Officials Gather for Fire Update
Representatives from the five major fires burning in the area held a press conference outside on the lawn of the Grants Pass Interagency office this afternoon.
The Douglas Complex of fires, the largest at 25,396 acres, received some additional help with the activation of the National Guard in the form of controlling road access in the fire areas and the addition of the Blackhawk heavy lift helicopters that are capable of dropping large quantities of water. Also from the National Guard is a Medevac helicopter with lift capabilities that will be available to all five of the fire commands.
The Douglas Complex still has 470 homes in jeopardy, 300 of which are in Glendale. The fire fighters have created good anchor points in that area and have significantly mitigated the danger there. That complex has consumed two out buildings and two railroad trestles interrupting rail freight service between Eugene and Northern California.
The Big Windy fire continues to threaten the Black Bar Lodge, the Zane Grey Cabin and the Rogue River Ranch. Structural fire crews are stationed at each of those structures with fire wrap made from the same material fire fighters use as emergency shelters.
Still listed at 2,914 acres with 186 fire fighters assigned, the fire continues to burn in extremely rugged terrain forcing the strategy to be one of indirect attack. That means the fire lines will come from the river up the Peavey Road system to Bear Camp Road to a ridge line and back to the river with a total projected burn estimated to be 48 to 50,000 acres.
Labrador Fire personnel say that fire has burned into the Kalmiopsis Wilderness and also because of the rugged terrain an indirect attack will also be mounted against it. It is still listed at 1,750 acres with 425 assigned fire fighters.
The Brimstone Fire has been the quietest of the five complexes and has remained constant at 2000 acres and ten percent contained.
The overriding theme throughout the press conference is the battle against these fires is going to be a prolonged one and a time frame for control and eventually being extinguished could not be estimated.