Favorable weather conditions helped crews continue to make solid progress on the Ward fire, increasing containment to 24% as of yesterday evening. John Pellissier, Operations Section Chief, summed it up during the briefing as night-shift firefighters prepared to go out. “Today we had a good day of work, building off good work last night”. The fire size was updated to 1301 acres (down from 1329 acres), based on added GPS reference points.

During night shift crews finished laying hose along the west, north, and east flanks of the fireline. Today, crews will improve the firelines and continue mop up deeper into the burned area. Mop up along much of the lines has reached 30 to 50 feet into the burned area.

The southern flank of the fire is perched atop the steep canyon rim, overlooking the Klamath River. Fire managers seized an opportunity yesterday to have crews scratch in some basic hand line, which is the first step toward securing the extremely steep slopes below the canyon rim. Night crews avoided the steep terrain in observance of safety, and crews today will begin improving the line along the southern edge of the fire.

Today’s weather forecast calls for warmer and dryer conditions with winds from the west with gusts of 4-10 mph. Firefighters expect that the increasing temperature and wind will allow smoldering areas of the fire to flame up.

Safety considerations continue to be snags, rattlesnakes, power lines, and rolling debris on the steep slopes on the southern edge of the fire.

Cooperators assisting partner agencies ODF and BLM on the fire include: Green Diamond Resource Company and the Klamath County Fire Chief.

Click here for fire perimeter map.  Click here for infrared map.

Oregon Department of Forestry IMT 2, Chris Cline, Incident Commander