The latest on nearby wildfires
Hot, dry temperatures throughout Southern Oregon continue to hamper crews battling wildfires. Here's a breakdown on the fires, including weather forecasts.
16,012 acres, 40 percent contained
About two dozen families on Kinney Creek and Palmer Creek roads were evacuated Saturday after the Burnt Peak fire jumped a containment line in the Applegate. A fire spokesperson said homes are not in imminent danger, but the fire's jumping a containment line triggered the evacuation. Flames are creeping along the ground instead of crowning in the trees.
The Burnt Peak is part of the Miller Complex of fires, which by Saturday had burned 16,012 acres in the Applegate area and into Northern California. A lightning storm on Aug. 14 ignited 25 fires in the area. Remaining active fires include Creedence and Bigelow (Grayback) fires, seven miles south of Williams; the Abney fire, about nine miles north of Seiad Valley, California; and the Burnt Peak, three miles north of Applegate Lake.
High Cascades Complex
27,321 acres, 38 percent contained
The High Cascades Complex consists of 20 fires started by lightning in late July and located within Crater Lake National Park, the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest, the Umpqua National Forest and the Fremont/Winema National Forest in the Sky Lakes wilderness. Thirteen of these fires have been contained and are in patrol status. The remaining seven are being managed with a full suppression strategy, fire officials say.
A Level 1 — get ready — evacuation alert remains in effect for the Union Creek area because of fire activity from the Broken Lookout fire. A similar alert remains in effect for Mazama Village in Crater Lake National Park.
Changing weather conditions could mean a slight chance of isolated lightning Sunday, but that chance will increase through Wednesday and could mean more fire starts.
Chetco Bar fire
128,212 acres, 10 percent contained
"Extreme fire behavior" continues in the immediate forecast for the fire burning in the Kalmiopsis Wilderness near Brookings, with low humidity throughout the weekend, and an "excessive heat" warning is in place through 11 p.m. Monday based on temperatures forecast to be 100 degrees or more.
By Monday night, the thermal trough that's causing current conditions is forecast to move east, bringing in more moist air but also leaving a chance of thunderstorms — and possibly more fire starts — in Tuesday's forecast.
A community fire briefing is set for 7 p.m. Sunday at Illinois Valley High School in Cave Junction. Heavy smoke will remain at extreme to hazardous levels for communities downwind such as Agness, Cave Junction and Grants Pass, though Gold Beach and Brookings should see a reprieve in smoke Sunday because of coastal winds.
Changing fire conditions and enough resources meant that more property owners affected by the Chetco Bar fire were able to return home, however.
An evacuation level was dropped from Level 3 to Level 2 Saturday morning for residences in the Mountain Drive area off the north bank of the Chetco River Road, according to a release issued by the Chetco Bar Incident Management Team. Some 1,562 personnel are working the fire.
Residents allowed to return include those on Mountain Drive, Van Pelt Drive, Thomas Lane, Canyon Drive, and east and west Cougar Drive. Homeowners affected must provide picture identification to Curry County Sheriff's Office staff before returning, and re-entry materials will be available at the Ray's Market in Brookings.
North Pelican fire
1,900 acres, 18 percent contained
A fire weather watch continues through the weekend for the fire burning about 25 miles northwest of Klamath Falls, as crews battle gusty winds, unstable air, poor humidity and hot temperatures. Because of temperatures in the mid-90s, a red flag warning is in place until 8 p.m. Saturday.
Crews totaling 163 personnel are battling the wildfire, located in a remote area on Pelican Butte. Poor humidity is of particular concern to the upper slopes and ridges through Sunday night.
No structures are threatened in the blaze, though the fire has closed the Fremont-Winema National Forest since Aug. 21. The closure includes all forestlands west of Westside Road, east of Pelican Butte Road, north of Forest Service Road 3554 and south of Forest Service Road 3519.
Crews are hampered by difficulty accessing terrain to the east, but are making progress at other edges of the fire. Along the fire's edge at the western perimeter, crews are focusing on containment lines; at the north, crews are working to strengthen already-set lines; at the south, crews are utilizing Lake Francis for mop-up efforts.
Horse Prairie fire
11,775 acres, 15 percent contained
As the head of the wildfire southeast of Camas Valley in Douglas County continues to move south of Cow Creek, the crews of 950 personnel set up camp to a new site Saturday along Interstate 5 in Riddle.
Though temperatures remained warm Friday night and crews battled a few spot fires, fires over containment lines were quickly corralled, according to Oregon Department of Forestry reports, and burnout operations have been going to plan.
No homes have been destroyed or damaged in the fire, though two outer structures in the evacuation area have been damaged in the fire.