Klamath Falls, OR) – Despite the recent rain, fire activity picked up yesterday. Fire Behavior Specialist Chris Moore commented on how unusual it is to see fire flare-ups so quickly after a wetting rain.
“As we move out of normal climatological range, previous experience is less relevant,” said Moore. “The rain that we got will not put the fire out. Spotting will become more of an issue as fuels dry out again.” Incident Commander Norm McDonald reinforced this caution stating that we need “a recalibration of where we are. There isn’t a ‘normal’ anymore. We need to be prepared for anything.”
Fire activity increased as the warm day dried out the fire faster and wind gusts were stronger than expected.
It’s currently burning about 413,000 acres 28 miles northeast of Klamath Falls.
It’s 53% contained.
The northwest corner remains the most active area. Dozers and hand crews are working together to close the line around that portion of the perimeter.
Heavy helicopter support kept the fire cool while crews worked around Round Butte. The objective today is to hold and secure the progress made.
Two more ember-cast spot fires were identified yesterday off the northeast flank of the fire, west of Winter Rim.
The spot fires were about a half-mile outside the fire perimeter and small in size (less than two acres).
Helicopters dropped water as air tankers made multiple retardant drops. It still requires firefighters working on the line to secure these spots.
Crews will continue to take aggressive action to address any future spot fires.
The east flank of the fire remains active. That edge of the fire is a “dirty edge,” that is, there isn’t a continuous edge to the fire in this area as the fire leaves pockets of unburned vegetation.
This ragged edge is more difficult for crews to secure.
In the southern portion of the fire, where activity has been relatively quiet, there were flare-ups and smoke plumes visible yesterday from inside the burned area.
This is a good thing. Burning fuels within the fire perimeter will help decrease the heat and chances for ember cast in the future.
Warm weather will continue through the week.
Gusty winds are expected today, especially in more open areas.
Yesterday a Fire Weather Watch was issued for much of the fire area through Friday. West of the fire, a Red Flag Warning is in effect through tomorrow due to thunderstorms. Scattered rain and isolated thunderstorms are possible through the weekend. More information available at https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/article/7609/62198/