CHILOQUIN, Ore. – Fire managers say things went very well on the Meadow Fire today and they are calling it 50% contained. Local Type 3 Incident Commander Troy Parrish and his Incident Management Team took command this morning, giving local resources who were on the fire all night, a chance to get some rest.
No aircraft were used for suppression today as the fire line put in last night held and, despite some wind that tested the lines, the fire did not gain any acreage. Two small spots were found from last night’s activity but were easily contained. Some activity will continue to be visible as small, unburned islands of green fuel catch on fire and produce light smoke. Incident Commander Troy Parrish, says the containment line is holding fine, but they are remaining watchful. “We still have weather with wind moving through the next few days and, along with dry fuels, there is still some threat to our fire lines,” he says. “But, with the extra resources we got, I feel confident we will be able to keep the fire where it is.” The fire is 5 miles outside of Chiloquin, Oregon burning away from the community to the northeast.
Still on the fire are the Zig Zag, La Grande and Rogue River hotshots along with engines and leadership from the Modoc National Forest, Medford BLM, Crater Lake National Park, Lava Beds National Park, Rogue River Siskiyou National Forest and Oregon Department of Forestry. In addition, a five-person Alaskan support module and several contract bulldozers and water tenders are assisting.
The North 2 Prescribed Fire was converted to wildfire status yesterday about 12:30 pm when fire behavior and intensity grew more than was planned for and the decision was made to order more resources. This ensured it could be extinguished quickly to keep the community safe. As of 7:00 pm tonight, a total of 815 acres of the 4000 acres planned for the North 2 prescribed fire were treated and the Meadow Fire remains fully within the planned project area.
A little smoke may continue as crews wrap up their work so those sensitive to smoke in the Chiloquin area are encouraged to take precautionary measures.
The Chiloquin District of the Fremont Winema National Forest has a long history of good results with prescribed fires. The North 2 prescribed fire was just one of many planned in a 24,000 acre project area over several years. The North 2 section started this week, targeted 4000 out of 6000 acres that are prepped and ready to go just NE of Chiloquin. In 2018 and 2019, about 4700 acres were burned adjacent to the same general area. Prescribed fires, outside of fire-prone communities, are very successful at reducing the risk of wildfires threatening populated areas.
The North 2 Prescribed Fire project is part of the Chiloquin Community Forest and Fire Project, which is funded in part through the USDA Joint Chief’s program. The purpose of the project is to treat lands at a landscape scale across boundaries to create a forest resilient to natural and human-caused disturbance, including fire. This includes defensible space and fuel reduction treatments.