With the growing complexity of the Rum Creek Fire, Northwest 13 Incident Management Team has been joined by two state agencies to form a unified command of the suppression operation.
The end of the day Saturday, Oregon State Fire Marshal’s Incident Management Blue Team and Oregon Department of Forestry’s Incident Management Team 1 had integrated seamlessly.
“We want to recognize the exceptional mutual aid work provided by Rogue Valley Task Forces and Rural Metro firefighters in and around Rand, Almeda and Galice during the past 24 hours,” said OSFM Chief Deputy Travis Medema.
Under the Emergency Conflagration Act, OSFM brought six task forces and one hand crew to relieve local mutual aid resources. Linn/Benton and Lincoln Task Forces took over structure protection north of Galice and additional swing shift task forces began scouting homes, focusing on fire protection along Galice Road.
The fire has crossed onto ODF-protected private forest lands as well, further increasing the need for additional capacity. “There is nothing easy about fighting fire in this country,” said Joe Hessel, ODF Team 1 Incident Commander. “Things can change very quickly. We are happy to be here to support the community and our fellow firefighters.” With the increase in resources, suppression and protection activity is increasing across all divisions. A second aviation base has been added, enabling more direct air support from the east and west flanks. Construction and reinforcing of primary, alternate and contingency lines is continuing.
The fire has grown to over 8,000 acres due to strong winds and dry fuels. By A heat wave moving into the area will make fuels more receptive to fire and increase the chance of column formation. A community meeting is being planned for Tuesday, Aug. 30. Additional details will be released later today.
The Rogue River is closed to boating from Hog Creek downstream, including Russian Creek and the wild section of the river. Recreational boaters will not be able to put in or take out starting at the Hog Creek Boat Ramp downstream to Grave Creek. Robertson Bridge County Park is the furthest downstream recreational river take-out. At this time, Bear Camp Road remains open.
Recreation sites along the Rogue River from Hog Creek to Russian Creek are closed. Josephine County Parks that are currently closed include Hog Creek County Park, Indian Mary Park and Campground, Ennis Riffle County Park, and Almeda County Park and Campground. BLM recreation sites that are currently closed include Hog Creek, Hellgate Overlook, Stratton Creek, Rainbow, Carpenter Island, Rocky Bar, Robert Dean, Chair, Rand, Smullin Visitor Center, Argo, and Grave Creek. Additional public lands closures exist around the Rum Creek Fire.
Officials have confirmed that 1 residence has been destroyed, along with two other structures.
Sheltering operations are at Josephine County Fairgrounds.