Lakeview Ore. – Overall, it was a quiet day on the fire yesterday, the winds that were felt in Lakeview and the valley floors were not as brisk in the higher elevations on the fire. The south-southwest portion of the fire continued to experience the most active fire yesterday and through the night. Fire spread down the hillsides toward the pre-planned indirect contingency line. Firefighters worked the edge of the active fire area, putting in direct line with support from helicopter water drops. Helicopters will again support this area first thing this morning. The heavy equipment group continues to put in indirect line on the west side of the fire.
Aviation assets were available all day yesterday supporting ground crews with helicopter water drops on hotspots. Efforts of mop-up and cold trailing along the north, east and southern portions of the fire continued throughout the day. The northern end of the fire continued to be mopped up and patrolled. Firefighters are lining areas of unburned fuels within the fire, to protect from igniting and will continue today to do so. Protecting grazing ground that remain unburned remains a priority. A helitack crew returned to work the hotspots in the inaccessible area on the northeast portion of the fire. Hose lays along the east and south side of the fire are completely plumbed and crews have much of the area on the eastern edge mopped in 10-25 feet and 100 feet on the southern end. Firefighters have now put in over 84 miles of hose on the fire.
Through the night, moderate surface fire with some torching was observed. Eight engines and a hand crew patrolled and responded to areas where the fire was active. A priority objective for the firefighters was to watch for spot fires. Hotshot crews spiked out over night near the fire, available to operations if needed to support nighttime fire activity. Tonight, additional engines, crews and a dozer will be out overnight working the fire.
Today, crews will continue mop-up efforts and the heavy equipment group will continue creating planned contingency line. The high winds that have been forecasted will arrive in the area this afternoon. Incident Commander Kevin Stock spoke to all resources on the priority of the day to be focusing on safety and only engaging when and where it’s safe to do so. Air resource managers will be monitoring the winds and are expecting the gusty winds to likely ground all air resources.
Behavior: Overnight, the southeast corner of the fire had active fire growth. Relative humidity on the fire was as low as 21% overnight. Today, windy conditions will increase the spotting distance and spread rates. Moderate relative humidity recovery and strong winds through tonight will allow for active surface fire, group torching and spotting.
Today’s Operational update by Operations Section Chief, Rod Bonacker can be found on the “Cougar Peak Fire 2021” Facebook page.
Fire Information: (541) 900-5788 (8:00 am to 8:00 pm)
Facebook: “Cougar Peak Fire 2021”
Air Quality: oregonsmoke.blogspot.com
Weather: An approaching Pacific storm system will bring increasing southwest winds to the fire area today with ridge tops gusts up to 30 mph possible along with increasing clouds. Dry conditions will prevail, and relative humidity will remain just above critical thresholds this afternoon following moderate relative humidity recoveries this morning. Temperatures will rebound by several degrees into the lower to mid-70’s and humidity will drop into the teens in valleys staying in the lower 20’s at higher elevations.
Tonight, temperatures will be 45-50 degrees in the valleys and 49-54 on ridge tops. Relative humidity will be 60-70% in the valleys and 45-55% on ridge tops. Winds will be 5-20 mph out of the southwest, with gusts of 20-25 mph.
Even stronger southwest winds associated with the strong storm system arrive Saturday before expected rain moves in late Saturday into Sunday. Wetting rains are likely.
Resources-1210: 2 – type 1 hand crews, 3 – type 2 IA hand crews, 26 – type 2 hand crews, 3 – camp crews, 4 – heavy lift helicopters, 2 – medium lift helicopters, 1 – light lift helicopter, 48 – engines, 20 – dozers, 25 – water tenders, 2 – masticators, and 8 – skidgines.
Evacuations: The Lake County Sheriff’s Office evacuation levels remain at Level 1, Level 2 and Level 3 evacuations in and around the Cougar Peak Fire. For further information please see:
Lake County website https://www.lakecountyor.org/index.php
Lake County Facebook https://www.facebook.com/Lake-County-Oregon-104435824529906 and an interactive map: https://tinyurl.com/InteractiveEvacMap
Temporary Flight Restrictions: A Temporary Flight Restriction is in place over the Cougar Peak Fire. Please consult the Notice to Airman for specifics.
Wildfires are a No Drone Zone. If you fly, we can’t. Whenever a drone is spotted near the fire, all aircraft are grounded until we can be sure the drone is clear of the area. For more information, visit http://knowbeforeyoufly.org.
Before the predicted precipitation this weekend, VERY high winds will be moving through the area. The drought-stricken forest and grasslands are VERY receptive to the smallest spark. IT ONLY TAKES ONE SPARK to start a wildfire, please remember, Only You Can Prevent Wildfires!