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South Obenchain fire surpasses 30,500 acres

Fire managers reported Sunday the South Obenchain fire in northern Jackson County reached 30,503 acres with 20% containment.

For the safety of firefighters and aircraft, flying over the fire area is currently banned except for firefighting operations. The ban includes flying of aerial drones by the public.

The Bureau of Land Management has closed BLM land to the public in and around the South Obenchain fire to reduce conflicts with emergency crews, allow for fire suppression and protect the public and natural resources.

In northern Jackson County, the areas around and including Shady Cove and Butte Falls remain under a Level 3 “Go” evacuation alert because of the South Obenchain fire. The “Go” alert extends north to Lost Creek Lake, west of Shady Cove to the west, east of Butte Falls to the east and just south of Highway 140 to the south.

South Obenchain fire evacuation zones include Shady Cove and Butte Falls in red Level 3 “Go” zones and the perimeter of the area in the yellow “Be Set” zone. The footprint of the fire is in orange and is covered by the “Go” evacuation alert.

The whole perimeter of the South Obenchain fire is under a Level 2 “Be Set” evacuation alert, including the areas north and west of Eagle Point.

To view detailed evacuation zones in Jackson County, see jacksoncounty.org/evacuation.

On the South Obenchain fire, crews on the southwestern and northern flanks continue to reinforce dozer containment lines and perform mop-up operations, according to the Sunday report from fire managers.

Crews on the east and southeast flanks were able to complete a combination of dozer and hand lines. They continue to reinforce the perimeter.

Firefighters will continue to secure the line while remaining vigilant and watching for spotting over the next several days.

Four task forces of structural engines are working along the Butte Falls Highway and in the Shady Cove area to triage threats and provide point protection. Tactical burnout operations were conducted Saturday night to secure homes along the perimeter.

Resources on the fire include 15 crews of ground firefighters, three light helicopters, five medium helicopters, four heavy helicopters, 22 engines, 19 dozers and 28 water tenders.

Reach Mail Tribune reporter Vickie Aldous at 541-776-4486 or valdous@rosebudmedia.com. Follow her on Twitter @VickieAldous.

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