Tuesday, August 12, 2014

South Fork Complex Fire Update 8/12/14 ^NH

Hotshot crews and air resources continued constructing and reinforcing direct line on the fire’s northwest side. Crews prepared primary and alternate containment lines along the south and east fire perimeter. As line construction was completed, resources were shifted to other parts of the fire to build and reinforce firelines.
The lightning that was predicted for yesterday afternoon did not occur over the fire as feared and the threat of new fires was lessened. Increasing wind tested firelines on the southeast corner of the fire during the thunderstorm.
A night shift was instituted last night to take advantage of the rain patrolling, holding lines and protecting the work already done.
Weather and Fire Behavior
A Red Flag Warning has been issued through Tuesday evening for abundant lightning. The risk of thunderstorms continues through Tuesday and are a concern for fire managers because of the possibility of new fires and gusty winds. Last evening’s rains caused the relative humidity level to rise, so overnight humidity recovery is better reducing the chance of fire spread. There is a good possibility of wetting rain in the fire area today.
Winds are expected to shift more to the southwest on Tuesday which will test lines on the northeast corner of the fire. With the threat of gusty outflow winds from thunder cells, firefighters are paying close attention to fire perimeters. Temperatures will be somewhat lower today reducing the probability of ignition in the fire area.
Today’s Operations
As firelines and mopup are completed on the west edge of the fire, resources are shifting to the east and southeast flanks to strengthen lines in those areas. Aviation resources will continue to support ground crews.
Public Briefing Tonight
There will be a pubic briefing tonight from 6:00 to 7:00 P.M. at the Dayville Community Center.
Closures and Evacuations
A level 1 evacuation remains in effect for the area south of Highway 26, west of Road 21 (Fields Creek) and east of Road 42 (South Fork of the John Day River).  A level 1 evacuation is also in place for the area south of Deer Creek and east of the South Fork of the John Day River.
A closure is in place on the Malheur National Forest and the Ochoco National Forest surrounding the fires. All roads and trails are closed within the closure area. Closure information is available online at inciweb.nwcg.gov.

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