Northwest Incident Management Team 6
Shawn Sheldon, Incident Commander
Shane Theall, Deputy IC
Watson Creek Fire Update
Sunday, August 19, 2018
Firefighters worked to suppress the Watson Creek Fire on Saturday, addressing the flames at several points with strategic burnouts that met and slowed the fire’s progression toward established fire lines. Helicopters continued to assist with water drops and will be available again today. Last night’s infrared flight over the fire shows it has grown to 16,227 acres.
A public meeting will be held tonight at 7:00 p.m. in Paisley at the Community Center. Fire managers will offer a briefing on the condition of the landscape in the fire area, show maps, and share details of the ongoing firefighting strategy.
On Saturday, the fire continued to consume vegetation at various hot spots within the fire line, generating smoke plumes where burning activity was greatest. A 10-acre spot outside the fire line at the junction of Forest Roads 28 and 3380 near the Hanan/Sycan Campground was quickly lined with a bulldozer and monitored overnight. In the evening, another spot onto Green Diamond Timber lands off of Forest Road 3315, commonly known as the High Road, near the Bear Creek Trailhead challenged crews. Firefighters are assessing this area and working to contain it.
Overnight, crews found a window to conduct burnout operations, making progress on the strategy. Taking advantage of fuel breaks that had been created by the Paisley District to keep fire behavior moderate, about 1.5 miles of burnout was completed along the 3315 Road. Today, firefighters will work to hold this line and, if conditions allow, more burnout will be conducted near Slide Lake.
Established fire lines are expected to be tested today with stronger winds starting with a southerly flow in the morning, then shifting to south-southwesterly as the day progresses before the strongest winds at 10 to 15 miles per hour are forecasted to flow in a west-northwesterly direction. The combination of increased and shifting wind and anticipated atmospheric instability will likely create challenging conditions for firefighters across the landscape as wind flow meeting terrain creates areas of turbulence.
The emergency fire closure for several roads and recreation areas on the Fremont-Winema National Forest remains in place. The Order is Number 06-02-03-18-02 and is posted at various locations around the community. Please take care to avoid starting wildfires.
Fire at a Glance
Size: 16,227 acres
Location: 13 miles West of Paisley, Oregon (Paisley Ranger District)
Cause: Under Investigation
Assigned Personnel: 350
4 Type 2 medium helicopters
1 Type 3 helicopter
Forest Roads 2901, 29, 3315, 3360, 33, 28, 34, 3411, 30 and 2901-035
Bald Butte Lookout; Bear Creek Trailhead; Campbell Lake Campground; Chewaucan Crossing Campground; Currier Guard Station, Horse Camp & Trailhead; Dead Horse Lake Campground & Trailhead; Fremont National Recreation Trail #160 between Chewaucan Crossing Campground & Dead Indian Rim; Fremont Point Cabin & Trailhead; Hanan/Coffeepot Trailhead; Hanan/Sycan Campground & Trailhead; Harris Trailhead; Jones Crossing Campground; Lee Thomas Campground & Trailhead; Marster Spring Campground; North Fork Sprague Trailhead; Pikes Crossing Campground; Rock Creek Campground; Sandhill Crossing Campground; Slide Lake Trailhead; Winter Rim Trailhead; Withers Lake Day Use Area & Trailhead