Paisley, OR – The Ben Young Fire is currently 1,200 acres and located 13 miles south of Paisley, OR. The fire is burning on steep slopes with grass and brush on lower slopes and timbered ridges. NW 7 Incident Command Team 7 (Incident Commander Eric Knerr) took over management of the Ben Young Fire today at 6 a.m.
The fire is threatening the communication site on Round Mountain, the Morgan Butte Fire Lookout, and one residence. More residences could become threatened as the fire moves to the east. Resources from multiple agencies are working on the fire, including Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF), U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management (BLM).
Yesterday’s Activity – Firefighters made good progress yesterday as thunderstorm activity was minimal, with a short period of precipitation and heavy downdrafts. Steep slopes made fire access and egress initially difficult, but a combination of dozer and air support made good progress.
Today’s Operations – Continuation of aircraft support will be critical to ground resource success. Firefighters will continue work on building additional fireline directly up the flanks of the fire and prepare indirect fireline in the steeper terrain on the northeastern portion.
Weather and Fire Behavior: It is expected to be sunny in the morning then partly cloudy. Temperatures are expected to be in the mid-70s to mid-80s with low relative humidity. Very slight chance of thunderstorms building over Modoc and Lake Counties this afternoon. Widespread wetting rain over the fire area yesterday resulted in moisture fuel conditions this morning which will dry out throughout the day.
Closures: The emergency closure remains in effect on the National Forest System land east of Forest Road 33 from Forest Road 3510 north towards Paisley. Also closed are Forest Roads 3510-018 off Clover Flat Road, the 3510 Road between the Forest Boundary west to Forest Road 33, and Road 3509 between Forest Road 3510 and the 28 Road. Within the closure area are Marster Spring Campground, Chewaucan Crossing Campground, Jones Crossing Forest Camp, Moss Meadow Horse Camp, Moss Pass Trailhead and Campground, and the Fremont National Recreation Trail.
Safety: Safety of the public and firefighters is always the top priority in wildland fire operations. Fire operation protocols include best management practices to prevent the transmission of COVID-19 within firefighter crews/operations and within the general public. Medical staff is available to support firefighters should they be needed.