire is currently burning within the footprint of the 2008 Rattle Fire which left mosaic patterns of unburned trees bordered by acres of numerous snags," the Forest Service said in a statement. "The terrain is different than much of the designated wilderness areas on the Umpqua. Rather than being bordered by a mountain it has extremely steep, rocky canyons, cliffs, large patches of snags, timber and brush. These landscape characteristics coupled with the area being inaccessible by roads makes it an area of extreme risk for firefighters."

A flyover with infrared cameras will help firefighters locate and work hot spots in the fire.

Fire managers aim to contain the fire inside the wilderness area.

“Firefighter safety is a primary concern when considering how to suppress this fire,” said states Forest Supervisor Alice Carlton. “For this reason, we will continue to utilize sound risk management practices in developing fire suppression strategies. Forest and fire managers will continue to work closely with local, State and federal cooperators as fire season progresses. As we move forward into hotter, drier weather we ask that the public remain vigilant in extinguishing their fires while camping. We continue to look to the support of the public in minimizing any human caused wildfires on the forest."


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