Withers, near Paisley, Oregon

In Contained Out of State Fires by YubaNet

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  • Incident Name: Withers, near Paisley, Oregon
  • State: OR
  • Lead Agency: LAD
  • Size (acres): 3,424
  • Percent Contained: 85%
  • Estimate of Containment: August 31, 2016
  • Personnel: 175
  • Structures Destroyed: 0
Withers, Lakeview District, BLM. One mile north of Paisley, OR. Brush and short grass. Minimal fire behavior with backing and creeping. Residences threatened. Road closures in effect.

August 22, 2016 at 10:45 AM

After working through five days of record high temperatures and gusty winds, firefighters have solidified 85 percent of the perimeter and shifted to a primarily monitoring and mop up operation.

Crews will continue reinforcing and strengthening the remaining 15 percent, which lies on the far west side of the containment area away from the community of Paisley. An expected shift in wind direction should help those efforts.

Forest Road No. 33 (also known as the River Road) from the junction with Forest Road No. 3315 (also known as the High Road) to Jones Crossing, was reopened to the public Sunday evening, and the Level 3 evacuation order for the Chewaucan River campgrounds has been lifted. A closure order remains in effect  for Forest Road No. 3315 (also known as the High Road)Travelers must detour through Government Harvey Pass to access areas west and south of the fire zone.

A final public meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. this evening at Paisley Community Center. Fire, law enforcement and agency officials will discuss what’s been accomplished, the current status of the incident  and next steps.

Temperatures are expected to start tapering off today and through the week. A Red Flag Warning will be in effect from noon to 9 p.m. today with the potential for gusty winds in the afternoon. Fire danger remains extreme.

The South Central Oregon Fire Management Partnership (SCOFMP) Type 3 incident management team will transfer the operation to BLM oversight on Tuesday. About 80 percent of the fire was on the BLM Lakeview District, with the remaining 20 percent in private ownership.

Many resources called in to help with the containment effort are being released back to their home units for new fire starts or other fires needing additional support.

Law enforcement and fire officials are actively investigating the incident as a criminal arson.  Anyone with information is asked to call 541-947-2504.

Residents and area visitors are asked to be extra-cautious when using anything that could cause a flame or spark. For information about Public Use and Fire Restrictions on federal and state lands in Lake and Klamath counties visit www.scofmp.org.  It only takes one coal or ember to spark a wildfire!

South Central Oregon Fire Management Partnership (SCOFMP) is a consortium of resources provided by BLM Lakeview District, Fremont-Winema National Forest, Oregon Department of Forestry, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Sheldon-Hart Mountain and Klamath Basin refuges, and Crater Lake National Park, working cooperatively to suppress and/or manage wildfires on state, federal and private lands in Lake and Klamath Counties, encompassing approximately 10 million acres.

Road Closures:  Forest Road No. 3315 (also known as the High Road) from the junction with Forest Road No. 33 to the intersection with Forest Road No. 3360 remains closed.

August 20, 2016 at 10:54 PM

Under current Red Flag warnings and extremely hot and dry conditions, firefighters continued working to strengthen and reinforce containment lines, monitoring established lines, mopping up and beginning fire repair.

The fire is now 65 percent contained. Most of the completed containment line borders the community of Paisley. Suppression efforts remain a top priority.

A local Type 3 incident management team continues working on the fire. However, resources are starting to be released from the incident. Fire managers are confident remaining resources are able to complete the remaining work.

Active burning continues within the fire perimeter, which may be visible from Oregon State Highway 31 and nearby communities.

Smoke impacts to local communities remain possible, but should be minimal.

A Red Flag Warning went into effect at noon until 9 p.m. today and will be in place again from noon to 9 p.m. tomorrow.  A Fire Weather Watch has been issued for Monday afternoon through evening, calling for gusty winds with low relative humidity.  Fire danger remains extreme.

Officials have determined the fire was started by an arsonist and are actively investigating.  Anyone with information is asked to call 541-947-2504.

Residents and area visitors are asked to be careful when using anything that could cause a flame or spark.  Also, respect current Public Use and Fire Restrictions on federal and state lands in Lake and Klamath counties.  It only takes one coal or ember to spark a wildfire!

Expected Fire Behavior: Conditions continue to be hot and dry with relatively low fuel moistures.  Increased fire activity is likely as temperatures increase.

Weather: High temperatures will be in the 90s with low humidity.

Road Closures: Forest Road No. 33, also known as the River Road, from the junction with Forest Road No. 33 (also known as the high road)15 to Jones Crossing, as well as Forest Road No. 3315 from the junction with Forest Road No. 33 to the intersection with Forest Road No. 3360 are closed. Travelers must detour through Government Harvey Pass to access areas west and south of the fire zones.

Evacuation Information: The Level 3 Evacuation remains in place for campgrounds along the Chewaucan River and any residences along the River Road – anyone in this area needs to leave immediately.

August 19, 2016 at 4:57 PM

With temperatures soaring into the 90s today, firefighters continued working on containing and mopping up the Withers Fire.

The Level 1 Evacuation for Paisley will be lifted at 6 p.m. thanks to the effort of firefighting resources from throughout the West.  Their hard work and commitment to public and firefighter safety made it possible to lift the evacuation this evening.

The fire is located west of Oregon State Highway 31.  The fire was one of four started Wednesday.

A local Type 3 incident management team continues working on the fire.

Smoke impacts to local communities should be minimal.  However, there may still be pockets of visible smoke and active fire within the perimeter.

While Hwy 31 remains open, there is a significant increase in fire traffic.  Minimizing travel in the area if possible will help both firefighter and public safety.  There is also a likelihood of increased air traffic in the area as part of firefighting efforts.  A temporary flight restriction is in place over the fire area.

As hot and dry conditions continue into the weekend – not only in South Central Oregon, but across the western United States – the National Interagency Fire Center has elevated the National Preparedness Level to 4 on a scale from 1 to 5.  This means more than three Geographic Areas are experiencing Type 1 and Type 2 incidents, there is competition for resources and 60 percent of Type 1 and Type 2 Incident Management Teams and crews are committed.  As the Withers Fire approaches containment and control, firefighting resources are prepared to continue their important mission locally, regionally and nationally as needed.

Fire danger remains high and the public should be aware of their surroundings and prepared for changing conditions.

Residents and area visitors are asked to be vigilant with anything with a flame or spark.  Also, respect current Public Use and Fire Restrictions on federal and state lands in Lake and Klamath counties.  It only takes one coal or ember to spark a wildfire!

The cause is under investigation.  However, the evidence indicates arson and it is now a criminal investigation.  Anyone with information is asked to call 541-947-2504.

Expected Fire Behavior: Conditions continue to be hot and dry with relatively low fuel moistures.  Increased fire activity is likely as temperatures increase.
Weather: High temperatures will be in the 90s with low humidity.
Road Closures: Forest Road No. 33, also known as the River Road, from the junction with Forest Road No. 3315 to Jones Crossing, as well as Forest Road No. 3315 from the junction with Forest Road No. 33 to the intersection with Forest Road No. 3360 are closed.
Evacuation Information: Evacuation levels are being evaluated this morning and may be modified.  There is a Level 3 Evacuation for campgrounds along the Chewaucan River and any residences along the River Road – anyone in this area needs to leave immediately.  The Level 1 Evacuation for the town of Paisley will be lifted today at 6 p.m..

August 19, 2016 at 6:06 AM

The fire is burning in fine flashy fuels and in a juniper fuel treatment project area. There is a fairly rapid rate of spread due to gusty winds, high temperatures and low relative humidity.

Crews are continuing to work on building fire line and reinforcing current containment lines.

The cause is under investigation.

Smoke from the fire remained visible today throughout the region and there continues to be a risk of smoke impacting communities including Paisley and Summer Lake. Individuals with smoke sensitivity, including the elderly and young children may want to stay indoors or leave the area if a smoke inversion settles into Paisley or Summer Lake overnight and into the early morning.

USFS photo

USFS photo

There is a significant increase in fire traffic. Minimizing travel in the area if possible will help both firefighter and public safety. There is also a likelihood of increased air traffic in the area as part of firefighting efforts. A temporary flight restriction is in place over the fire area.

Fire danger remains high and the public should be aware of their surroundings and prepared for changing conditions.

Residents and area visitors are asked to be vigilant with anything with a flame or spark. Also, respect current Public Use and Fire Restrictions on federal and state lands in Lake and Klamath counties. It only takes one coal or ember to spark a wildfire!

Expected Fire Behavior: Conditions continue to be hot and dry with relatively low fuel moistures. Increased fire activity is likely as temperatures increase. Weather: High temperatures will be in the 90s with low humidity.

Road Closures: Forest Road No. 33, also known as the River Road, from the junction with Forest Road No. 3315 to Jones Crossing, as well as Forest Road No. 4415 from the junction with Forest Road No. 33 to the intersection with Forest Road No. 3360 are closed.

Evacuation Information: There is a Level 3 Evacuation for campgrounds along the Chewaucan River and any residences along the River Road – anyone in this area needs to leave immediately. The Level 2 Evacuation for seven residences along Mill Street has been lifted. The town of Paisley remains under a Level 1 Evacuation – residents should be monitoring conditions and begin making preparations in case an evacuation becomes necessary.