With the warmer, drier weather yesterday, there were several flare-ups during the day and overnight inside of the perimeter of the Ward Fire, where residual hot spots ignited drying grass and brush. Flare-ups such as these are common with the current weather conditions and are a vivid reminder that work on this fire is not yet finished. “We are still dealing with a fire,” said Mitch Williams, Field Night Operations.
Conditions also gave rise to a couple of new fires ignited by the last storm in areas close to the Ward fire yesterday. These fires were quickly controlled by Initial Attack crews.
Firefighters spent much of the last 24 hours continuing to secure firelines and mop up along the perimeter of the burned area. During mop up operations, firefighters extinguish any smoking or burning materials with soil or water, helping to ensure that there are no remaining embers that could reignite a fire. They also remove standing dead trees (snags), dig up and smother smoldering stumps, or move logs that might roll downhill.
For much of the perimeter, there now exists a 30-50 foot wide mop up zone that should help prevent remaining hot spots from igniting anything outside of the burned area in that section. This zone will continue to be secured and expanded in width during the coming days.
Infrared mapping of the fire by aircraft on Sunday night showed that the fire still had significant heat, despite the recent rain. Monday’s night shift crews began using palm infrared cameras to locate areas of heat closest to the perimeter of the fire that may pose an immediate threat.
Today, crews continue systematic searching along gridlines for potential spot fires in the areas of most concern outside of the fire margins. Along the south perimeter of the fire, concentration is developing hand line through the rocky rim of the Klamath River Canyon.
Safety considerations include steep terrain, snags in and around the fires, rattlesnakes, power lines in the area, and areas of unburned fuels.
Cooperators assisting partner agencies ODF and BLM on the fire include: Green Diamond Resource Company and the Klamath County Fire Chief.